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The World Is Fixed On Fighting Ebola

21 October 2014 in Trading Ideas

To support global efforts in the fight against Ebola, all trade commissions from the Fighting Ebola motif will be donated to a charity fighting Ebola.

The Ebola virus offers an immediate paradox: while the disease is now consistently near the top of headlines and social media trending topics, the reality is that only 9,000 people throughout the world have contracted it.

But it’s how quickly the disease is spreading, in combination with its recent discovery in the developed Western nations, that has focused the entire world’s attention on attempts to slow, if not eradicate, Ebola.

For such a massive undertaking, a large-scale cooperative effort among international governments, public health organizations and corporations is a must.

Investors can have a view here too, and that’s the thrust behind our new Fighting Ebola motif, which allows you to track the companies that are currently at the forefront in fighting the disease. This portfolio comprises the stocks of companies in three industry segments involved in the battle against Ebola: protective equipment, drugs and vaccines, and diagnostics.

But here at Motif, we want to join in this fight – that’s why we’re going to donate all trading commissions generated from our benchmark Fighting Ebola motif to a charity fighting Ebola. This includes 100% of commissions from buys, sells, and rebalances of the benchmark motif.

It’s become increasingly clear that there’s little time to waste. Last week, the World Health Organization offered a bleak assessment of Ebola’s progress. While the number of cases in West Africa have only numbered 9,000 (along with 4,500 fatalities) the international effort to shore up the region’s struggling public health systems has yet to stop the epidemic from spreading exponentially.1

The WHO believes that by early December the outbreak could reach between 5,000 and 10,000 new cases a week. By then the global aid effort should start to “bend the curve” of the epidemic. However, as a Financial Times editorial this week noted, it is “disconcertingly unconfident” about this prediction.

And late last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered another stark projection: under a worst-case scenario, 1.4 million Ebola cases could occur in Liberia and Sierra Leone by Jan. 20, 2015. Of course the world hopes for the best case scenario where Ebola would be “almost ended” by January 20, 2015.2

To construct our Fighting Ebola motif, we first identified US-listed publicly traded companies that derive a majority of their revenues from selling drugs, vaccines, diagnostic kits and protective equipment that are being used in detecting, treating and preventing Ebola.

These segments are of particular significance since there is currently no cure for Ebola, and medical efforts are focused on treating a victim’s symptoms – in addition to preventing infection in those who are now healthy but are in close proximity to the disease.

Companies from the originally identified pool are then screened to replace firms that have more broadly diversified business operations. In this way companies whose stocks ultimately comprise the Fighting Ebola motif will have higher percentages of their overall revenue tied to the fight against Ebola.

If you’re interested in tracking key Ebola stocks, consider the Fighting Ebola motif as an investment alternative, that will also mean supporting a charity in fighting the disease on the front lines.

1Editorial, “The west’s inadequate response to Ebola,” ft.com , Oct. 16, 2014.

2Denise Grady, “Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Cases Within 4 Months, CDC Estimates,” nytimes.com, Sept. 23, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/24/health/ebola-cases-could-reach-14-million-in-4-months-cdc-estimates.html, (accessed Oct. 15, 2014).

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When you buy, sell or rebalance the Motif-created benchmark Fighting Ebola motif, we will donate 100% of commissions generated to a charity fighting Ebola. Customized versions of the Fighting Ebola motif (changes to securities and/or weights) created by customers will be charged a regular total commission of $9.95 and are not eligible as part of the donation offer. Donations are generally transferred approximately 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. The amount Motif donates is not tax deductible activity for you. Motif will not share individual customer information.