Meeting Important Human Needs

If you were to speak to someone who came of age during the Great Depression about important human needs, it is doubtful that they would mention things like eCommerce logistics or 5G infrastructure. And yet, here we are in 2020 with these being two of the many themes being represented in our portfolios because of their importance for humankind.

But are eCommerce logistics and technology infrastructure really meeting important human needs or are they simply meeting our desire for more exuberant luxury? If these themes were not even imaginable in 1930, how can we say they are important 90 years later?

The answer is surprisingly simple.

The population of the United States in 1930 was 123 million compared to 331 million today. By 2030, the U.S. population is estimated to be around 360 million. This means that the population of the U.S. will have nearly tripled in the 100 year period between 1930 and 2030. We simply cannot operate with the same tools in the same space with triple the amount of people.

Innovation is necessary.

Develop, Sustain, Restore

The economy, like everything else, is constantly transitioning from “old” to “new.” While the “old economy” represents the way things were done in the past, it was, at one point, the “new economy.” Fossil fuels, transistor radios, railroads, steam engines, etc.—these were all themes of a “new economy” at the time that they were adopted because of their ability to meet important human needs.

But, as we have grown, we have new needs.

Since, at Eventide, we see human life as a blessing, we see the growing population as something to embrace, not prohibit. Thus, a way for us to be a faithful presence in the world is to help build the “new economy” of tomorrow in a way that is loving to our neighbors.

We are doing this in the following three ways:

  1. Develop — extend, grow, or create new ways to harness our resources and meet the demands of a growing and changing society.
  2. Sustain — preserve, keep, or protect resources so that they can continue to regenerate and provide for future generations.
  3. Restore — make right, fix, or heal what is wrong or broken.

At Eventide, we categorize our themes by the ways that we believe they are helping to develop, sustain, or restore. Our investment team thinks deeply about the needs that our neighbors will have tomorrow and how we can direct our Eventide investment dollars towards developing, sustaining, and restoring these needs.

Investments Designed to Seek Performance and a Better World

The light bulb was a luxury in 1880. It’s hard to imagine a world without it in 2020. Likewise, 5G, clean energy, clean water technologies, agricultural innovations, robotics, eCommerce logistics, and precision oncology will all be foundational themes of the new economy, which will be built to meet the needs of our neighbors in the future. Twenty years from now, we won’t be able to imagine a world without these things.

This anthropological, needs-based thematic approach to investing is a forward-looking strategy that may also be a means of alpha. It stands to reason that themes that meet human needs also tend to be in greater demand. Thus, investors who invest in the companies positioned within these themes could benefit from the tailwinds of this needs-driven demand.

This is investing to seek performance and a better world.

This is investing that makes the world rejoice®.

Cover and interior illustrations by Janis Andzans