So, 5 April is almost upon us, you have some of your 2017-18 ISA allowance still unused and a little bit of cash you could invest – but you can’t think what shares to buy?
It’s tempting to forget it, as you’ll soon have a shiny new £20,000 allowance to use up for 2018-19. But even a £1,000 addition that doesn’t happen now could lose you £5,700 from your retirement pot in 30 years’ time based on a 6% per year total return — and more than £10,000 if you hit 8%.
I’ll assume you already have a solid set of blue-chip stocks in your ISA from this year and previous years, and I’ll suggest two slightly riskier stocks for you to consider for a small allocation of cash.
Sun and sand
It’s a cold March, and after our late mini-Winter, you might well be thinking of a beach holiday to blow away the blues. Millions will be having similar thoughts, and I like the idea of a holiday company that specialises in getting you exactly where its name suggests — On The Beach (LSE: OTB).
Rather than searching dozens of generalised online offerings and pondering which have the best beaches, the safest swimming, the easiest access… On The Beach just offers short-haul beach holidays.
The firm’s latest update in February told us that business has continued strongly into 2018 with strong revenue growth, and that it’s enjoying “strong bookings growth for summer 2018 departures.”
I like companies that focus and try to be the best in a specific field, and it seems investors do too. On The Beach shares have more than doubled since flotation in 2015, although they might look like they’re a bit highly priced now with forward P/E multiples of more than 20.
But the firm is only just starting its international expansion, with its newer sites in Sweden and Norway already showing strong growth and Denmark about to be launched. I think On The Beach could easily turn into one of tomorrow’s cash cows.
Now for a slightly riskier one, Allied Minds (LSE: ALM), which ace UK investor Neil Woodford holds in his LF Woodford Equity Income Fund. But before I tell you why it might be a good candidate for you, let me offer you a reason to steer clear.
Allied Minds invests in early-stage technology businesses, hoping to find the next generation of rising stars, but so far it hasn’t been doing so well at it and it’s lost money for its investors. Despite a multi-bagging early rise after coming to market in 2014, Allied Minds shares have since been in a slump and are now down 40% overall — and as it’s been making a loss all along, there have been no dividends to compensate.
But the next online startup, or successful biotechnology star, could already be sitting in its portfolio — I looked at the exciting possibilities for subsidiary SciFluor Life Sciences back in December, after reviewing promising results from its candidate treatment for age-related macular degeneration.
The company has now ditched a few of its earlier lame ducks and has secured some significant new funding. I reckon it’s a worthwhile, if speculative, punt — but only a small one. Who knows, the next Facebook could still be out there.
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Alan Oscroft 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.