As the calendar turns to 2021, Investors Prism looks back at its first year. In January 2020, Investors Prism officially launched its seven initial indices focused on the micro-cap and small-cap equity markets. After twelve months, all seven indices have continued to post positive returns, including returns greater than 100% for three of the indices.
Looking ahead, Investors Prism is excited to continue expanding our presence across the micro-cap and small-cap equity markets. As we look to continue growing in 2021, we are preparing the launch of our next wave of related indices. Stay tuned!
2020 Investors Prism Index Review
The Investors Prism Vaccines & Cell Therapy Index was the top performer in 2020, returning over 233% for the year. During the fourth quarter of 2020, a sudden focus and rally on vaccine stocks helped push much of the industry higher. Investors were hyper-focused on the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines, which likely contributed to the overall industry rally.
The Investors Prism New Economy Index remained a top-tier index performer during 2020, as renewed interest in renewable energy, electric vehicles, and work-from-home stocks took hold. A big driver of the index’s gains could stem from President-Elect Joe Biden’s plan to ramp up investment in alternative energy, such as solar and wind power sources. Also, Biden has been a very vocal supporter of electric vehicles and other emerging technologies, to help combat climate change.
It certainly is not shocking to see medical diagnostic companies performing well amidst the worst pandemic in over a century. Driven by innovation and the need for wide-spread coronavirus testing, the Investors Prism MedDiagnostics Index became the third best performing index during 2020. As the pandemic rages on, the demand and urgency for reliable diagnostics are likely set to continue into 2021.
Cannabis had a breakout year in 2020, as the legalization movement continued to gain steam across the United States. Furthermore, several states labeling cannabis as an “essential business” amidst the coronavirus lockdowns, has given support to the continued acceptance of cannabis. In December 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives capped off a pivotal year for cannabis by passing a bill that would decriminalize the substance. While it is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate, it is significant nonetheless.
While in lockdown, Americans have only grown closer to their dogs, cats, and other pets. Pet adoption saw strong growth in 2020, as people sought companionship amid the dreary pandemic. Pet care was certainly an industry experiencing strong growth before the pandemic, but coronavirus may have only made growth more robust. As more people adopt, more pet care items and services will be in demand. The Investors Prism Pet Care & AgriBiz Index continued to be well-positioned for growth.
Medical devices performed reasonably-well during 2020, largely due to the pandemic. Devices like blood oximeters have continued to be in high-demand, as the need to monitor health signs continues with the coronavirus. However, medical devices were largely over-looked in 2020, when comparing to vaccine-based companies. As our knowledge and treatments for coronavirus advance, medical devices could see greater demand.
As was the case with medical devices, gene therapy companies performed reasonably well in 2020, but not compared to other healthcare components. Gene therapy solutions for coronavirus will likely become more available as time progresses and treatments continue to advance. Right now we are in the vaccine-stage of fighting the virus. As we round the corner and make progress on the rampant infections, gene therapy solutions will likely come into play, especially for those deemed coronavirus “long-haulers.”
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