The perils of share investing have been laid bare by the severe stock market movements witnessed in recent days.
The impact of wide risk aversion — combined with a failure of traders to factor in a possible Brexit — has seen the FTSE 100 lose 6% of its value since Friday’s open. The index is now below 6,000 points once again.
And the political and economic malaise in the coming weeks and months threatens to keep investors on their toes for some time yet.
Having said that, we at The Motley Fool believe that stock markets are still the best destination for good returns, given the pitifully low interest rates offered by cash ISAs, for example. In this article I lay out some of the key points investors must consider in order to keep making splendid returns.
Go for brand power
In times of significant economic hardship — and consequent pressure on consumers’ wallets — the importance of brand power cannot be overstated.
Conventional thinking would suggest that shoppers pick the cheapest option available during such periods. But this is not always the case. Indeed, a combination of shrewd marketing and product innovation has proven to keep sales of popular labels of many FTSE companies — from ice cream and headache pills through to cigarettes — ticking higher.
Consequently, I reckon the fortunes of PZ Cussons (LSE: PZC) — manufacturer of brands like Imperial Leather, Original Source and Five:am organic yoghurts — will keep on rising.
On top of this, PZ Cussons also offers terrific emerging market exposure, thanks to its wide presence across Africa and Asia, a quality that significantly reduces its direct exposure to the impact of Brexit. And although these markets are cooling down, the growth rates here are still a lot stronger than those of the West. And I believe rising wealth levels here should blast consumer spending levels higher in the years ahead.
Indeed, I have previously tipped healthcare play Hutchison China MediTech (LSE: HCM) on the basis of its determination to become the largest pharmaceuticals developer in the Asian powerhouse.
But this is not the only hot developing market play out there — telecoms giant Vodafone and beverages play Diageo also offer considerable exposure to emerging regions.
And some British-based exporters may actually gain from the pound’s fall following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
Just today sterling sank to fresh lows below $1.32, not seen since 1985. And HSBC expects the pound to slip as low as $1.20 by the end of the year.
This should benefit many British companies that export their goods abroad. Indeed, UBS estimates that profits over at defence giant Meggitt (LSE: MGGT) and diversified engineer GKN (LSE: GKN) benefit by 5% for every 10% fall in the value of sterling against the US dollar.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of GKN and PZ Cussons. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Diageo, HSBC Holdings, and Meggitt. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.