£5k to invest? 2 UK shares I’d buy in a Stocks & Shares ISA this year

The Stocks and Shares ISA deadline is approaching, but which UK shares are the best ones to buy now? Zaven Boyrazian explores his top picks.

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With the deadline for my Stocks and Shares ISA approaching, I’m on the prowl to find the top UK shares to buy right now. But sometimes, the best companies are those already in my portfolio. With that in mind, let’s take a look at two that I think have tremendous long-term potential.

A future fintech superstar?

When it comes to doing international business, fluctuating currency exchange rates can significantly impact the bottom line. Meanwhile, moving large quantities of money across borders through standard methods like a wire transfer is both slow and expensive.

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Alpha FX (LSE:AFX) is looking to change all that. By providing its services and expertise on a pay-as-you-go cost structure, the group has been able to cater to businesses of all sizes. That’s proven to be quite advantageous over larger financial institutions offering similar services that are often inaccessible to smaller enterprises.

Looking at the latest half-year report, revenue growth is exploding. Total sales over the first six months of 2021 came in at £34.2m versus £18m the year before. That’s a 90% jump! So it’s hardly surprising that the shares of this UK business are up 55% over the last 12 months.

As with any investment, especially growth ones, there are some risks to consider. Foreign exchange risk management is a complex process. And if a mistake is made, it could have a severe impact on a client’s profits. Needless to say, I doubt a customer would stick around if that happened. Meanwhile, with new fintech innovations popping up, its enterprise-scale international payment solution may soon face some sizable competition.

Having said that, I believe the risks are worth the potential reward. So, I’m definitely considering adding more shares of the UK company to my Stocks and Shares ISA in 2022.

Can these UK shares make a comeback?

One British stock that hasn’t been a stellar performer in my portfolio over the past year is Learning Technologies Group (LSE:LTG). The company provides a suite of remote learning tools for employers to train their staff from anywhere in the world.

In 2020, a remote learning solution was unsurprisingly in high demand because of the ongoing pandemic. Unfortunately, there were some initial disruptions surrounding new project launches. However, it seems those problems have been largely resolved. Looking at the latest half-year results, revenue has grown by 29% over the first six months of 2021.

Some 7% of this growth originated from organic sources. The rest came from acquisitions, which the company has a habit of making. Bolt-on acquisitions can be a source of long-term value creation, but there’s always the possibility that future performance doesn’t deliver on expectations. That’s why seeing organic growth start to materialise is encouraging in my mind.

There are some concerns that the demand for remote learning solutions will suffer once the pandemic ends. While I think there is some merit to this fear, shares of this UK business were thriving long before Covid-19 turned up. And I believe they can continue doing so long after the virus is gone. Therefore, I’ll personally be using the recent drop in the stock as a buying opportunity for my ISA.

But these aren't the only UK shares to have caught my attention this week. There is another that looks even more promising...

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Zaven Boyrazian owns Alpha FX and Learning Technologies. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Alpha FX and Learning Technologies. 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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