What are the best stocks to buy with £500 in 2024?

Zaven Boyrazian breaks down a growth and income share from his portfolio that he believes are the best stocks to consider buying in 2024.

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Finding the best stocks to buy is a pursuit for most investors. Yet, despite the simplicity of the statement, the answer seems to be quite elusive. With differing opinions among analysts across the universe of FTSE shares, tracking down the best buying opportunities can be tough.

This process is only made more complicated by the personalised nature of investing. After all, different investors have different objectives, risk tolerances and time horizons. As such, the best stocks to buy now will vary between individuals. For one person, it could be a volatile growth stock. For another, it might be a stable dividend-paying enterprise.

With that in mind, if I had £500 to invest in 2024, which companies would I buy in these two categories? Let’s take a look.

A new FTSE 250 stock in town?

Alpha Group International (LSE:ALPH) has been a stellar performer in the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) ever since it went public in 2017. The stock’s up over 800% and has grown so much that it’s recently moved up onto London’s main market and is expected to join the FTSE 250 this year.

As a provider of currency risk management and alternative banking solutions, the business has thrived in the recent volatile environment caused by Covid and inflation. Since 2019, sales and earnings have grown by a staggering average of 34% and 29% each year, respectively. And with new, less-cyclical products entering the mix, this upward trajectory seems to be set to continue. This is especially true given it’s still barely scratched the surface of its target market opportunity.

However, Alpha isn’t the only business operating in this space. Traditional banks may be falling behind the curve regarding technological innovation. But they also have vastly more extensive access to capital to protect themselves against Alpha’s disruptive performance.

If management can’t outmanoeuvre its larger rivals, Alpha’s growth story could be cut short. But given their proven capital allocation skills to date, I remain optimistic for the long run. That’s why Alpha Group is one of my largest growth portfolio positions.

Boring and dependable

For a more dividend-oriented opportunity, Safestore (LSE:SAFE) looks like an interesting place to start. As a self-storage operator, households and businesses are able to rent secure storage space across a vast network of locations both in the UK and across Europe.

With inflation pushing everyone to cut costs, the company has seen its occupancy suffer in recent years. And it now stands at around 77%. This fall in customers has subsequently adversely impacted the firm’s rental revenue. Yet, with ample margins, dividends have remained unaffected, so far. In fact, the company’s currently on its 14th consecutive year of shareholder payout hikes.

Furthermore, with economic conditions starting to improve, demand could be making a comeback this year. Investors will get a more up-to-date insight into the business once its half-year results come out later this week. But with medium- and long-term outlooks indicating the firm is on track, 2024 could be a terrific time to increase my existing position. Even more so given that the firm’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio sits at just 9.8.

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.

Zaven Boyrazian has positions in Alpha Group International and Safestore Plc. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Alpha Group International and Safestore Plc. 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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