Thematic Investing Intro copy

What is Thematic Investing?

Thematic investing is characterized as a top-down investment approach that capitalizes on opportunities created by macroeconomic, geopolitical and technological trends. These are not short-term swings – but long term, structural, transformative shifts.

These thematic shifts touch every corner of our lives from the growing digital economy, to smart cities and the food revolution, to efficient energy and disruptive and autonomous technology – and so already impact investment portfolios. It is therefore important that investors better understand their exposure to these trends as they construct portfolios and make decisions around future strategies.

Our Latest Thematic Insights

Our Thematic Indexes offering

Our suite of thematic indexes aims to represent the performance of companies affected by these forces that are shaping our future. We see four megatrend categories that many believe capture the forces shaping our future – Environment & Resources, Transformative technologies, Health & Healthcare, and Society & Lifestyle. These megatrends have the power to transform global economies.

New promoted Index - Immuno-Oncology Index


MSCI ACWI IMI Immuno-Oncology Index

The MSCI ACWI IMI Immuno-oncology Index aims to represent the performance of a set of companies that are associated with research, development, and commercialization of products for cancer immunotherapy, also known as Immuno-oncology. Immuno-oncology is a form of cancer treatment that uses the power of the body’s own immune system to prevent, control and eliminate cancer.

Thematic Insight (PDF, 5.6 MB)   Factsheet (PDF, 122 KB)   Methodology (PDF, 210 KB)

Interactive Assets

Thematic Investing - Footnotes


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

Your Thematic Investing lens

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.

To capture this future investment world, MSCI have brought together a panel of leading industry voices, our own research experts, and our robust, rulesbased, structured approach to index construction, to support clients wishing to uncover the opportunities of these long-term changes.

Thematic Investing Application

Indexing Transformation

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).

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Why should you consider MSCI Thematic Indexes?

Why should you consider MSCI Thematic Indexes?

MSCI identify long-term, structural trends that transform global economies, drive innovation, and redefine business models.

Our thematic indexes directly capture themes across transformative technologies, health and healthcare, society, lifestyle, environment, and resources, using our scalable, flexible rules-based methodology.

Our panel of Industry Experts also input at regular intervals to ensure the indexes remain relevant as themes rapidly evolve.

Our thematic index construction is transparent, flexible, scalable and customizable and allows for combinations of multiple themes or sub-themes.

The framework to design thematic indexes includes a rule-based constituent selection, global coverage of eligible stocks, identify companies by a clear rules-based approach and use machine-learning techniques to build a dictionary of relevant words associated with the theme.

These data-driven relevance scores measure each company's economic linkage to the index theme and support attribution analysis and active management of a portfolio's thematic exposure.

Our expanding range of Thematic indexes covers everything from transformative technologies such as robotics and cyber security, to efficient energy, genomics innovation, digital health and the megatrends impacting the future of how we will eat, live, learn and work.

Featured Content


Featured content


Understanding Inflation Cycles

Thematic Exposure Standard

Thematic Exposure Standard

View indexes and portfolios through a thematic lens.


Harnessing Immunity in the Fight Against Cancer (PDF, 5.6 MB) (opens in a new tab)

Immuno-oncology is a form of cancer treatment that uses the power of the body’s own immune system to prevent, control and eliminate cancer. Our insight report focuses on different types of treatments and what’s next for this important space.


Circular Economy Indexes

Circular Economy Indexes

Suite of five new indexes that seek to represent the performance of companies that are associated with the Circular Economy.

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