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4 FTSE 100 stocks to buy right now!

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The FTSE 100 is jam-packed with great stocks to buy right now. Here are some of the best that I’d buy for my own UK shares portfolio.

A flying FTSE 100 share

Wealth management experts St James’s Place is flying at the moment. Thanks to a combination of improving investor confidence and large accumulated savings levels it enjoyed gross inflows that were 23% higher year-on-year in the first five months of 2021. There’s certainly no guarantee that the FTSE 100 firm will continue to enjoy inflows at these levels, especially as Covid-19 infections spike again. But in the long term I’m confident that St James’s Place can deliver splendid investor returns. Low Bank of England interest rates are likely to persist, meaning savers should continue to call on its services to get a decent return on their money. And the company plans to continue increasing its adviser numbers (by 3% to 5% this year alone).

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Ongoing expansion

The popularity of throwaway fashion has soared in recent years, driving profits at Associated British Foods’s Primark division through the roof. According to Statista, the global fast fashion market was worth $36bn in 2019, up $14bn in just 10 years. The researcher reckons it will grow to $43bn by 2029 too. This bodes well for value retailer Primark as it continues to expand its global footprint (the company opened its first store in the Czech Republic last month). But I know that the ongoing Covid-19 crisis could cause the company to close its stores again and sustainability legislation could dent margins at fast-fashion firms.

Hand holding pound notes

One of my best buys

I’d say that Bunzl is one of my favourite FTSE 100 shares. It’s why I chose to buy it in my own Stocks and Shares ISA. Operating profits have risen at a compound annual growth rate of 10% since 2004, and it’s lifted the annual dividend for 28 years on the spin. When it comes to ‘stress-free’ stocks, I think there are fewer that are better. For one, Bunzl supplies a broad range of essential products to a vast array of industries, giving it terrific insulation from temporary weakness in certain sectors or geographies. And secondly, the company has a terrific track record when it comes to making acquisitions. But the past is not always a good guide for future performance. And an M&A-led growth strategy can throw up problems like unexpected costs, disappointing profits and operational turbulence.

Accelerating investment

The rise of e-commerce should allow Auto Trader Group to reap rich rewards in the years ahead. Profits slumped in the last fiscal year (to March 2021) as the FTSE 100 firm offered free or discounted advertising to retailers. But the number of visits has boomed during coronavirus lockdowns, leading to a step change in the way people buy cars in the UK. Auto Trader is accelerating improvements to its digital operations to make the most of this growing opportunity too. I’m backing profits here to soar, despite the threat posed by supply problems in the new car market.

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Royston Wild owns shares of Bunzl. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Associated British Foods, Auto Trader, and Bunzl. 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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