Beyond Bulls & Bears


An Update on US Growth and Post-Pandemic Equity Opportunities

Franklin Equity Group Portfolio Manager Grant Bowers discusses whether recent moderation in US growth will continue, and where he’s finding opportunities in equities today.

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In financials, the rise of many fintech companies and the growth of digital payments has really disrupted the traditional banking industry, creating new options for consumers. We view many of these fintech businesses as still being in the early days of the disruption.

In the health care sector, we’re finding new investment opportunities that are meeting the growing global demand for health care with innovation and technology. While biotech and genomics are showing tremendous promise with new treatments and cures, the medical device and technology industries are investing heavily in research and development to reimagine the health care system of the future.

During the pandemic, consumers were introduced to a tremendous number of new options on how to buy and sell goods, how to access health care, engage in home exercise or entertainment.

We believe that we will likely observe a big reshuffling of spending patterns in the years ahead, as consumers embrace many of these new options they discovered over the last year. 

Another area of interest is industrials. The reshoring of the global supply chain is another major theme that we’re focused on. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many weaknesses of the global supply chain, specifically in the areas of health care. We think that over the next few years, many of these industries, starting with health care but broadening out over time, look to reshore back to the United States.

De-urbanisation is another theme on our radar. We are observing a shift in the way the millennial generation has chosen to live, away from a more urban-centred lifestyle to a one that is more suburban in shape. This trend will likely play out over the next 5-10 years and has significant implications to many industries.

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What Are the Risks?

All investments involve risks, including possible loss of principal. The value of investments can go down as well as up, and investors may not get back the full amount invested. Stock prices fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and dramatically, due to factors affecting individual companies, particular industries or sectors, or general market conditions. Growth stock prices reflect projections of future earnings or revenues, and can, therefore, fall dramatically if the company fails to meet those projections. To the extent the fund focuses on particular countries, regions, industries, sectors or types of investment from time to time, it may be subject to greater risks of adverse developments in such areas of focus than a fund that invests in a wider variety of countries, regions, industries, sectors or investments. Smaller, mid-sized and relatively new or unseasoned companies can be particularly sensitive to changing economic conditions, and their prospects for growth are less certain than those of larger, more established companies. Historically, these securities have experienced more price volatility than larger company stocks, especially over the short-term. These and other risks are described more fully in the fund’s prospectus.

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