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2 UK shares to buy today

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I am always on the lookout for UK shares to buy for my portfolio. I say UK shares in general because I do not tend to concentrate on any particular sector, industry or index when looking for investments.

Instead, I focus on finding the market’s best companies, wherever I think they can be found. 

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With that in mind, here are two companies that I think are among the most attractive investments on the market today. 

Shares to buy

The first company is the fashion group, Dr Martens (LSE: DOCS). There are three reasons why I would acquire this company for my portfolio today.

First of all, I see it as a recovery play. As the global economy reopened in the first half of 2021, group sales jumped 51% year-on-year. Compared to 2019 levels, revenues increased 31%. 

The second reason why I would buy this stock is its exposure to e-commerce. The pandemic has forced retailers worldwide to up their e-commerce offering, and Dr Martens has stepped up. It is reaping the rewards. E-commerce revenues grew 11% in the three months to the end of June, and they were up 155% compared to 2019 levels. 

The third and final reason I think is its brand. The Dr Martens label is known and loved by consumers worldwide. This gives the company a competitive advantage in the very competitive retail market. 

Like all UK shares, the group is not a risk-free investment. Challenges it may face as we advance include competition and rising prices. Higher prices could dent profit margins if the company cannot pass them on to consumers. 

One of the best UK shares

The other company I would buy for my portfolio is NatWest (LSE: NWG). I will admit this would not always be my first choice in the financial sector. However, right now, I think this organisation has tremendous potential as a recovery play

NatWest is one of the big four UK banks. When the pandemic began, shares in all four of these lenders took a hammering as investors dumped anything with exposure to the UK economy. 

Luckily, the financial fallout has been nowhere near as bad expected. And NatWest’s earnings are rebounding. Operating profit before tax totalled £2.5bn in the first half. Meanwhile, the group’s capital ratio hit 18.2%. Anything above 13% to 14% is considered excellent. 

With a robust balance sheet and profits rising, NatWest has been able to resume shareholder cash returns. It is promising to return £3bn to stockholders through dividends and share buybacks over the next three years.

Despite the company’s opportunities, it does face some challenges. Low interest rates are restricting profitability, and additional regulations could increase costs. Further, if the economic recovery starts to stutter, NatWest’s comeback could fall flat. 

Despite these risks and challenges, I would buy the stock for my portfolio of UK shares today. 

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Rupert Hargreaves 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.

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