I turned 62 over the summer and have to admit – whether willingly or unwillingly – that I have had a few ups and downs over the years, health-wise, with the most life-changing incident being the near-fatal bicycle accident I had in 2014. In the years since the accident, healthcare has formed a big part of my life, and I wasn’t hard to convince when Rishanth (the newest member of our research team) came to me over the summer and suggested he allocate some serious time to the topic.
As he said: “We have identified six megatrends that drive our thinking and our portfolio construction. Do you realise that healthcare spending will be affected by at least two of those six megatrends?”. The short answer is, yes, I do realise, but sometimes we all ignore the obvious. Thank you for reminding me, Rish.
The problem I have been up against after taking on this project is that healthcare is a monumental topic. Where do I start and when do I draw a line in the sand? If you think I only scratch the surface in the following, I can only apologise, but none of us want to sit here for the next 18 months. Having said that, Rish is only a phone call away (+44 8939 2909), should you want to talk to him about investment opportunities in the healthcare universe – topics I am not supposed to write about in the Absolute Return Letter.
Having said that, I can assure our ARP+ subscribers that the September Absolute Return Letter, which you are holding in your hands now, will be followed up with a research paper on the same topic. That paper will provide much more information on investment opportunities in the healthcare space.
The big picture
Although society is getting older, many observers continue to argue that the impact in the short to medium term will be minimal – it is such a slow-moving wave, they argue. I guess it depends on how you define “short to medium term”. If “short term” means the next few weeks and “medium term” takes us to Christmas, it is hard to disagree with that observation. However, if “short term” is the next year or two and “medium term” is the next handful of years, as it is in my book, then it would be a massive mistake to underestimate the impact on society from changing demographics.