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Old Mutual plans to launch a fund focused on AI and other trends

‘Once we get a good entry price, we will launch the fund and provide exposure to these very exciting trends, including the metaverse.’
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Old Mutual believes that virtual reality is a big opportunity for investors. As a result, the fund manager plans to launch a fund in 2022 focused on artificial intelligence and other dominant trends.

‘This fund will have global exposure and capture all trends,’ Old Mutual Investment Group director of investments Hywel George said during a webinar.

He identified the following technological trends as significant: blockchain, cyber security, hydrogen, longevity, the metaverse, quantum computing, robotics, smart cities, the internet of things, and space exploration, including asteroid mining.

He said Old Mutual was waiting for investor euphoria to dissipate before buying into these trends at reasonable prices. He thought this opportunity would present itself in the first half of next year.

He said metaverse activity was ‘mind-blowing’, and investors were pouring money into digital real estate and non-fungible tokens.

‘Nike is moving into it, and they are one example among many. This digital world is happening quickly, and the metaverse will be massive next year,’ he added.

He said that the world was experiencing the start of the metaverse and the crypto revolutions. Governments were unlikely to curtail the explosive growth in crypto as George said that the opportunity for a state shutdown of this area had probably passed.

He said blockchain would revolutionise the world, while space exploration and asteroid mining offer the opportunity to secure rare-earth elements and green metals.

He added that investors should monitor hydrogen as an alternative to battery technology in large vehicles.

Five key 2022 trends

George identified five key investment trends for 2022:

  • China will speed up its quest for global dominance. ‘China’s development will be one of the defining trends of our age,’ George said. However, he suggested investors avoid China. ‘China is on the verge of being uninvestable,’ he said.
  • Investors will see an acceleration in exponential technological progress. He recommended investors gain exposure to the dominant technological themes.
  • The crypto evolution will accelerate, but the crypto options will decline. George advised investors to back the crypto winners like ethereum.
  • Support for ESG and green technology will speed up. He suggested investors put their money in green metals and decarbonisation.
  • Investors will face higher inflation and interest rates. As a result, George recommended investors protect their portfolios by buying gold, silver, ether and real assets, such as infrastructure and forestry.

Justin Brown is a journalist at Citywire, which provides insights and information for professional investors globally.

This article was first published on Citywire South Africa here, and republished with permission.

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