The Motley Fool

My best stock tips of 2019

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Business accounting concept, Business man using calculator with computer laptop, budget and loan paper in office.
Image source: Getty Images

What have your investment priorities been in 2019? With the uncertainties and economic pressures we’ve faced, it’s been a bearish strategy of avoiding mistakes for me, with a focus on Warren Buffett’s advice to not lose money.

I think my best stock tips of the year have all been sells, focused on steering clear of duff recovery prospects.

5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50

Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic… and with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.

But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be a daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.

Fortunately, The Motley Fool UK analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global upheaval…

We’re sharing the names in a special FREE investing report that you can download today. And if you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio.

Click here to claim your free copy now!

Crumbling bank

After Metro Bank (LSE: MTRO) shares crashed 30% in one day in January, where many saw a recovery possibility, I saw potential for disaster.

I’d like to have been wrong, but since then Metro Bank shares have lost a further 85% of their value. The bank had shocked us with the revelation that an accounting error had led to some loans, including some commercial mortgages, being assessed in too low a risk band, and that blunder was compounded by further failures.

It left Metro’s balance sheet a bit short, and a £350m cash call was needed to shore it up. And with memories of what happened the last time banks were a bit squeezed fresh in their minds, savers rushed to withdraw their cash.

Metro has probably got itself back on track now, and the departure of founder and chairman Vernon Hill has restored some confidence. But what convinces me to still avoid Metro Bank is the lack of competence implied by such a howling error.

Where’s the oil?

I examined perennial disappointment UK Oil & Gas (LSE: UKOG) in January too, deciding that it was a 50/50 gamble at the time – and I don’t do those. The biggest risk to me, which has played out through the year, was that the firm’s proven resources appear to be scant, despite the much-touted possible billion barrels or whatever that might lie beneath the Weald Basin.

Though the share price spiked up in late January, as with so many UKOG share rallies before, the trajectory soon turned back down again – and so far in 2019 the price is down 33%.

What’s the situation looking like now? Though we had another share price rally later in the year, I see little changing at UKOG. The company has acquired further interest in the Horse Hill site, is still producing trickles of hydrocarbons from its test wells, and we’ve still seen no sign of a Competent Person’s Report and have no clue about likely commercially viable oil and gas levels.

No commission?

My third “not with a bargepole” tip is Purplebricks (LSE: PURP), whose shares have lost 35% of their value since I wrote about the estate agent in January.

At the time, we were already looking at a fall of around 70% since Purplebricks shares hit an all-time high in 2017, after it became clear the firm had severely overstretched itself.

But the big problems for me were, and remain, that Purplebricks is still in net spend mode, is still set to record a loss this year, and I can’t even attempt to put a rational valuation on the shares. There’s a tiny profit forecast for the year to April 2021, which gives us a price-to-earnings ratio of 95 – but that’s a meaningless valuation at this stage, and confidence in it can at best be slim.

I still wouldn’t touch any of these three, at least not until I see profits and genuine recovery progress.

One Killer Stock For The Cybersecurity Surge

Cybersecurity is surging, with experts predicting that the cybersecurity market will reach US$366 billion by 2028more than double what it is today!

And with that kind of growth, this North American company stands to be the biggest winner.

Because their patented “self-repairing” technology is changing the cybersecurity landscape as we know it…

We think it has the potential to become the next famous tech success story.

In fact, we think it could become as big… or even BIGGER than Shopify.

Click here to see how you can uncover the name of this North American stock that’s taking over Silicon Valley, one device at a time…

Alan Oscroft has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Our 6 'Best Buys Now' Shares

Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.

So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we're offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our 'no quibbles' 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.

Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.