COVID-19 has us questioning what a “new normal” will look like in terms of how we work, travel and invest. It has amplified pre-existing challenges and created new ones.
One key lesson it has taught us across every aspect of our lives is how important that a focus on the fundamentals is and the need for access and flexibility is essential.
When you consider investment, even prior to the pandemic, some have been frustrated with the lack of ways to access growth in the private markets. Many advisors relied upon Liquid Alternatives to provide accessible alternative exposure for clients. This asset class has performed inconsistently and more poorly since COVID-19 spiked in February. New work-from-home and travel behaviors may continue to influence real estate or fuel prices for the foreseeable future as well. Some thoughts on fundamentals, access and flexibility now and in the future:
- Financial professionals need an alternative investment instrument with greater access without the traditional limitations of traditional venture capital because, as COVID-19 has shown us, things can change.
- Food and health are fundamental and non-discretionary. We all must eat. No matter where else we hunker down in times of crisis, this is indisputable.
A New and Better Investment Instrument.
Imagine the best of venture capital without the barriers — lower investment thresholds, greater liquidity, ongoing optionality and lower fees. This is what makes the Yale Endowment model so successful yet has eluded most investors. COVID-19 has shown access and flexibility are important in our investments and lives.
A Focus at the Nexus of Food & Health.
COVID-19 has shown us that travel and physical workplaces are (somewhat) discretionary. But we all must eat. Food and health are our most basic human needs. Americans spend over $1.7T a year on food* and the same healthcare and productivity loss from diet-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.** Here are some companies moving this from promise to progress to reverse this trend and create more nutritious and healthier food that is also accessible and affordable:
- Bonumose makes Tagatose production affordable and commercially viable. Tagatose is a fiber-based, sugar substitute without the glycemic and other negative impacts of sugar. You can watch a recent discussion we had with Dr. Robert Lustig, a known expert on the health impacts of sugar here.
- Benson Hill is enabling the production of soybeans with higher protein content and healthier oils while still maintaining the competitive yields farmers depend upon. You can catch that discussion here.
These are just two of the more than 2,500+ companies we’ve evaluated and chosen for investment and growth. The arenas of food and health will enable investment with impact; the ability to do good and do well — this is our focus.
Join iSelect for an online discussion on this topic by registering here.
*USDA Economic Research Service / Farm Bureau
**Milken Institute. “Economic impact of excess weight now exceeds $1.7 trillion: Costs include $1.24 trillion in lost productivity, according to study documenting role of obesity and overweight in chronic diseases.” ScienceDaily, 30 October 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181030163458.htm>.
Investments in private offerings are speculative, illiquid and involve a high degree of risk and those investors who cannot afford to lose their entire investment and who cannot hold an investment for an indeterminate period should not invest in such offerings. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Securities are offered through North Capital Private Securities, member FINRA/SIPC. All information provided herein should not be relied upon to make an investment decision and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Prospective investors are recommended to consult with a financial adviser, attorney, accountant, and any other professional that can help you understand and assess the risks associated with an investment opportunity.