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2 UK penny stocks (and a FTSE 100 share) I’m thinking of buying right now

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I’m looking for top stocks to buy for my shares portfolio right now. Here are two top penny stocks and a FTSE 100 share I’m thinking of investing in.

One of my FTSE 100 heroes

I believe Unilever (LSE: ULVR) is one of the best stress-free UK shares to buy today. I actually own this FTSE 100 household goods maker in my Stocks and Shares ISA. And I’m seriously considering buying some more shares in light of the company’s resilience over the past year. Unilever’s like-for-like sales still grew 1.9% in 2020, despite the worst public health emergency for a decade and the subsequent economic crash. It’s a performance that pays testament to the colossal brand power of its goods, not to mention its broad portfolio of foods and essential household and personal care products.

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It’s true that Unilever faces a battle to maintain the strength of its brands as social media and digital marketing allow smaller companies to take on the might of the established fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) giants. This means the FTSE 100 company might have to hike marketing spend and boost product innovation to stop its customers shifting to competitors’ products. But I like to think that Unilever has the strength and the expertise to respond to this rising threat. Products like Dove soap and Magnum ice cream didn’t become some of the world’s leading brands out of sheer good fortune.

macro shot of computer monitor with FTSE 100 stock market data in trading application

In rude heath

I think Assura (LSE: AGR) is a strong penny stock for those like me seeking peace of mind in these uncertain times. It’s true that this company’s appetite for rapid expansion creates risk. There’s no guarantee that acquisitions will generate the desired returns, of course, while they can also throw up other hidden nasties later down the line. But overall I still think this FTSE 250 property stock — which owns and operates primary healthcare facilities – can look forward to delivering big profits growth in the years ahead. Britain’s population is ageing and so the need for medical infrastructure is likely to keep growing. On top of this, huge swathes of healthcare facilities in this country are in desperate need of upgrades, playing further into the hands of Assura.

Another sunny penny stock

Along with Assura, I’m thinking of adding penny stock NextEnergy Solar Fund (LSE: NESF) to my Stocks and Shares ISA. The battle against the climate emergency is clicking through the gears and this provides UK share investors like me with myriad opportunities. Just this week the US vowed to cut its carbon emissions by 50% by the end of the decade. The creation of electricity from renewable sources will play a critical role in helping global lawmakers meet their goals, naturally. This plays into the hands of NextEnergy, which owns and operates almost 100 solar farms in the UK and Italy. It’s important to remember, though, that energy generation from the sun is notoriously unreliable. And especially in a place like Britain! Any problems on this front can deal a significant blow to profits.

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Royston Wild owns shares of Unilever. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Unilever. 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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