The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world. But it has also accelerated certain technological trends that investors should be tapped into. There's one hobby that half a billion people are enjoying, and several growth stocks are poised to benefit.
ProShares' Executive Director of Thematic Investing Scott Helfstein sat down with The Motley Fool to dive into some of the intriguing stocks in their new ETF: ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF (ANEW 0.58%). He shared plenty of tips that all kinds of investors can apply to their own portfolios.
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Corinne Cardina: Definitely. Another trend in the digital consumer is gaming. Scott, I am not a gamer. You're going to have to help me out with this one. We've got Electronic Arts (EA -0.29%) and Activision (ATVI) as some stocks of interest here. I'm assuming that gaming has enjoyed a lot of tailwinds with everyone being at home and not being able to socialize. What can you share about these two?
Scott Helfstein: Just in April, gaming downloads, according to Apple (AAPL 2.11%), were up 30%. There are some numbers out there that are really pretty amazing, with regards to the number, not just of hours played but hours watched, literally 500 million people watch video games. In April, if we look at Twitch and YouTube gaming, which are the two biggest platforms, there were more than two billion hours of gaming watched during that time period, according to those companies' statistics. We also saw, during the pandemic, that Electronic Arts, which has the FIFA, the soccer or football franchise, if you will, they ran a competition that had almost 300,000 participants competing in a remote esports effort. Formula 1 actually put their drivers into simulators, and people were watching professional drivers in gaming simulators as the substitute for Formula 1, earlier this year. So this is a phenomenally big and growing market. I do believe that, yes, our spread gaming will probably revert a little bit as we reopen and we can do things like go to amusement parks. But, again, this is just the acceleration of a long-term trend. I mean, there's now something in the neighborhood of 100 universities that offer video gaming scholarships. These businesses will continue to see phenomenal growth over the next few years.