Intro text - Thematic Investing 2023

What is Thematic Investing?

Thematic investing is a top-down investment approach that relies on research to explore macroeconomic, geopolitical and technological trends. These trends encompass long-term, structural shifts arising from new business models, disruptive technologies and changing consumer tastes and behaviors—megatrends that have the potential to change whole industries and shape the way we will live, work, travel and treat disease in the future.

Thematic investing is intentionally future focused around specific emerging trends that are expected to evolve over time. The investment process aims to identify companies that may be well positioned to benefit from these trends and offers an alternative to analyzing companies beyond cycles, region, country or sector.

Our Thematic Indexes offering

Our suite of thematic indexes aims to represent the performance of companies affected by various themes. We have identified four megatrend categories that many believe capture the dynamic forces shaping our future—trends that have the power to transform global economies. These include Environment & Resources; Transformative Technologies; Health & Healthcare; and Society & Lifestyle.

New Index - Thematic Investing 2023


Economic Regime Allocator

These are indexes that allocate into different exposures based on a pre-determined set of rules. They are allocating to different asset classes and sectors and are driven by macro variables.

Methodology (PDF, 313 KB)   Learn more

Interactive Assets

Thematic Investing - Footnotes


Developed in collaboration with ARK Invest 
** Part of the Circular Economy suite of indexes

Sub-themes - Thematic Investing 2023


The thematic index objective is captured via subthemes underlying a broad thematic idea. The subthemes are accessed through granular concepts and keywords. To know the complete list of sub-themes covered in our thematic indexes.

Learn more(PDF, 317 KB) (opens in a new tab)

Application - Thematic Investing 2023

Thematic Investing application

Unlike traditional, backward-looking investment approaches that focus on ‘past winners’, Thematic Investing reflects a future world that may be very different from the past. Our thematic indexes directly capture themes across a range of subjects using our rules-based methodology.

To capture these future-forward themes, MSCI has brought together a panel of respected industry experts, our own research team, and our robust, rules-based, structured index construction approach, to support clients seeking to uncover the opportunities these long-term trends may hold. Our thematic index construction is designed to be flexible, scalable and customizable and allow for combinations of multiple themes or sub-themes.

A wide variety of financial products and services are based on or use MSCI Thematic Indexes. Client license for standard as well as custom versions based on their investment objectives. To find out more, download the list of clients (PDF, 138 KB) (opens in a new tab).

Our solutions - Thematic Investing 2023

Our solutions in action

  • Digital Assets

    To meet demand for greater insight and transparency into the digital assets space, MSCI has introduced new Digital Asset Indexes as well as datonomy™, a new digital assets classification system.

  • Thematic Exposure Standard

    MSCI Thematic Exposure Standard is designed to help investors identify, measure, and leverage the emerging, long-term secular trends shaping our future.

  • Circular Economy Indexes

    MSCI’s suite of Circular Economy Indexes offers a new way to think about your portfolio as the transition to a circular economy drives innovation and new business models.

  • Life Sciences Indexes

    Our suite of MSCI Life Sciences Indexes aims to represent long-term, future-focused themes that are expected to disrupt the life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Collaboration - Thematic Investing 2023

Collaboration with Industry Experts

Our culture of collaboration enables us to capitalize on the expertise of third-party domain specialists. By leveraging their specialty knowledge in an advisory capacity, we endeavor to capture nuances of these themes as they evolve. Such insights also enable us to provide investors greater context and deeper insights to better inform your investment decisions.

  • Our Theme Experts

    Thematic Investing requires in-depth research to build a deeper understanding of the underlying drivers of value creation and risk. In addition to our inhouse research, we collaborate with experts on themes to draw on their insights and act as a sounding board. Such expert insights aid in ensuring that we capture themes as they evolve. Their input is advisory only in nature.

  • Our Data Partners

    To develop a wide range of offerings, MSCI recognizes that new thematic indexes require cutting-edge data as inputs, to drive value creation and understanding of risk.

Featured content - Thematic Investing 2023

Featured content

Research - Thematic Investing 2023

Contact - Thematic Investing 2023

Interested in learning more from MSCI?

Contact sales

Related content - Thematic Investing 2023