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Best shares to buy now? This is how I’d invest £5k today

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I’ve been investing for many years and have reached a stage where I only buy a few new shares each year. But what if I was starting out today? In this piece, I’ve selected five firms I would buy if I was building a brand new portfolio.

Each stock offers an attractive dividend yield plus some growth potential. I’m consistent in my preferences – I already own three of these stocks, and I’m hoping to add the other two to my portfolio in the coming weeks.

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Bargain gold miner?

I’m not a fan of holding physical gold, but I’m happy to invest in gold mining stocks when they look cheap. I think that Egypt-based Centamin could be the most attractive option in this sector at the moment.

Centamin’s share price crashed last year after the company said technical problems at its Sukari mine would hit gold production. But the business has a decent track record and things now seem to be getting back on track. With no debt and a forecast dividend yield of 5%, Centamin is a share I’d buy now.

This sin stock yields 8.7%

Smoking isn’t as popular as it used to be. But Imperial Brands still sold 239bn cigarettes last year, generating an operating profit of £2.7bn. It’s a big business with attractive profit margins.

The generous dividend is backed by surplus cash, and City analysts expect profits to continue edging higher. With the shares trading on just six times forecast earnings and offering a yield of 8.7%, I think Imperial is just too cheap.

Pharma split makes this a best buy

GlaxoSmithKline is a well-known name, thanks to consumer brands such as Sensodyne and Nicorette. But these are only one part of the company’s business, which also produces vaccines and specialist medicines for more serious illnesses.

GSK boss Emma Walmsley has beefed up both sides of the company and now plans to spin out the consumer healthcare business into a new company.

I already hold GSK and intend to buy more shares before the split. My analysis suggests that splitting the business will release value for existing shareholders, who will receive shares in the consumer healthcare business. I view this as one of the best shares to buy today.

Founder-CEO has delivered great results

I don’t normally invest in construction firms, but Morgan Sindall Group is an exception. This FTSE 250 firm is still run by founder John Morgan and has the hallmarks of a founder-led business. These include good profitability, steady growth, and strong cash generation.

The pandemic delayed progress in some sectors, but many of Morgan Sindall’s larger civil infrastructure projects have continued unchecked. The shares trade on 10 times 2021 forecast earnings, with a 3.7% yield. This is one I’m happy to continue holding.

The best share I could buy now?

One company I’ve admired for years but not bought is FTSE 100 accounting software group Sage. High profit margins and continued growth have supported strong shareholder returns in the past.

The pace has slowed down in recent years as Sage has worked to move its business from software licences to online subscription services. Events last year caused some disruption, but I believe the group’s medium-term future looks strong. Sage shares look unusually affordable to me at the moment. This is one of the top shares on my buy list at the moment.

A Top Share with Enormous Growth Potential

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Roland Head owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline, Imperial Brands, and Morgan Sindall Group. The Motley Fool UK has recommended GlaxoSmithKline, Imperial Brands, and Sage Group. 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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