Why I can’t afford to not invest in these FTSE 100 shares

Jon Smith explains why certain FTSE 100 shares from sectors including banking and property have driven the index’s gains recently.

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Last month, the FTSE 100 hit a new record high above 8,400 points. Even though we’ve had a slight pullback since then, the market is still comfortably above 8,000 points. Over the past year, the gains in the index have been driven by some key sectors. Here’s why I feel I need to get exposure to those FTSE 100 shares.

Banking on future profits

One of the sectors that has driven gains is banking. Over the past year, Barclays shares are up 33%. Both Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest Group are up over 20%.

These stocks have helped to push the index higher, and I don’t think the party’s over yet. This is because interest rate cuts should help to stimulate economic growth. Given that cuts are coming at some point this year, it should boost consumer confidence. Lower rates will feed through to lower mortgage prices, likely causing more people to decide to buy a property.

The banks should gain from this, with higher transactional spending and more mortgage product sales. This should filter down to higher profits, pushing the stocks higher.

As a risk, lower interest rates will decrease the net interest income that the banks benefit from. This is true, but I feel that this should be offset by the benefits mentioned above.

I already own some banking shares and won’t be looking to sell any time soon.

A brighter view

Another area that has helped overall is property. Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey (LSE:TW) is up 35% over the past year. Berkeley Group is up 28% as well.

This is one area that I don’t currently have much exposure to and so am seriously thinking about buying some Taylor Wimpey shares. This is because I think the property sector will continue to recover over the next year.

Part of this relates to the aforementioned interest rate cuts. Cuts should make mortgage rates fall, making it more affordable for people to buy property.

Further, even though the order book right now is lower than it was a year ago, it continues to recover. At £2.09bn (7,686 homes), it’s that demand from customers is strong. It also provides me with some confidence that future revenue is already somewhat in the bag.

With a dividend yield of 6.44%, I can pick up generous income while owning the stock.

As a risk, consumer sentiment right now is still very fragile. It wouldn’t take much, such as inflation rising over the summer, to cause investors to get cold feet about Taylor Wimpey and the recovery.

Building for the future

Based on the top performers in the FTSE 100 including several stocks from banking and property, I feel I need to have exposure to these areas. I believe that all investors should have a diversified portfolio that includes these sectors.

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.

Jon Smith owns shares in Barclays Plc. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays Plc and Lloyds Banking Group 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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