AIM-listed YouGov (LSE:YOU) looks like a top UK stock for 2020 and beyond to me. It might be known for its polls on voting intentions before elections, but it does much more than that. It uses a network of millions of people across the world to generate market and opinion data that it turns into actionable insights for its customers. YouGov has built a treasure trove of data about what the world thinks that can be queried in real-time if need be.
Advertisers, governments, and companies all want access to the data YouGov generates. Revenues and profits are up over five years, despite COVID-19 causing this year’s profits to slip below last year’s. The company has plenty of cash, no debt, and continues to invest in technology and expanding its geographic reach. The market for data and analytics is expected to grow robustly, and YouGov is well-positioned to benefit from this.
A flying FTSE 250 stock
2020 has been rough for airlines. FTSE 250-listed Wizz Air (LSE:WIZZ) was not an exception. Revenues for the three months up to 30 June 2020, were €600m lower than the year before. However, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Wizz was figuratively and literally flying. The airline is based in Central and European Europe, where the market for air travel is growing rapidly, competition for routes is lower, and so are things like ground and maintenance costs.
COVID-19 put a stop to Wizz’s rampant growth. However, it went into the crisis with billions in cash and no interest-bearing debt. The company has been increasing its routes, added a new base, and expanded its fleet by buying two new planes. When passengers start taking to the skies again in force, WIZZ should be ready to fly even more of them. For me, WIZZ is a top UK stock to invest in for 2020 and beyond, although the share price might be volatile in the short term.
Best FTSE 100 tech stock?
Tech and disruptive, new-economy stocks, have been big winners in 2020. The UK’s FTSE 100 is frustratingly light on stocks like these. That’s why I own FTSE 100-listed Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust (LSE:SMT).
SMT holds a portfolio of about 90 global (not Scottish) stocks and has nothing to do with mortgages. The share price performance of SMT depends on the performance of its portfolio. SMT is invested in the usual suspects like Amazon and Tesla, but also other public and private companies with a tech focus from around the world with a tech focus. Overall, SMT’s portfolio has performed admirably, and so has its share price, which has gone up by almost 700% over the last 10 years.
I think SMT is one of the top UK shares for 2020 and beyond. It gains me exposure to exciting, high-growth potential global stocks, but trades on the FTSE 100. But, I do plan to hold this stock for at least five years and am prepared for volatility. The younger, unlisted companies have an elevated risk of failure, but potentially high rewards, and SMT’s share price is vulnerable to tech sector sell-offs like we saw in October.
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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. James J. McCombie owns shares of Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust and Wizz Air Holdings. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Amazon and Tesla. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Wizz Air Holdings and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. 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.