Three investment punts likely to take the fences in their stride

This Saturday sees the 180th running of the Grand National, the most famous jump race in the world, with nearly 10 million expected to tune in.

Article updated: 5 April 2019 10:00am Author: Graham Spooner

It is estimated a quarter of UK adults bet on the Grand National. According to the Grand National Statistics website, people bet on a variety of different factors, most relating to the physical appearance or name of the horse: 47% because of horse name; 19% because of horse colour; 19% because of jockey number and 7% because of a jockey.

With 40 horses competing, there is a sense that this is a race that anyone can win, with the favourite winning in just nine of the races since the Second World War.

Investing, however, lasts for far longer than ten minutes and, in fact, the longer the race, the better! While it may not be quite as exciting a way to make money as the rush of a race, it certainly is much more a tortoise versus hare race and means your money has much more of a chance of lasting beyond the ten minutes racing timeline.

The favourite - the lower risk option

Aviva – A solid dividend to get you across the finishing line

International insurance company Aviva’s restructuring and turnaround story has helped to position it in first place as a stable stock put your money behind. The tone of its CEO, Maurice Tulloch, suggests there is much more restructuring yet to be done and he wants to inject a greater pace of change to the organisation and tackle its complexity. We have long believed in the group's recovery prospects which it has demonstrated, and there is more to come. The dividend yield is great and the shares should be an attractive ‘buy’ for income seekers willing to accept a low to medium level of risk.

A good stayer – the medium risk option

Tate & Lyle – Sweet smell of success

Once famous for its sugar business, Tate & Lyle is now in the business of supplying ingredients and solutions to the food, drinks and other industries. It is benefitting from an increasing amount of sales set to come from emerging markets and new products as well as consumer demand for healthier diets and manufacturers of food and drinks cutting sugar content. There is hope for an improvement in the quality of earnings, as a result of some major structural change initiatives. We suggest a ‘buy’ recommendation for a medium to high risk portfolio, with the added attraction of a 4% prospective yield. The share price has been recovering steadily since March 2018 and investors are advised to build a holding over time, as the stock has been volatile in the past.

The outsider – the higher risk option

Genus – A fine breed to jump over the hurdles

Global demand for pork, beef and milk is predicted to continue to rise, especially in developing countries, with their rising incomes, population growth and move to urbanisation. So a company that provides help for farmers to improve breeding efficiency and the quality of its stock looks well positioned for the longer term despite the short term setback of losing its CEO; and that's Genus. Interim results in February reported an adjusted profit of £29.2m and a small rise in revenue to £238.8m. The dividend was increased by 10% to 8.9 pence. We would class the company as a medium to higher risk long-term growth ‘buy’, but would suggest drip feeding into the shares on the back of the latest update.

All information given including prices, yields and our opinion is correct at the time of publication. Our opinions on investments can change at any time and for our latest view please go to To understand how our Investment research team arrive at their views please read our Investment Research Policy.

Graham Spooner portrait photo
Graham Spooner

Investment Research Analyst

Graham started out as a fully authorised dealer on the Stock Exchange trading floor and for various banks, before becoming an FCA-approved investment adviser. Now a respected voice in the media, Graham’s share tips and comments on the markets are frequently sought by the national press.