Investing in Healthy Living

Kim Quirk
 on 
January 7, 2022
Investment

Business Development Consultant gives an overview of one of Fusion ESG's investment themes: Healthy Living.

Transcript: 

Healthy living is one of our key investment themes and while the other three themes (Clean Energy, Sustainable Agriculture and Water) are quite widely understood, this theme is not as widely known. In this masterclass, we're going to cover basically what healthy living is, why it's so important to and how you can invest in this theme.

Starting with what healthy living is, it's a relatively new theme within ESG, but it's a very important one. It covers a wide range of topics and largely focuses on mental health and physical wellbeing. There are a number of things that fall into this category and if you  consider the 17 sustainable development goals, you'll find that there's a lot of crossover between them and healthy living as a theme.

Healthy living incorporates the 'E' the 'S' and the 'G'. If we consider the environment to begin with, if we look at things like extreme weather conditions that result in floods and devastation, this not only has an effect on somebody's physical wellbeing, in that they're actually affected by the loss of life, it also affects their mental wellbeing by way of loss of land, loss of jobs and loss of earnings. This can have quite a devastating impact. On the positive side, having a good environment encourages people to get outdoors and enjoy nature and this has a positive impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.

Considering the social element, again this has a wide and far reaching element to it. It considers things like social inequality, housing, and things like availability of vaccinations. This can have quite an impact on physical and mental health. Finally, on the governance side, it looks at the responsibilities that governments and companies have to ensure they have good and effective policies in place which support the health and wellbeing of their staff and their citizens.

The W.H.O recently stated in a publication that the success of any society should be measured on the health and wellbeing of its citizens. So why is this so important? Well, people and their knowledge are the key resources for any society. And it's crucial that we invest in their education. Happier and healthier people tend to be more productive. They're more optimistic, and this helps them make better informed decisions. They are keen to contribute to the wellbeing of their world and the sustainability of it as well. The COVID pandemic has both accelerated certain areas in this theme, as well as having a negative impact on others. 

On a positive note, we've seen an increase in people's wellbeing and their nutrition. People have been keen to join online fitness classes and subscribe to things like the online food delivery services as well. This has helped improve their nutrition and overall wellbeing. The pandemic has given us time to focus on our environment and the things that are important to us, such as enjoying the outdoors and making sure that we preserve this for the future.

On the negative side, we've seen an increase in mental health issues and equally concerning, we've seen reduction in vaccinations and disease prevention, especially in emerging markets since the start of their pandemic. With resources directed to getting the world vaccinated against COVID, other vaccinations have ceased, and we've seen an increase in things like malaria and TB as a result. 

So how can you invest in healthy living?

There are so many opportunities within themes and sub-themes of healthy living. You have companies that are coming out with new medical technologies that are aimed at disease prevention and digital devices that can help people monitor their own illnesses from the comfort of their own home.

There is also a need for long-term care for our aging population. There is need for new facilities and also a need to enable people to stay in their homes. This not only has a social, but an economic benefit for societies.

With so many ways to invest in the Healthy Living theme, it can become very confusing for investors to know which companies to invest in. One of the ways that you can do this is to invest in a fund that has Healthy Living as one of its themes. This gives you the benefit of not only having the economies of scale, where you have access to a diversified portfolio, but it gives you access to fund managers and their research and the expertise in this area.

We understand that this has been a high-level overview of the healthy living theme. If you would like to discuss this in greater detail and look at the investment opportunities within this theme, we'd be delighted to speak with you. You can also find out more about our ESG investment product, Fusion ESG, here.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed within this article / video are those of the author, and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article / video does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security or to make a bank deposit.

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