Investors are using exchange-traded funds to navigate "this really nimble and fast-paced environment," which is likely to drive continued growth in global ETF assets, Gargi Chaudhuri, a managing director and head of iShares investment strategy, Americas, at BlackRock, said during a media briefing Wednesday.
Assets of global bond ETFs are approaching $2 trillion, while assets of global ETFs overall have reached $10 trillion, according to BlackRock.
"And we're going to expect to see that grow as investors really absorb (these) nimble market moves," Ms. Chaudhuri said during the media briefing regarding the BlackRock Investment Institute's 2023 midyear outlook.
The event, which was webcast, also included discussion of five "mega forces" that are shaping the global economy — digital disruption such as artificial intelligence, demographics, the transition to a low-carbon economy, the future of finance and the rewiring of globalization.
"I think the future now is going to be more specific when it comes to mega forces," said Ms. Chaudhuri, who cited examples involving AI and demographics.
So far, much of the focus for AI opportunities has been expressed through "a narrow list of mega cap tech names," she explained in emailed comments following the event.
"We believe investors should focus on a thematic approach to access all parts of the AI value chain — the AI developers and the enablers through (the) iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Multisector ETF," Ms. Chaudhuri said in the emailed comments.
In addition, there is "a demographic story that is also playing out pretty meaningfully," she said during the event.
"There is a huge amount of focus on the rise of the global south," Ms. Chaudhuri said.
India, for example, is going to have a rising population as opposed to much of the west where population will decline, she said.
"And we think again, this is where emerging markets can be a brilliant way for you to approach that demographic story on the growing population side," Ms. Chaudhuri said. "On the declining population side, obviously looking at innovation in healthcare, but also through AI, thinking about what AI can benefit you on that side is I think super interesting."