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The 1 Big Lesson From the Coronavirus Pandemic For Investors

By Corinne Cardina - Dec 15, 2020 at 7:54AM

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Even once a vaccine is publicly available, this trend is here to stay for the long-haul.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world. But it has also accelerated certain technological trends that investors should be tapped into. 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 0.84% ).

He discussed the penetration of e-commerce into the broader retail market, which bodes well for online shopping giants like Amazon ( AMZN -0.00% ), Shopify ( SHOP -0.01% ), and Alibaba ( BABA -0.37% ).

Corinne Cardina: Absolutely. I think we've gotten a taste of a lot of these things because of the circumstances, but something like telework, I've realized that my job can be done 100% remote. Something like telehealth, once you have been able to log onto a video and see your doctor from your couch, that may be something you're interested in doing even when there's not a pandemic just because you've experienced the convenience. I definitely see where you're going with that.

Scott Helfstein: Similarly across all these areas, another one is online retail and I imagine we'll want to jump into some of the names there, but we saw e-commerce as a percentage total retail sales go from 11%to 16%, and new numbers should be out at some point this week. But to give everybody context, it took 10 years to go from 5% to 11%. It took a decade to reach 11% penetration. Ten years. So for all the people who think that Amazon is taking over everything, all of e-commerce is still only 16% of the pie. That doesn't suggest to me that all of a sudden, it's going to go back to 11. There's a whole lot more that it's going to capture and so it's just going to expand, not recede.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Amazon.com, Inc. Stock Quote
Amazon.com, Inc.
AMZN
$3,523.16 (-0.00%) $0.13
Alibaba Group Holding Limited Stock Quote
Alibaba Group Holding Limited
BABA
$125.08 (-0.37%) $0.46
Shopify Inc. Stock Quote
Shopify Inc.
SHOP
$1,520.29 (-0.01%) $0.22
ProShares Trust - ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF Stock Quote
ProShares Trust - ProShares MSCI Transformational Changes ETF
ANEW
$45.72 (0.84%) $0.38

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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