Check out what Amazon Go, Australian real estate troubles and the rise of conscious capitalism could mean for you and your investments. (Reading time 4:25 mins)

This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if the relevant investment is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

1. Amazon Go launches

Amazon certainly knows how to kick off the week with a bang. The retail giant launched its first Amazon Go store on Monday – the world’s first checkout-less convenience store.

Customers will be able to walk in, pick up their items and walk out without swiping a card or waiting at a register. “You can just walk in, take what you want, and leave,” as Amazon Go’s VP of Technology puts it.

What does this mean if you’ve invested in grocery companies?

Invested in stocks like Wesfarmers (owner of Coles), Woolworths, or Metcash? The launch of Amazon Go is a preview of how the retailer is trying to disrupt the grocery market.

Since Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, grocery retailers and investors should be keeping a close eye on how Amazon will start transforming the entire grocery shopping experience.

They’ve prioritised the shopper’s experience, and made the process of buying groceries as easy and frictionless as possible.

What does this mean if you’ve invested money with AtlasTrend?

Some of AtlasTrend managed funds are invested in Amazon, and the launch of Amazon Go demonstrates the company’s commitment to innovation

We expect innovations to keep coming over the next decade as the company continues to invest heavily in research and development – Amazon is already one of the largest research and development spenders in the world.

Amazon is well placed to keep winning customer’s hearts and wallets, particularly over traditional retailers. Which grocery store would you rather shop at: the one that makes you go through the usual check out process, or the one where you can just walk straight out with the items you want?

 

 2. Aussie real estate woes

It hasn’t been a great week for ASX-listed real estate companies, with both the McGrath real estate agency and Domain facing testing times.

The performance of both listed companies has taken a beating, in addition to sudden changes in executive leadership – especially in McGrath’s case where the chief executive, chairman and all board members (bar the founder) are due to step down.

What does this mean if you’re invested in Aussie property?

Real estate agents are usually a positive group of people. After all, their job is to sell property irrespective of what’s happening in the background.

When one of Australia’s larger real estate agents comes out and says its sales division is underperforming, plus nearly the whole board of directors is quitting – we believe it’s a significant indicator something might not be going well in the Aussie housing market.

From our experience in other countries, when a marquee real estate agent issues a profit warning, property investors on average usually end up bearing the brunt over the years following.

What does this mean if you’ve invested money with AtlasTrend?

Our managed funds do not invest in Australian property or Australian listed shares.

Some of our funds do invest in international property companies but these are predominantly non-residential property companies – owning the property where data centres are located.

 

 3. The rise of conscious capitalism

Blackrock CEO Larry Fink sent a powerful, cautionary message to the CEOs around the world, saying “society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose”.

Fink went on to stress the importance of delivering financial performance, while also positively impacting society in order to achieve long-term growth.

The CEOs he’s directing this message to are likely to sit up and listen, given Blackrock’s standing as the world’s largest fund manager with US$6.3 trillion of assets under management.

What does this mean if youre invested in the stock market?

These are tentative signs the world might be starting to transition from being purely short-term profit driven, focused solely on shareholders to producing long-term benefits for broader sets of stakeholders.

Profits will inevitably still be important, but we increasingly believe more investors may demand profits are generated in a sustainable way to include positive social impact.

Companies with growth-driven business models are better suited this type of investor i.e. they focus on innovating for the benefit of their customers compared to more traditional companies, which are focused on protecting their marketing positions to simply earn more profits for shareholders (tobacco companies, certain mining companies).

How is your investment portfolio currently aligned? Is it full of companies whose sole focus is to deliver you a sufficient dividend each year, or is it full of innovative companies trying to grow your wealth over the long term while delivering benefits for their customers and society?

Cynics will say it doesn’t matter, but the market might start disagreeing soon.

What does this mean if you’ve invested money with AtlasTrend?

Each of our managed funds is aligned to a long-term growth trend, that is in some way positively impacting hundreds of millions of people.

We pick stocks for these funds based on potential financial performance, while also taking into account each company’s ability to deliver positive, tangible benefits to many of their customers (sometimes millions or even billions of people) over the next decade. We believe this drives positive, long-term share price growth.

As a result, many of the stocks we invest in don’t pay dividends because their vision is not to provide a predictable dividend to shareholders every year, but rather it is to keep reinvesting in the company’s services and products to deliver more benefits for customers.

We believe this is a better way to build long-term value for the companies’ shareholders and its customers.

 

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About Kent Kwan

Kent Kwan is a Co-Founder of AtlasTrend, an online investment platform that makes it easy for anyone to learn and invest in trends transforming our world. Kent has over 15 years experience in financial markets including as Chief Investment Officer at Arowana International Limited, and roles at JP Morgan and Macquarie.