“The last holding I’d want to sell in my Stocks and Shares ISA is…”

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We asked a handful of our free-site writers about their highest-conviction holdings in their Stocks and Shares ISAs. Here’s what they said:

Ashtead Group

What it does: Ashtead Group is one of the US’ biggest rental equipment suppliers with a total of 1,234 locations.

By Royston Wild. Owning shares in Ashtead Group (LSE:AHT) has been a bumpy ride more recently. The FTSE 100 company’s share price plunged again in early March as it warned full-year profits would come in at the low end of expectations.

Conditions could remain tough in the short term, too, if stubborn inflation means interest rates remain above their norms. Still, this is a growth share I’d be reluctant to ever sell.

The rental equipment business is suffering due to pressure in North America. But this doesn’t faze me. The long-term outlook here remains robust thanks to phenomena like rising infrastructure investment and steady growth in the green economy.

Critically, there is also plenty of scope for Ashtead to keep increasing profits through additional acquisitions. A steady and successful expansion drive allowed it to deliver the best returns of any current Footsie-listed share over the past 20 years.

Royston Wild owns shares in Ashtead Group.

Greggs

What it does: Greggs sells a range of fresh bakery goods, sandwiches and drinks in its shops and, more recently, via delivery.

By Paul Summers: It’s going to take a lot for me to part with my position in ‘food on the go’ retailer Greggs (LSE: GRG). 

Having been invested for several years, I’ve benefited from the return to normality following the pandemic and the subsequent recovery in the share price.

Based on recent results, there could be more to come. The company revealed a 13% rise in annual profit in March, helped by its decision to extend store opening hours into the evening. Cue a lovely 40p per share special dividend for holders.

Naturally, Greggs will always face stiff competition in this space and there are only so many new UK stores the company can open.

However, shares currently trade on 21 times forecast earnings. That’s not a bargain price but it’s also nowhere near ‘silly’ territory considering the quality of the business.

Paul Summers owns shares in Greggs

Lloyds Banking Group

What it does: Lloyds is a retail and commercial bank with its operations focused predominantly across the UK. It’s considered one of the ‘Big Four’ banks.

By Charlie Keough. I plan to keep hold of my Lloyds (LSE: LLOY) shares for as long as possible. I’ve been bullish on the stock for a while. Up 8.1% in 2024, as I write, it seems like my investment is finally bearing fruit.

But I see Lloyds going a lot further. There are a few things that hint at why this could be the case.

Firstly, the stock looks undervalued. Today, I can grab shares trading around just seven times earnings. On top of that, when interest rates begin to fall, I see Lloyds being provided with a boost. Investor sentiment will lift. More importantly, the property market will stabilise.

There’s also its 5.3% dividend yield. With my ISA acting as a tax wrapper, it means I pay zero tax on any income I receive, which is an extra bonus.

Short-term volatility is likely. We’re not out of the woods yet with inflationary pressures. Interest rates also remain high. The upcoming months could be sticky.

But I’m holding my shares for the long run. If I have the cash, I’ll likely add to my position.

Charlie Keough owns shares in Lloyds.

Salesforce

What it does: Salesforce is a leader in artificial intelligence solutions, most prominently catered to retailers.

By Oliver Rodzianko. Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) could be the strongest investment I own in my Stocks and Shares ISA right now.

There are estimates of up to 40% annual growth rates for the artificial intelligence (AI) market over the next decade. This firm will be directly involved in that, and I think the shares are positioned to be a big winner over the long term.

Management has put together its own AI operating system, called Einstein, and it powerfully helps merchants and other businesses to increase efficiency and harness data analytics.

One of the things I’ve noted as a risk is its valuation. While I don’t think it is unreasonably valued based on long-term future prospects, I expect some volatility. That’s a problem if I don’t have the right temperament to hold out on short-term losses.

Overall, while many others consider Nvidia the be-all-and-end-all for investing in AI, I think Salesforce might have more to give.

Oliver Rodzianko owns shares in Salesforce

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 assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

The Motley Fool UK has recommended Greggs Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Nvidia, and Salesforce. 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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