After stock markets got off to a lackluster start in 2022, the last two months in the market have been good for investors, as many beaten-down stocks rallied for the first time in months.
While there's no telling if the rally will fade, it's always a good time to look for stellar companies to add to your long-term investment portfolio. When looking for potentially strong performing stocks, you want to find companies that see strong demand for their products growing.
Asset management is one industry that has seen demand for certain products pick up over the last decade. BlackRock (BLK 1.14%) and Brookfield Asset Management (BN -0.80%) are two asset managers capitalizing on growing investor demand for their investments. Here's what you should know.
BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with over $8.5 trillion in assets under management (AUM). The company provides various investments, including trust funds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) through its iShares brand.
BlackRock benefits from investor demand for passive investment options. Passive investments are structured to track a given index and offer investors lower fees than actively managed investments.
BlackRock excels at creating ETF products to target specific investment preferences, such as investments targeting income through dividend and interest, growth, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) products. From 2011 through 2021, BlackRock's AUM has nearly tripled, growing at a rate of 11% compounded annually.
Last year, the company talked about the generation shift propelling ETF products higher. While Global ETF AUM was $8 trillion in 2020, BlackRock believes this could grow to $15 trillion by 2025 as ETFs become more common in equity and bond markets.
Despite volatile markets in the second quarter, the asset manager saw $90 billion flow into its investment products, of which $79 billion flowed into index and ETF products. BlackRock's position as a top asset manager and continued trends into passive investments make it a stellar stock you can buy today.
2. Brookfield Asset Management
Brookfield Asset Management manages alternative investments for big investors, including pension plans, endowments, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds. The Canadian asset manager invests in various assets, including infrastructure, renewable energy, and real estate.
Brookfield has done a stellar job capitalizing on investors' demand for alternative investments. Alternative investments are investments outside traditional investments, such as stocks and bonds, and include investments like private equity, hedge funds, real estate, and structured products.
Institutional investors have increasingly turned to alternative investments as they look to generate market-beating returns in a low interest rate environment. According to Prequin, a provider of financial data on the alternative investment market, alternative AUM has grown from $4 trillion in 2010 to nearly $11 trillion in 2020. Emerging markets also drive alternative investment demand as investors look for exposure to emerging economies in Southeast Asia, India, and Brazil.
Brookfield is also ready to benefit if inflation stays around for an extended period. The asset manager invests in real asset businesses, like real estate and infrastructure, that could gain value in an inflationary environment.
It has also done a stellar job of growing revenue, up 30% from last year. Net income fell 29% from last year due to a big gain last year from the sale of its energy business along with a decrease in some of its real estate assets. Overall, AUM has grown, and at the end of June, Brookfield's AUM was $750 billion, up 9% from last June. The asset manager is also in a strong capital position, with $111 billion in cash and capital ready to be put to work in more investments.
Brookfield is well positioned to grow as investors pile into alternative investments, and its investments in real assets should help it outperform if inflationary pressures continue for an extended period, making it a stellar stock you can buy now.