So far, my diary updates have largely dealt with the ‘here & now,’ addressing the immediate concerns of today and the coming months. Far higher returns can be made if we spot longer-term fundamental changes though. And what we see evolving right now is not something new, but just more an acceleration of changes that were already taking place.
Perhaps contrary to the doom and gloom stories that often surround British industry, the country is awash with exciting ideas for the future and in areas that the Government, absolutely, should be supporting for their employment prospects and effect on the economy.
The usual sectors are well worth supporting to get the economy going in the near term. And there are some great companies to kick start this process, such as Breedon, Polypipe and Persimmon in the construction space as well as food processors and logistics groups.
But ‘lockdown’ has made me consider shifts in our society that may stick for years to come. As a family we are of course cooking a lot more – mind you Gordon Ramsay victims don’t have to cope with the comments I do – but my daughter is now knitting, and we are all walking, running and cycling. I have become a dissectologist – a change from being a rabid Leeds fan. All well and good, but I very much doubt much of this will last.
As for my son, apart from breakfast, lunch and dinner, and repeated snacks, we barely seen him thanks to online gaming.
The eGaming phenomenon is interesting. Those with teenage kids will have noted they spend their evenings with their friends online, as opposed to previous generations whose focal point was the television. I spoke with the head of Formula 1 eGaming who highlighted that the virtual races in Bahrain and Vietnam had seen ‘massive audiences’ logging on with new types of customers all over the world.
Part of football’s global success is that it’s so easy to play. Indeed, eGaming is similar and far more inclusive for all especially compared with taking part in traditional motor racing.
There is huge untapped innovation in online gaming with new products to cater for all ages and consumer tastes. It’s also a market that is attracting significant advertising spend. The internet has connected game producers directly to the consumer, removing the need for physical distribution.
It has also provided another revenue stream through in game updates – popular football game, FIFA, is a great example where more profit comes from its regular in-game selling rather than the game itself.
Software developer Codemasters is behind Formula 1’s virtual grand prix and there are a string of excellent investment opportunities including Frontier Developments and Team17. Incidentally, my son informed that rap star Travis Scott’s avatar played via Fortnite (a popular game apparently) to a crowd of more than 12 million, and online Nascar racers have more interview requests than the real thing.