Spice up your portfolio with these stock tips

With a certain 90s girl group starting their tour, our band of Investment Analysts have chosen some stocks to suit each of the distinct pop personalities

They’re the pop act that defined the 90’s in a blaze of Girl Power, Buffalo platform shoes, and Union Jack dresses, and 19 years after their split the long-awaited Spice Girls reunion tour commenced on Thursday.

No matter how you feel about them, you can’t deny each of the girls had a very distinct attitude. Almost every child had a favourite Spice Girl because there was a little something for everyone in each of their different personalities. Whether it was Ginger, Sporty, Scary, Posh or Baby Spice, just about anyone could find something to relate to with one of them.
Now, let’s apply this nostalgic gem to investing. Whether you’d like to admit it or not, there’s probably one of each of these personalities suited for your portfolio.

Ginger Spice

Known as the leader of the pack, she got her nickname due to her fiery, energetic personality, her red hair and her choice to don outrageous stage outfits, including her patriotic Union Jack dress.

London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) is a global leader in financial indexing, with some $16tn benchmarked to its indexes. 2018 was respectable for LSE with total income up by 9% to £2.14bn and the dividend being raised by 17%. Continued development and investment should see further prosperity for the group.

British multinational GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and has made a strong start to 2019 with growth across sales, operating margins and earnings per share in Q1. In 2018 they delivered £3.9bn in R&D spending focussed on immunology, genetics and new technologies aimed at reshaping their portfolio.

2019 sees grocery icon Tesco celebrating 100 years of providing ‘great value’ to customers. The turnaround strategy implemented by the group has reduced the level on indebtedness, improved competitiveness and boosted overall financial performance. Group sales are up 11.5% to £56.9bn and operating profit has exceeded £2bn for the first time in four years.

Sporty Spice

The ‘tomboy’ of the group, she was often dressed in a tracksuit paired with athletic shoes sporting a competitive and tough girl attitude.

Sportswear retailer and distributor JD Sports is a rare beast in the retail sector that keeps going from strength to strength, recently reporting a 15% rise in full-year profits. Demand remains fuelled by younger generations who have the desire to own the latest sports wear.

As a supporter of Liverpool FC, Sporty Spice may well be putting her money on them winning the Champions League. Q1 2019 saw Paddy Power Betfair report revenues jumping by nearly a fifth to £478mn compared to the same time last year, thanks to strong growth in the emerging US sports betting market.

Over the last three years, Puma’s fight back against Adidas has seen the share price power ahead, with the group surpassing the €2bn sales mark for the first time in 2018. The company continues to benefit from robust geographic strength in both Asia Pacific and the Americas, the former of which shows no signs of slowing down.

Scary Spice

The rowdy one – the bad girl; she excelled at thinking outside of the box, with her ‘in-your-face’ attitude and bold manner of dress, she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind.

All travel companies and airlines have seen sustained selloffs in their share prices in recent months due to a variety of common factors. Thomas Cook should only appeal to the most hardened contrarian investors,given its huge debt load it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that some analysts expect the share price to drop to £0.00!

Metro Bank’s failure to categorise certain commercial loans in the right risk category has meant the group had to raise capital, giving the share price a brief reprieve. Banking is a matter of confidence and trust, which are lacking among both customers and investors of the bank. On the other hand those looking to buy at rock bottom prices could be rewarded handsomely.

Customers switching away from British Gas and regulatory price controls have hit Centrica’s shares and the sector over the years. Further pressure comes from the possibility of a General Election bringing in a Corbyn government vowing to nationalise utilities without market value compensations to investors. The current dividend yield of approximately 12% is rather unsustainable, while the prospective yield of around 6% is more realistic.

Posh Spice

With her upper-middle-class background, love of high-heeled footwear and chopping bob cut, she was the fashion-elitist of the group. She’s confident and not afraid to act classy and dress to kill.

Now a sophisticated style maven with a fashion empire, Victoria Beckam headlines London Fashion Week alongside luxury brands like Burberry. The luxury goods sector has struggled of late and Burberry has not emerged unscathed. However, it recently confirmed a £150m share buyback scheme and an increase in dividend. The increased use of social media such as Instagram should also help to drive sales with younger consumers.

Wealth management firm St James’s Place provides advice to many successful people, both posh and not so posh. It recently reported a £2.2bn net inflow of funds and a further 8.3% increase in funds under management to £103.5bn at the end of March. A resilient performance given the political and macro-economic uncertainty, the stock’s prospective dividend is also higher than average and attractive for income seekers.

A cracking idea for a Posh portfolio – IG Design is an AIM-listed company producing stationery but its upmarket brand, Tom Smith, has the royal warrant to supply Christmas crackers to the Queen. It also supplies Christmas greeting products, wrapping paper, greeting cards and accessories. The stock is a good buy due to its good track record of growth, progressive dividend policy, geographic and product diversification and recent acquisitions.

Baby Spice

A typical ‘girly girl’ and the baby of the bunch, she is famous for her babydoll dresses, pigtails and a lollipop.

Founded in 2016 Boohoo is the baby of the retail industry yet it continues to disrupt the retail and fashion industry through its ability to produce fast and affordable fashion. This golden combination means the company is a bright light in what is a relatively gloomy sector. With significant growth potential and still trading at a discount to rival ASOS; Boohoo certainly looks promising.

A common theme observed across our JISA activity was the addition of riskier oil and gas companies suggesting younger, more ambitious investors are shifting towards growth over income. BP represents a robust oil and gas corporation who has benefitted from rising production levels in 2017/18 with 2019 levels expected to escalate further. Acquisitions aimed at diversifying revenue streams alongside a share buyback announcement show positives looking ahead. Recent oil and gas discoveries also suggest BP isn’t quite finished yet.

Stocks providing steady income streams may appeal to the younger generation, who benefit from having a longer investment horizon than most. Legal & General represents a strong dividend paying company that delivers consistent yields between the 5 – 7% mark. Despite an uncertain political backdrop L&G managed to become the UK’s first £1tn asset manager in March. Furthermore, favourable macro trends and resilient performance resulted in operating profit growth of roughly 10%, creating a relatively secure base for future dividends.

Trust it, use it, prove it, groove it, show how good you are!

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 www.share.com. To understand how our Investment research team arrive at their views please read our Investment Research Policy.

See what else we have to say