Short-term benefits are easy to focus on, especially in economies with rising rates and inflation.

Megatrends, however, are an amazing way that investors can gain long-term growth exposure.

For those who don’t know, megatrends are large transformative processes that dramatically and irreversibly affect the global business landscape.

Examples of megatrends are decarbonisation in the face of a warming climate, and technological breakthrough with the rise of occupations that will have a large amount automated activities.

Investing is always a risk, but these risks can be calculated more accurately with the emergence of thematic ETFs which can help investors land long-term investment opportunities.

Here are five megatrends, and the ETFs to play them:

1. Decarbonisation

VanEck’s Global Clean Energy ETF (ASX: CLNE)

Pro: The only pure-play green energy ETF in a market spending a lot of money on climate change
Con: Extremely niche, and its lack of diversification might make it vulnerable to market volatility

2. Blockchain, cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0

BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF (ASX: CRYP)

Pro: Broke ASX trading volume records on its first day, illustrating that blockchain technology has many applications that will only keep growing
Con: Shareholders must remain aware that owning crypto ETFs does not mean owning the cryptocurrency.

3. Ageing population

BetaShares Global Healthcare ETF (ASX: DRUG)

Pro: Huge amounts of money are being spent on healthcare globally and will only continue as the population ages
Con: If investing in global markets, beware of the Australian currency as it appreciates/depreciates against the foreign currency investments are made in.

4. Automation and digitisation

ETFS Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ASX: ROBO)

Pro: Rapidly accelerating theme in hyper niche market
Con: Expensive – currently trading at 26.5 times the price-to-earnings ratio

5. Battery minerals/materials

ETFS Battery Technology and Lithium ETF (ASX: ACDC)

Pro: Diversified exposure to a future-facing commodity in light of the US’s new 50% electrification target
Con: Only invests in 33 companies

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