David Stevenson: Emerging themes for adventurous investors

After revealing where he is investing his portfolio for 2021 earlier this week, David Stevenson talks throughs some of the emerging investment opportunities he will be monitoring throughout the year.

Here are some of the more speculative, thematic ideas which I think might start making waves in the next year or so.

Anyone who invested in esports businesses for instance – VanEck has an ETF in this space – has made a fortune and I think that that cycle may have a bit further to run.

But in terms of ‘new’ new themes that will appeal to the very adventurous, I’d highlight four.

The first is what I think will be the big megatheme of this decade – the coming food revolution built around new cellular technologies, plant-based proteins repackaged as brands and ‘agtech’ generally. I will talk more about this later this year, but my sense is that this will challenge the cloud and e-commerce for capital inflows.

Regular readers will already have noticed my enthusiasm for the life sciences sector in the genomics age, but there are other bits of this spectrum which might catch fire with investors: notably the growing interest in psychedelic treatments.

There is a tiny handful of businesses in this space, including our very own Compass Pathways (listed in the US), but I would watch this whole niche like a hawk.

I also think we’ll see an intensification of the scramble for rare earth metals that will be built into the new electric grid taking shape before our eyes. Virtually anything that goes into a battery will be in demand but there is a wider range of metals that are attracting attention.

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Last but by no means least, I’d keep a beady eye on the growing institutional acceptance of digital currencies. I suspect we’ll see an aggressive price correction in bitcoin, but even this sceptic has been hugely impressed by the growing institutional roll call of investors in this asset.

That said, they will need institutional grade infrastructure to support their interests and this could be another fascinating niche worth exploring.

I’ve already mentioned KR1 in this column, quoted on the AQSE exchange (which has shot up in value as you’d expect). It is involved in blockchain projects, but my sense is that there are many other interesting niche players in the crypto revolution worth researching.

I’ll be returning to all of these niche new trends in coming columns!

David’s daily blog is available at

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