How I’d invest £5,000 in FTSE 100 stocks today

With the markets volatile on inflationary fears, Zaven Boyrazian identifies two FTSE 100 stocks that could be set to thrive.

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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.

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Key Points

  • Inflation reaches its highest point in over three decades, triggering fears of a UK recession.
  • Cost-saving consumer behaviour could create notable tailwinds for certain FTSE 100 stocks and industries.

What are the best FTSE 100 stocks to buy today? That’s a question plenty of investors are asking following the latest release of inflationary figures from March. The Office for National Statistics just revealed the consumer price index has jumped to a whopping 7% – its highest point since 1992!

Unsurprisingly the primary culprit is surging energy bills as regulatory price caps are lifted. And with consumer spending expected to tumble, the British economy may soon enter into a recession.

This is obviously the worst-case scenario. But let’s assume it becomes a reality. If I have £5,000, which FTSE 100 stocks should I buy today to protect my portfolio?

Grocery and robotics combined

Regardless of what the economy is doing, people still need to eat. And that’s why consumer staple businesses tend to outperform during economic turbulence. There are plenty of FTSE 100 stocks operating in this sector. But the one I like the most is Ocado (LSE:OCDO).

This online grocery business has had a pretty rough ride lately. With a warehouse fire and a lawsuit to deal with, the stock has almost halved in the last 12 months.

Fortunately, both of these issues have now been resolved. And a recent trading update revealed that the group’s userbase has grown to a record 835,000 – a 31% annual increase. Meanwhile, Ocado’s warehouse automation technology continues to be deployed at existing and new facilities. Thus, enabling the company, and its business clients like Morrisons, to further optimise online order fulfilment.

As promising as that sounds, there are some risks to consider. While user numbers are rising, the average basket size has fallen by 15% to £124. This appears to be a culmination of luxury items being cut from the shopping list and users returning to brick & mortar retailers.

However, with fuel costs rising sharply, some individuals may start opting for an e-commerce grocery shopping solution to save on petrol. And with Ocado’s long term strategy still intact, I believe the current dip in its share price presents an exciting buying opportunity for my portfolio.

Another FTSE 100 stock primed to thrive?

With consumers looking to cut costs, meeting up at bars, restaurants, and other group activities may once again lose their popularity. While I don’t think the dip will be as severe as in 2020, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more people staying at home.

Consequently, ITV (LSE:ITV) sounds potentially promising in my mind. There are plenty of streaming platforms competing for viewing time. And the high-cost nature of producing original content does elevate the risk level. But, management seems to be prudent with their capital allocation strategy because ITV is now the largest ad-funded streaming platform in the whole of Europe.

Looking at the latest results, revenue is up by an impressive 24%. That’s hardly surprising, given its monthly active users jumped by 19% to 9.6 million. With more eyeballs on its channel, the value of its ad placements goes up, enabling the group to provide greater value for its marketing partners. And that’s a trend that I feel is set to continue, even during a potential recession. Hence why I’m considering this as another FTSE 100 stock to add to my portfolio today.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be considered so you should consider taking independent financial advice.

Zaven Boyrazian has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended ITV and Ocado Group. 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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