The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world. But it has also accelerated certain technological trends that investors should be tapped into. Will investors in companies like Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) and Teladoc (NYSE:TDOC) see these companies pull off repeat performances once a safe and effective vaccine is distributed?
ProShares' Executive Director of Thematic Investing Scott Helfstein sat down with The Motley Fool to discuss their new ETF: ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF (NYSEMKT:ANEW). He shared plenty of tips that all kinds of investors can apply to their own portfolios.
Corinne Cardina: Absolutely. We're going to talk about all these different trends. We're going to dive into some of the specific stocks that the ETF holds within the category and chat about why these trends are likely to endure beyond the pandemic. Before we jump into all that though, we've had exciting vaccine news this morning. So I don't want to ignore that. I think my question for you is, was this ETF designed for this current new normal? How do you think these trends are going to endure once a large segment of the population does become vaccinated? Some of these things may not be exactly where they are today, how do you picture this on the longer time horizon?
Scott Helfstein: Let me stress, first of all, I look forward to the day when we get a vaccine. I'm a proud New Yorker and we were out at a restaurant that was near empty last night and look forward to the days where the economy reopens. This is not a COVID doom and gloom type of a fund, but many of the things that have happened are likely to stay with us. For example, we saw the number of people working from home, the percentage of the population increase from 7% to 42%. That's a six-fold increase. We cannot, by the way, have another six-fold increase. We can't have 252% of people working from home. We can't do that and we might have peaked at 42 or 49.There are some different statistics that are out there and that might well start to revert as offices reopen, and we would expect that to be the case. Yet, more than 50% of senior executives are talking about making some flexible work schedule permanent and so people are not in the office five days a week, and a recent Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) poll, 53% of senior executives said that they were looking at reducing their office space. Even a 20% reduction in office space could be somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 billion to a trillion dollars of cost savings that will probably be redirected to things like customer relationship management software, artificial intelligence, automation, video conference. We don't necessarily see many of these changes as receding. We think that there will be a permanent part of the landscape and really what we're focused on is where do we go over the next 10 years? Not the next 10 months.