The best shares to buy now for 2021 could be those companies likely to benefit from an improving economic outlook. Such companies may have been negatively impact by the challenges faced in 2020. However, this may provide scope for a strong recovery in the coming years.
Similarly, stocks set to benefit from an increasingly fast-paced move towards online opportunities may be able to grow their earnings at a fast pace.
With that in mind, here are six UK shares that could deliver improving performances. While not an exhaustive list of today’s attractive investment opportunities, they may deliver relatively high returns in a stock market rally.
Recovery prospects among the best shares to buy now
Some of the best shares to buy now could be those companies that have suffered the most from the challenges posed by travel disruption in 2020. For example, airlines such as easyJet and IAG have suffered greatly from a grounding of much of their fleets. Similarly, Premier Inn owner Whitbread has experienced a severe fall in sales as a result of many of its hotels being closed.
While the trends that negatively impacted all three companies in 2020 could persist in 2021, they appear to have solid financial positions through which to survive. They have conducted capital raisings in the last year, which could provide sufficient financial means to overcome short-term risks.
As the economy gradually reopens, they have the potential to deliver higher returns than many other UK shares owing to their cheap stock prices.
An increasingly online-focused economy
Other UK stocks that may be among the best shares to buy now are companies set to benefit from online growth trends. Digital sales had been increasing as a proportion of total retail sales prior to the pandemic. But the pace at which consumers are swapping physical retail for online channels is now increasing at a much faster pace.
Therefore, companies such as Next, Segro and Rightmove could experience higher growth opportunities. Next generates a large proportion of its sales from online channels. Meanwhile, Segro’s warehouses are likely to be increasingly demanded by online retailers.
Rightmove’s track record of innovation may mean large parts of the property buying process can be undertaken online. This may further strengthen its position as property sales and lettings increasingly move online.
Buying UK shares for the long term
Of course, other stocks could be among the best shares to buy now. The above six companies aren’t designed to be an exhaustive list. Look to buy high-quality companies that trade at low prices, and have solid financial positions to survive the short run. This way an investor could capitalise on growth trends in 2021 and in the coming years. It could improve their financial position over the long term.
Peter Stephens has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Next. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Rightmove. 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.