Warning: members of the public are being contacted by people claiming to work for AXA Investment Managers UK Limited.  Find out more information and what to do by clicking here.

Longevity Economy strategy - March 2021

  • 19 April 2021 (5 min read)

Key points

  • Equity market led by stocks perceived as benefitting from an increase in interest rates
  • Positive contribution from our ‘Silver Spending’ and ‘Senior Care’ themes
  • Focus remains on long-term changes brought about by ageing populations

What’s happening?

Global equities rose in March, led by stocks perceived as benefitting from an increase in interest rates, such as banks. Stronger than anticipated US employment figures, fiscal stimulus and ramp up in vaccinations in the World’s largest economy do provide reasons for optimism. However, the magnitude of the shift in investor attention from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to the expected effect of easing social distancing requirements is remarkable given only a small minority of the global population has been vaccinated and multiple countries are increasing, rather than decreasing, social distancing requirements.

In the US, lawmakers passed a large fiscal stimulus package and Democrats are preparing further legislation on infrastructure and healthcare spending. Given the narrow majority the Democrats hold in both legislative chambers, the extent of measures that can be enacted is unclear.

Portfolio positioning and performance

The Longevity Economy strategy underperformed the broader equity market (MSCI All Country World) in March, however, its absolute performance remained in positive territory. Performance over the month was led by our ‘Silver Spending’ and ‘Senior Care’ themes whilst our ‘Wellness’ holdings somewhat affected the positive contribution.

The strategy’s wellness theme encompasses digital health stocks such as telemedicine provider Teladoc and COVID-19 test manufacturer Quidel. Given the strong performance of these companies during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that we are seeing some short-term volatility in these stocks. Over the long-term it is likely that the pandemic has accelerated demand and expanded markets for technologies such as telemedicine and diagnostics.

Senior care focuses on companies that serve the health and social care needs of older consumers, for example health insurance and home health nursing providers. This theme performed well in March as lawmakers in the US, the world’s largest market for healthcare, proposed reforms to support the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a move that is seen as positive for care providers and operators of government-sponsored healthcare schemes.

Silver spending companies include those providing travel and leisure and financial planning services to older consumers. In March, financial planning holding, Prudential, rose as investors showed greater appreciation for management’s business strategy. The firm is expected to spin-off its US Jackson National operation, pivoting Prudential’s focus to faster growing Asia markets, similarly the firm is embracing technology, which should improve delivery of health services to members.


Since the beginning of 2021 we have seen a significant steepening of the US Treasury yield curve, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has described the move as “a statement of confidence” in the economic outlook. At the same time, although there has been rotation between sectors, equities have posted positive returns so far in 2021 and volatility remains low. If the yield on “risk free” assets continues to increase, it seems unlikely that this low volatility trend for risk assets, such as equities, can continue. A persistent increase in risk-free asset pricing will necessitate a re-pricing of risk assets.

Investors appear to be looking towards a return to normality in economic activity, but governments across multiple regions continue to take expansionary fiscal measures, suggesting they do not perceive the economic fallout of the pandemic has passed completely.

Stepping back from macroeconomic considerations, we retain the view that high quality management teams, operating businesses with a sustainable competitive advantage and with the benefit of secular tailwinds are well-placed to navigate the current disruption. Despite the headwinds many businesses have faced over the last 12 months, the unshakeable conclusion on the outlook for the Longevity Economy is that the global population continues to age and this creates opportunities for companies that are positioned to benefit from long-term changes in consumption patterns that ageing populations will bring.

No assurance can be given that the Longevity Economy Strategy will be successful. Investors can lose some or all of their capital invested. The Longevity Economy Strategy is subject to risks including: Equity; Currency; Global Investments; Emerging markets; Investments in small capitalisation universe and Investment in specific asset classes.

Read the full article
Download article (270.33 KB)
Evolving Economy

Ageing and Lifestyle

Ageing and lifestyle describes the changing ways that people are living across the globe as life expectancies rise

Find out more

Visit the fund centre

AXA WF Framlington Longevity Economy

We aim to give investors diversified access to the companies that we believe are well-placed to benefit from the multi-decade implications of ageing populations, across Silver Spending, Wellness, Treatment and Senior Care.

View funds

Related Articles


Global Thematics strategy - February 2023

  • by David Shaw, Mark Hargraves
  • 21 February 2023 (5 min read)

Global Thematics strategy - January 2023

  • by David Shaw, Mark Hargraves
  • 15 February 2023 (5 min read)

Global Thematics strategy - July 2022

  • by Amanda O’Toole
  • 19 August 2022 (5 min read)

    Not for Retail distribution

    Past performance is not a guide to current or future performance, and any performance or return data displayed does not take into account commissions and costs.

    This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment research or financial analysis relating to transactions in financial instruments as per MIF Directive (2014/65/EU), nor does it constitute on the part of AXA Investment Managers or its affiliated companies an offer to buy or sell any investments, products or services, and should not be considered as solicitation or investment, legal or tax advice, a recommendation for an investment strategy or a personalized recommendation to buy or sell securities.

    Due to its simplification, this document is partial and opinions, estimates and forecasts herein are subjective and subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee forecasts made will come to pass. Data, figures, declarations, analysis, predictions and other information in this document is provided based on our state of knowledge at the time of creation of this document. Whilst every care is taken, no representation or warranty (including liability towards third parties), express or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained herein. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the recipient. This material does not contain sufficient information to support an investment decision.

    Risk Warning

    The value of investments, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. 

    Are you an IFA or other Professional Investor ?

    Are you a financial advisor, institutional, or other professional investor?

    This section is for professional investors only. You need to confirm that you have the required investment knowledge and experience to view this content. This includes understanding the risks associated with investment products, and any other required qualifications according to the rules of your jurisdiction.