Thematic unit trusts are often a marketing driven alternative to more prosaic fare such as US Equity funds. They often have a short shelf life — for example the Wired Index fund introduced by the then Investec Asset Management at the turn of the century aimed to include the funds that captured the zeitgeist of the era, including a Texan commodity trader called Enron. Sadly for Investec this was engulfed in the biggest fraud of our lifetime. Locally Intellectual Capital funds became popular. But the JSE is too small for theme funds so shares such as Absa, which have decent but unremarkable IT systems, were sometimes included.

At this week’s virtual Investment Forum, two thematic funds stood out. The Goldman Sachs Global Millennials Equity Fund and the Sygnia Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Fund...

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