Has there been a better time to go shopping for UK shares in the past few years? There’s still plenty of economic uncertainty out there as Covid-19 cases rise and the move towards a vaccination programme goes on. However, history suggests that now could be a great time to go stock shopping.
The last time we saw a stock market crash of the scale we saw in early 2020 was following the banking crisis of more than a decade ago. As this time around, an abundance of UK share investors saw the value of their stocks portfolios suddenly disappearing down the plughole.
However, many of those who bought UK shares in the aftermath of the 2008/09 banking sector meltdown got rich in the process. Hundreds, if not thousands, even made millions via tax-efficient products like Stocks and Shares ISAs. They bought quality shares at rock-bottom prices and watched them soar in value as the economic recovery kicked in.
I’ve continued to invest in my own ISA in a bid to replicate these millionaires’ huge successes. And there are still plenty of UK shares trading on cheap valuations that I want to add to my stocks portfolio too.
A UK share I’m avoiding
I’m not tempted to splash the cash on money printer De La Rue (LSE: DLAR) though. This UK share’s forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 14 times is undemanding on paper but fails to reflect its unnerving risk profile.
Cash usage was on the wane before Covid-19 lockdowns hit. But with e-commerce taking off, and the handling of physical money declining due to contamination fears, banknote and coin usage has dropped considerably. A poll by Ubamarket suggests that half of British customers have stopped using cash since Covid-19 lockdowns began in early 2020. And a whopping four-tenths of those surveyed said they plan to keep shying away from using cash too.
De La Rue warned a year ago that it its future was in “significant doubt” because of cash’s slow decline. The outbreak of Covid-19 threatens to have expedited its extinction. This is one UK share I won’t be touching with a bargepole.
Could this FTSE 100 star make me rich?
Babcock International Group (LSE: BAB) is a UK share I’d be much happier to buy for my Stocks and Shares ISA today.
Like De La Rue, this company also carries a low valuation, in this case represented by a forward P/E ratio of 6 times. I don’t think this valuation reflects Babcock’s ability to enjoy a robust profits rebound, however. Oh, and at current prices this FTSE 100 share carries a healthy 4% dividend yield too.
Babcock endured significant Covid-19 disruption early in 2020 but the view is beginning to clear for the defence giant. The UK share booked £500m worth of orders in July at its Aviation operation that had been delayed earlier in the year. I’m expecting this stock to deliver terrific shareholder returns over the long term as global defence budgets rocket.
Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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.