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Sales Rookie Group

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Theodore Baker
Theodore Baker

Popular Shares To Buy

First up is Apple, the largest publicly traded company in the world, if you exclude government-backed behemoths such as oil giant Saudi Aramco. Like other tech stocks, AAPL shares had a rough go of it in 2022, as recession fears and soaring interest rates spooked investors in the sector. Following a rare 26.4% pullback in 2022, Apple now trades at 26 times earnings, offering investors a sound entry point into the $2.5 trillion iPhone maker. Although its most recent earnings report technically missed expectations, that was more due to supply chain snarls than demand issues. In fact, Apple reported an active-installed base of more than 2 billion devices, and revenue in its high-margin services segment surpassed $20 billion. AAPL stock is bouncing back from its 2022 woes, with shares up 22.5% in 2023 through March 23.

popular shares to buy

Another return pick from last year's list, this off-the-beaten-path stock is a $9 billion Latin American airport operator. The only industrial on this list, ASR also offers geographic diversification and is a mid-cap company that isn't on most investors' radars. The stock was a diamond in the rough in 2022, posting a total return of 17% in a bear market. It helps, of course, that passenger traffic has been surging: In February 2023, passenger traffic shot up 23.9% year over year, driven by a 25.6% surge in Mexico. Airport operators earn money when airlines rent out gates and pay landing fees, as well as from parking, ground transportation, airport retail and advertising, among other sources. ASR's largest airports are in Cancun, Mexico; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Medellin, Colombia. The stock pays a 2.7% dividend, and shares have posted a total return of 24.2% in 2023 through March 23.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, a $500 billion business and the dominant high-level foundry for advanced chips, is next on the list. In the semiconductor industry, foundries are companies that manufacture chips for other companies, and TSM enjoys a massive market share for chips 7 nanometers and under. Apple, which has started to shift its supply chain away from China, is one of TSM's biggest customers. The company reported fourth-quarter results that beat both top- and bottom-line expectations, with revenue jumping 43% and earnings per share surging 78%. Trading at just 14 times earnings and paying a 2% dividend, TSM is, incidentally, yet another Buffett holding, and its shares have been crushing it in early 2023, posting gains of 27.7% through March 23. TSM is the best-performing stock among the best stocks to buy so far in 2023.

Last up is Diageo, the $100 billion U.K.-based beverage giant. A consumer defensive stock, Diageo should be able to hold up in a strained macro environment, as alcohol tends to be relatively recession-resistant. As with tobacco, alcohol consumers tend to have a fair degree of brand loyalty, and the company's slate of elite brands gives it enviable positioning in its space, with bar staples such as Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Tanqueray, Don Julio, Smirnoff, Baileys, Ciroc and Bulleit all under its umbrella. Despite net sales jumping 21.4% in fiscal 2022, the stock fell with the broader market last year, losing 17.4%. That's largely due to its base in the U.K. and a bad year for the British pound. That slump can't last forever, and shares now trade for about 20 times forward earnings, a discount to its five-year average forward P/E of 24.4. The defensive DEO has traded more or less flat in 2023, adding 0.3% through March 23.

There were two new entrants in February, with Barclays and BAE Systems featuring among the most-bought shares for the first time, while housebuilder Persimmon made its first appearance in several months.

January saw some new entrants, with Direct Line, Vast Resources and National Grid featuring among the most-bought shares for the first time. At the other end, BP and Vodafone dropped out of the top 10, despite making regular appearances over the last six months.

Banking provider Lloyds has rarely been out of the top three most-sold shares, having steadily recovered from its sharp fall in 2020 when it faced group litigation from mortgage customers.

Investors also speculated on a potential rebound in the valuation of beleaguered US tech stocks, taking the opportunity to buy Apple and Amazon shares at their lowest price in over two years. Indeed, both companies have now lost over $1 trillion dollars from their peak valuations.

In keeping with the previous month, a number of companies made their debut on the most-bought shares list in November, with Harland & Wolff, ITV, Petrofac and Avacta featuring for the first-time.

Tesla took top spot in November, having been absent from the most-bought shares since August, with investors snapping up a potential bargain after a further 12% slide in its share price during the month.

Investor appetite for high dividend-paying UK stocks in more defensive sectors continues unabated, with financial services giant Lloyds and miner Glencore amongst the most sought-after shares. Both blue-chips are currently trading on dividend yields of around 4%, appealing to income-seeking investors.

Vodafone continues to be amongst the most-bought shares over the last few months, with opportunistic investors swooping as its share price continues to languish at its lowest level in 25 years.

After some new faces in October, it was back to the usual candidates among the most-sold shares last month, with Glencore, Shell and BP from the commodities sector, accompanied by Lloyds and Rolls Royce once again.

Having been the most-sold share in the previous two months, Cineworld failed to make the top 10 in November. Given that the shares have lost over 90% of their value this year, shareholders may be waiting to see if the company manages to emerge from its bankruptcy proceedings intact. Rumours of a possible offer from rival cinema chain Vue has also triggered a 6% uptick in its share price over the last few days.

It was also a quieter month for trading on the London Stock Exchange, with the value of shares traded dipping by nearly 20% from its high of 100 billion in September. However, stock markets remain jittery due to the triple whammy of high inflation, interest rate hikes and growing signs of a recession.

There was a wholesale change in October, with BT, Baron Oil, Microsoft, Thungela Resources and Diageo entering our most-bought shares list for the first time.

On that note, US technology stocks also came back into favour with UK investors as disappointing quarterly results triggered another slide in share prices. Although Alphabet and Microsoft dipped during October, Amazon was hit the hardest, with its shares falling by 23%, marking a 43% fall over the last year.

Rolls Royce, Lloyds and Legal & General were surprising omissions for the month, having been among the top 10 most-bought shares for the last four months. Both Rolls Royce and Legal & General enjoyed a rise in share price in October, making their valuations more expensive for would-be investors.

In came Apple, GameStop, Amazon, Boohoo, Rio Tinto, ITM Power and Victoria for the first time. Out went BP, Glencore, Tesla and IAG, despite appearing regularly among the most-sold shares in previous months.

Cineworld was the most-sold share for the second month running, as the company teetered on the edge of liquidation. However, sellers may be wondering if they sold their shares prematurely, given the rally in its share price over the last two weeks with the announcement of a possible lifeline from lenders and landlords.

The FTSE 100 index of large-cap shares hit a high of 7473 during the month but fell back by 8% to 6894. While the mid-cap FTSE 250 was harder hit, falling from its month high of 19514 to end the month at 17168, a drop of 12%.

Rolls Royce also remains in the top four most bought shares for the third consecutive month, as its share price continued its downward trajectory, falling by nearly 50% in the last year.

South African coal mining company, Thungela Resources, is an interesting addition to the most sold shares. It was spun off from mining giant Anglo American in mid-2021, with its share price increasing from 150 pence to hit a high of over 1800 pence in September.

As a result, July was a quieter month for trading on the London Stock Exchange with a total value traded of 84 billion, the lowest level in the past year. This represents a near 40% drop from March, when the fall-out from the invasion of Ukraine and recessionary fears led to 137 billion of shares changing hands.

Rising interest rates typically have a negative impact on stock markets, yet much of this bad news seems to have been priced into shares. There is also a feeling that central banks may temper interest rate rises, although this will be a delicate balancing act given inflation forecasts.

The bulk of the most-bought shares also feature on the most sold list, with the exception of Legal & General, Rio Tinto and Alphabet. There was also a significant overlap with the most-bought shares in June, with only Easyjet and Aviva being knocked off the list by Amazon and Alphabet. 041b061a72


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