Fundamental Thinking presents the perspectives of Harding Loevner’s analysts on a range of investment topics, highlighting our fundamental research and providing insight into how we approach quality growth investing.
New tools like 3D knitting, body scanning, and augmented reality could make “custom” the new black
NEW7-minute read3-minute video
Though once the norm, custom clothing has been the domain of the wealthy for generations. Soon, innovations in manufacturing and design could make customized apparel widely accessible to mainstream consumers once again, unstitching the apparel, footwear, and accessories industry in the process.
As algorithms reshape the life sciences, who will make it big?
8-minute read3-minute video
Exploitation of “Big Data” has driven the profits explosion at internet companies such as Facebook, Google, Tencent, and Amazon.com over the past few years. Are computational advances—such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing—now ready to do for life science earnings what they have done for internet earnings?
As Big Beer finally learns the mantra: "if you identify a trend, ride it, don’t fight it," the growth path for craft brewers and distillers becomes more difficult, though not impossible.
11-minute read4-minute video
Some of the factors that allowed craft beer to flourish in the US a decade ago, such as growing consumer interest in all things artisanal and a more favorable regulatory environment, are now fueling domestic growth of craft spirits. Craft beer is also beginning to take market share in non-US markets. However, the big alcohol conglomerates are demonstrating they will not be as passive this time around.
The transition to fifth generation wireless technology will likely have deeper and broader economic implications than previous transitions.
6-minute read3-minute video
5G will surpass three technical thresholds: 1) wireless internet speeds will be as fast as or faster than wired speeds; 2) the “internet of things” will have mass industrial applications for the first time; and 3) latency will fall to one millisecond—faster than the speed at which humans perceive touch feedback as instant—giving rise to “tactile internet” applications. These breakthroughs will transform much more than the telecommunications industry.
Though the future of cars may be automated, our investment decisions will be anything but.
7-minute read4-minute video
While many predict the widespread adoption of fully autonomous vehicles by 2030, we see a number of risks that could stall the shift from driver assistance (Level 1) to fully automated driving (Level 5). It also remains to be seen whether software or hardware makers stand most to gain from this shift, further complicating matters for investors.
The younger, better‐educated generation of Chinese is beginning to disrupt industries around the world, presenting investors with underappreciated challenges and opportunities.
7-minute read1-minute video
The number of Chinese students graduating from university each year has more than septupled from 1 million in 1997 to 7.4 million in 2015. This expanding talent pool, combined with the recent surge in R&D and capital expenditure in China, is quickly raising the international competitiveness of Chinese firms in high value-added industries.
Can new entrants like Dollar Shave Club break the hegemony of the branded consumer staples giants, or will it be dominance as usual?
Revenues from ubiquitous products such as coffee, detergent, and toothpaste have gone to a handful of branded consumer staples conglomerates such as Nestlé and Unilever for generations. With new trends in e-commerce, online advertising, contract manufacturing, and distribution channels changing the competitive landscape, industry fragmentation is perhaps now more likely than ever.
By sharing the thinking that underpins our investment decisions, the multimedia series will provide additional insight into how we construct and manage portfolios.
Topics covered in Fundamental Thinking will not be moored to the demands of portfolio performance reporting. Rather, the subjects explored and the debates highlighted will be more attuned to the underlying fundamentals we analyze.
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