Investing: Here's where our team plans to put its money in 2021

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Jeff Prestridge 

‘I speak to at least one investment manager every week. Invariably, they impress me with their knowledge but no one has impressed more over the past year than Christopher Lees, manager of investment fund JO Hambro Capital Management Global Select.

‘Here is a manager who is meticulous about the companies he invests in. Before he’ll consider them, they have to tick many boxes. They must have robust earnings, strong balance sheets, and be operating in an industry that is in growth mode. And, of course, they will not be bought unless their shares represent good value for money.

‘Each holding has equal weighting in the portfolio. This ensures the fund does not get too reliant on one stock. And if a stock does not live up to expectation it is swiftly sold. Limiting losses are key to the way the fund is run. This is a fund that won’t necessarily shoot the lights out in 2021. But I’d be amazed if it doesn’t make you money. It’s made investors a return of 27 per cent over the past year. The same next year would go down very nicely thank you.’

The Financial Mail on Sunday’s reporters reveal where they plan to invest their money in 2021

Rachel Rickard Straus  

‘No one could have foreseen how this year would play out. Of course, it was not an ordinary year, but then I think that uncommon is more common than we think.

‘All this has served to remind me how difficult it is to make predictions about financial markets. That’s why next year, I won’t bother. I’ll be putting my money into a global index fund that does not bet on one country or sector over another. This strategy will also help me to sleep at night. 

‘I will not have to worry whether I’ve made the right call – because I haven’t made a call. The only assumption that I will have made is that global stock markets tend to grow over the long term and produce an income better than those offered by a savings account.

‘There are lots of global index funds out there. My favourites are the cheapest – because what you pay for investments is about one of the only things you can control. I also like those with an ‘ESG’ screen. That ensures you buy companies that consider environmental, social and governance issues. It’s a nice guarantee against buying ‘crud’, and will help keep my investments aligned with my values.

‘Vanguard ESG Developed World All Cap Equity Index fits the bill.’

Toby Walne 

‘When it comes to making money there are few better companies built for a laissez-faire bare-knuckle fight than Ryanair.

‘Ryanair sucks us dry as a result of our own volition. And it does not matter how much impish Irish boss Michael O’Leary treats passengers with disdain – people always come back for more if the flights are cheap enough.

‘Ryanair has recently ordered no fewer than 210 new Boeing 737 MAX jets, so it seems to be gearing up for world domination’, says Toby Walne 

‘There could also well be carnage on the runways over the next few months as other less ruthless airlines collapse – leaving space for Europe’s biggest carrier to fill.

‘Ryanair has recently ordered no fewer than 210 new Boeing 737 MAX jets, so it seems to be gearing up for world domination. And those pilots and air hostesses who threatened it with strike action a year ago are now just grateful for a relatively poorly paid job.

‘Yes, this no-frills airline may be a mean street fighter, but it is also just the kind of outfit you want on your investment side.’

Laura Shannon  

Invest in what you know: Laura Shannon plans to invest in Calpol maker Johnson & Johnson

‘My investment buy for next year is healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson. This is an American multinational currently conducting late-stage trials for its Covid-19 vaccine. But the company’s strides in the vaccine race are not my motivation for choosing it. The reason is Calpol. This paracetamol-containing pink gloop is willingly consumed by kids, and lovingly administered by parents.

‘One approach to investing is to invest in “what you know”. Well, I’ll tell you what I know – from teething to high temperatures, young kids get ill a lot. And the purple bottle of dreams will always be in my medicine cabinet to help us cope with the fallout.

‘There’s more to Johnson & Johnson. Despite stock market traumas earlier this year, the share price has held its own and it pays a dividend. It also owns a vast range of recognisable brands that people use daily – such as Listerine mouthwash and Neutrogena skin care. It has global reach and has been in existence for more than 130 years. It has a set of business values, known as its ‘credo’, that is etched in stone in the lobby of its New Jersey headquarters.

‘The opening statement is: ‘We believe our first responsibility is to the patients, doctors and nurses, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.’ Hard not to love.’

Sarah Bridge

‘Technology is here to stay – whether it’s to help us work remotely or ensure we can shop and fine dine without leaving the comfort of our homes (thank you Amazon, thank you Deliveroo). I see no reason why the technology revolution should pause for breath.

‘But rather than put all my investment eggs in the Amazon shopping basket, I’m going to opt for the country’s biggest technology company – FTSE 100 listed investment trust Scottish Mortgage.

Sarag Bridge plans to invest in investment trust Scottish Mortgage, which holds some of the world’s tech companies, including electric car manufacturer Tesla (pictured)

‘A trust that holds some of the world’s technology companies – electric car manufacturer Tesla, Chinese giants Alibaba and Tencent, and, of course, Amazon.

‘This trust has performed superbly in the Covid era – its shares are up in value 47 per cent over the past six months, 107 per cent over the past year.

‘I expect this technology investment giant to continue to perform, well into 2021.’