What are your key macro themes?


I’m interested in what peoples key macro investment themes are for the next 5 years +. This is kind of inspired by a @NeilB post where he pointed out people are mainly interested in the macro & the micro not the stuff in between (which I mostly agree with).

I haven’t invested in all of these but some of the main macro trends I’m interested in are:

The energy transition - pretty obvious really. My main play on it is via battery storage and junior miners in the battery metals space.

Rising inequality - two prongs to this. The first is obviously luxury goods etc the second are things like funds investing in creating new social and affordable housing.

Air purification - I haven’t looked into this too much but I’m pretty sure in a lot of markets there is a rising demand for air purifiers etc. I think this will continue. We can already see it in the western domestic market with the Dyson air purifier being so heavily marketed.

Water - I’m particularly interested in desalination. I’m also interested to learn more about the idea of micro water networks. Do they exist yet in the same way as micro-grids for power? My play on this is via a managed global water fund.

Mining and resources more broadly - in the coming years we’re going to need a ton of stuff.

Cyber security - I think digital defence spending will become as big a physical defence over the coming years. I also chuck semi-conductors into this bucket. I use ETFs to play that because I don’t know enough to pick out the winners and losers.

Ageing populations - I was interested in this prior to covid but didn’t do any real research or investment because for a while I thought covid might kill off that trend.

I’d love to know what your takes are on these and other macro themes. Even just writing this post has been a really useful exercise. Based on it I have a few holdings I think I might need to sell.


My main theme is E-commerce.

Bit too focused, but if your an e-commerce company or ETF then your mine… Especially in the logistics, warehouse & robotics sector.

Outside of that I’ve been targeting Travel & Infrastructure.

EVs are important to me, but I only hold 2 companies.

Sustainable food is also big on my list 1 ETF & 1 Company so far.

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Yeah robotics and commercial automation is another big trend that I’ve been looking into a bit. If automation is going to replace a significant amount of jobs then it’s probably a good area for growth. Even just the ‘simple’ automation like self service checkouts still has massive growth potential imo.

I have a bit of the iShares automation and robotics ETF and it’s performed really well for me over the last couple of years. It has had a significant dip recently though :upside_down_face:

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I think the L&G Robotics & Automation fund & Robo Global ETF follows the same index as iShares… my position is new … so down a bit … but I do see this as a strong contender for growth.

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On the energy transformation I am looking at smart grid roll-out but I’ve not made much progress yet. I invested in the CC pitch for Pearlstone Energy who create demand side response systems and I hold National Grid.

I got a free share of the iShares ageing population ETF (thanks :freetrade: ) and might top that up.

When I first came to Freetrade in November I predicted a coming war based on the pandemic (disease, war and famine all come together) and invested in some construction and other infrastructure, only to sell, realising that I was way too early. I think this may be an area for investment later.

I put a cheeky tenner in Evraz at the bottom (autocorrect turned that to Zebras, which would have been stupid! :zebra: ) as that is so heavily discounted. My investment is 51% up so far today [edit now 65%]. I think that there is potential for more turbulence created by the media and investors’ hot emotions and these dips may be the some of the biggest short term opportunities.

I think those holding cash might have it right, but I’m enjoying investing and learning and will continue to invest during these turbulent times. I know inflation has the potential to wipe out cash value so I’m not certain about a strategy - apart from continuing to invest - greedy when others are fearful and all that!

Great thread @tubby_rokes

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My theory is that any resources are a good opportunity for investment as long as the fundamental are ok.

Anything that needs a lot of energy to produce/extract will cost more to produce and extract as energy prices surge. Theoretical outcomes are that the company goes bust, demand drops or the value of the shares increases. If the resources/company is non-cyclical or required for society to continue (rare earth mineral for instance) then a rising extraction cost might result in a soaring share price.

Nice twitter thread to start you off in your search for new macro themes.

One key thing to remember is that just because you see something as a large macro change, ie green energy, doesn’t mean it’s not over brought / too expensive already. You need to be right AND find the right price


And as a friend tells me a lot of people thought Amazon was a stupid idea … there were far more important themes and better business ideas. Except that is not how it worked out. In the ensuing bust Amazon dropped in value over 90% and so did many of the other companies. Amazon rose up out of the ashes over a very long period of time. Some of the themes from that era have come back (in the past few years) so there is another moral to this story … the so called macro theme(s) that you identify might not be investable opportunities for another 20 years.