Money Observer: Why I invest in water and robotics

It has been a year and two months since I began investing. Shortly after I became a staff writer at Money Observer, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and invest in the stock market.

At the time, we were coming up to the political surprise that was the EU referendum and the world was characterised by uncertainty – an ongoing theme ever since. I therefore chose a global investment strategy, and while it remains to be seen whether the tide of populism has receded in the UK and Europe, I remain globally focused.

I’ve always been amazed by the fact that ‘global’ tends to mean American, with 53 per cent of the MSCI World index made up of US equities. However, unlike a global index tracker, active funds can choose a more diverse spread of geographies and alter their weightings. I expect the managers of my funds to cover various regions for me, like stringers in a news organisation.

On a more experimental note, I have also invested small amounts in robotics and water. So far, the robotics fund has done almost twice as well as the water fund.

With the rise of self-driving cars, 3D printing, motion and voice recognition coupled with an ageing population and shrinking workforce, I think that automation will be a big theme for decades to come.

Next to lofty hi-tech ambitions, investing in water might seem unexciting, but while humanity has lived without robots for most of its history, water has and will always remain paramount. It means that the companies managing pumps and pipelines will always be in business. Both funds should be relatively safe places for my investments when the next political surprise occurs.

This column was published as part of Marina’s Imaginary Millions, Money Observer, July 2017

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