The Long View: Investing in U.S. Innovation | American Funds

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April 2016

The Long View: Investing in U.S. Innovation

“The innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in this country is remarkable.”

— Mike Kerr

Michael Kerr
Michael T. Kerr Portfolio Manager Los Angeles office 33 years of experience (as of 12/31/16)

The United States’ economy is in the midst of an extraordinary transformation, one that has the power to redefine America’s future. Across the country, the nation’s resilience in the face of adversity and its entrepreneurial spirit are providing unprecedented opportunities for companies and investors.

The U.S. and its economy, of course, are by no means perfect. The recovery from the Great Recession has, at times, seemed sluggish. There’s infrastructure that needs to be rebuilt, wage growth has been slow, and the nation’s politics can be divisive, especially during an election year. For investors, the volatility in the market has on occasion been nerve-wracking.

Still, the U.S. has one of the most diverse, dynamic and resilient economies in history. Since the Great Recession, the economy has steadily expanded and the U.S. now has a gross domestic product of nearly $18 trillion, or about 25% higher than its 2009 level during the financial crisis.

“The variety of ways people make a living in this country is incredible,” portfolio manager Mike Kerr says. “The diversity of our economy and how many layers it has makes the U.S. economy the envy of the world.”

Indeed, across the nation, companies, universities and individuals are coming up with new ideas that are changing the way people live and new products that are boosting bottom lines.

“I think the technologies of the future, the industries of the future, are more likely to come out of the United States than anywhere else in the world,” Mike says.

That technological and industrial leadership is underpinned by a long line of entrepreneurs who have been willing to take risks, a characteristic that’s made the U.S. the most innovative economy in the world. That can-do attitude and the country’s reputation as the land of opportunity continues to attract the best and brightest from around the world.

The nation’s higher education system remains one of the strongest building blocks of the economy. Schools in the U.S. accounted for six out of the top 10 universities in the world, according the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 63 of the top 200.

Many of those universities are now part of a dynamic system, working with corporations and government agencies, a triad that’s bolstered another strength of the nation — research and development (R&D).

Here again, the U.S. leads the world, with investment in R&D expected to reach $514 billion in 2016.

“We have pools of money to invest in the future,” Mike says. “And we have a skill set of investing in the future that‘s unlike anywhere else in the world.”

Investing in U.S. Innovation

  • The United States’ economy — one of the most resilient and dynamic in the world — has grown 25% since the Great Recession.
  • Innovation and technological advances have kept the country on the cutting edge of change and spawned new businesses that few could have imagined a decade ago.
  • Companies that are poised to take advantage of these changes have the potential to reap new profits, and provide investors new opportunities.

Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

This material is intended for use by financial professionals or in conjunction with the advice of a financial professional.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing. 

Statements attributed to an individual represent the opinions of that individual as of the date published and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capital Group or its affiliates. This information is intended to highlight issues and not to be comprehensive or to provide advice. 

Past results are not predictive of results in future periods.