I asked 10 stock market professionals, investment writers and bloggers for their top investment ideas for 2021 (and beyond) – here is the half-year update.
All the tips are in positive territory, with the smallest company of the lot having extended its lead after racing to an early lead in this friendly competition.
As with all stock investments, past performance is no guide to the future, but everyone is sticking with their current horses and hoping to catch up with the leader.
For reference, here’s the original article ‘Investment tips for 2021: Some ideas from the professionals‘ and here’s a link to the first-quarter update ‘Investment tips for 2021: small cap pick takes early lead in first quarter‘.
SkinBioTherapeutics PLC – Andrew Hore, editor of the AIM Journal
LON:SBTX: up 310% so far (from 15.5p to 63.5p)
“Positive results from the AxisBiotix-Ps food supplement study mean that SkinBioTerapeutics (LSE: SBTX) will launch the psoriasis treatment before the end of 2021. This is what I was hoping for when I recommended the microbiome-based skin treatments developer,” says Andrew.
“The uncertainty is how rapidly sales can be built up. There could be a temptation to raise more cash at around the time of the launch. The share price has quadrupled from 15.5p to 63.5p. Optibiotix and Seneca Partners have sold shares, but it has not hampered the share price. It is sensible to take some profit, but I will stick with SkinBioTherapeutics, even though it appears to have settled at this level, for the time being at least.”
Cameco Corp – Vince Stanzione, author of the bestseller The Millionaire Dropout,
NYSE:CCJ, TSE:CCO: up 41.4% so far (from US$13.56 to US$19.18)
“Very happy with uranium and Cameco. The higher-risk trade I also mentioned, Energy Fuels (NYSEAMERICAN:UUUU), is up around 40%. Uranium is going through a re-rating as a clean fuel and ESG friendly [relatively! – Ed] .
“I expect the trend to continue and also expect spot uranium prices to move much higher into the end of the year. The new Sprott Physical Uranium Trust which is due to list on the NYSE will open up the market to new investors. “
Admiral Group PLC – John Kingham, editor of the UK Value Investor blog
ADM: up 37.1% so far (from 2,293p to 3,144p)
“I still really like Admiral. I’ve owned it since 2013, it’s returned over 200% since then and it still has a near-5% dividend yield including its regular special dividends,” says John. “There are risks of course, particularly around incoming regulation designed to stop insurers ‘price walking’ customers up from low teaser rates to higher standard rates. For now though, my assumption is that this regulatory change won’t derail Admiral’s long-term future prospects and that the company will continue to expand into adjacent financial services (such as personal loans and pet insurance) and new countries (perhaps beyond its already broad footprint in Europe and the US).”
Berkshire Hathaway Inc – Peter Sleep, senior investment manager at 7IM
NYSE:BRK.B: up 23.9% so far (from US$224.24 to US$277.92)
“I am happy to continue to hold Berkshire Hathaway, which is the sort of company that should be held for years rather than months,” says Peter. “There are many moving parts to Berkshire Hathaway but the management of the company have an amazing record of investing and since 1965 have shown returns of 2,810,536% or 20% a year. At the heart of Berkshire Hathaway is an insurance business, America’s largest railway, an energy utility and a large stake in Apple. Management have shown their confidence in the share price of Berkshire Hathaway by buying back stock recently. Given management’s track record of buying cheaply, that is a strong statement.”
Fidelity Special Values PLC – tipped by Ryan Hughes, AJ Bell’s head of active portfolios
LON:FSV: up 21.3% so far (from 239.5p to 290.5p)
“Fidelity Special Values has had a cracking first half of the year, as markets reappraised the prospects for the UK in the wake of the vaccine roll-out, and in particular the small cap end of the market and value stocks, where manager Alex Wright likes to ply his trade,” says Ryan’s financial analyst colleague Laith Khalaf.
“We retain confidence in the manager’s ability to add value over the long term, and suspect that in the short term the reopening of the UK economy will also help performance, so we’re happy to hold.”
Polar Capital Holdings PLC – Peter Higgins, of the Twin Petes Investing podcast
LON:POLR: up 20% so far (from 692p to 831p)
“As an advocate for long-term investing, I intend to stick with and hold Polar Capital as it continues to be on track to provide investors with great returns with which to compound in their portfolio. With the inclusion of dividends the shares have rewarded shareholders with total returns of 20.6% already.
“Their full-year results released saw their assets under management (AUM) jump from £12.2bn to just under £21bn. This increases their profitability and allow them to increase their dividend payout to shareholders 21% compared to a year earlier, thus ensuring a profitable compounding investment return for long-term investors once more.”
NatWest Group PLC – Richard Hunter, head of markets at interactive investor
LON:NWG: up 19.9% so far (from 169.5p to 203.2p)
“The shares are up 20% since our start date, or 71% since the vaccine announcement in November,” says Richard. “With the economic recovery in the UK not yet fully entrenched, and with an embarrassment of riches which could find its way back into the pockets of shareholders, it may well be worth seeing how the rest of the year progresses. The current market consensus of the shares as a buy tend to support such a course of action.”
iShares Electric Vehicles and Driving Technology ETF – Oliver Haill, Proactive Investors
LON:ECAR: up 16.1% so far (from US$7.01 to $8.14)
“Although the shortage of semiconductors/chips in the auto industry has been the big rolling story this year, there has equally been a strong theme of the transition to electric cars continuing from last year. The make-up of the ETF has changed since the first article in December and the first-quarter update. While Tesla is still a top holding, the likes of Kia Motors, GM and Ford have fallen down the weightings, with ‘upstream’ tech specialists Nvidia, Samsung, Garmin, Aptiv, Eaton and Hexagon AB now notable for dominating the top 10. Other car makers among the main holdings are now China’s Byd and Japanese-Indian Maruti Suzuki India, even though the latter does not have an EV in the near pipeline, and car parts arm Hyundai Mobis. A 16% gain is fine with me and I’m happy to keep humming along with this one.”
Halma PLC – Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG
HLMA: up 12.2% so far (from 2,398p to 2,692p)
“It’s been a good six months for Halma, thanks to another rise in profits and further gains in its share price,” says Chris. “The solid performance of recent years has been maintained and seems set to continue, underpinned by strong fundamentals and a firm management team.”
Man GLG Income – Darius McDermott, managing director of FundCalibre
Acc Unit: up 11.4% so far (from 267.4p to 298p)
Darius picked this fund for its value-driven focus on the UK, a “cheap, unloved, and under-owned” market, that has seen some more love in 2021 as the country got the jump on most of the rest of the world with its vaccine programme. As holding cash offers near zero interest, the fund was seen as being “ideally placed to benefit from a pick-up in sentiment and economic recovery” for income investors.
FTSE 100 – Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com
UKX: up 8.2% so far (from 6,502 to 7,037.47)
“FTSE’s been having a good year so far, up almost 10%. I’d stick with it – still plenty of room to recover pre-pandemic levels at 7,700 or so.
“It’s looking like something of a bargain still, albeit the index itself is something of a dinosaur, weighted heavily towards old economy stuff. So there is not much growth in there, with one or two noted exceptions.
“With a dividend yield of +3% vs 2.3% on German blue chips and less than 2% for the US equivalents, and PE of 17 vs 19 on the DAX and 28 on the SPX, it remains ‘cheap’ relative to peers.”
(All initial prices were taken as of midday 24 December 2020, with updates from close on 30 June 2021.)