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How I’d identify the best shares to buy now for the next decade

Peter Stephens
·3-min read
Young woman sat at laptop by a window
Young woman sat at laptop by a window

Finding the best shares to buy now for the long term is a tough task. The economic outlook is uncertain. It may experience further deterioration in the short run, depending on how the coronavirus pandemic progresses. Furthermore, a number of industries could experience major change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on consumer tastes.

As such, buying companies with flexible business models and strategies, as well as capital to invest in long-term growth, could be a shrewd move. They may be better able to adapt to a fluid economic environment.

The best shares may have flexible business models

The best shares to buy today may have strategies and financial positions that can be used to successfully adjust to changing industry trends. For example, companies that have a low proportion of fixed costs may withstand a period of weaker sales should political and economic risks increase. Similarly, companies that have solid balance sheets may be able to raise capital more easily. They could invest in new growth areas that have arisen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Investors may be able to unearth such companies by assessing their fundamentals. For example, a company’s annual report and recent investor updates provide information regarding their financial position and strategy. Businesses with low debt levels and access to substantial credit lines may have more financial flexibility. They could then make necessary adjustments in what could be a period of rapid change. Company strategies that embrace evolving customer tastes may also be more successful in the long run than entrenched plans that become outdated.

Searching for companies with uncertain outlooks

Of course, the best shares to buy today are likely to offer good value for money. However, the stock market rally in the second half of 2020 means that many high-quality businesses now trade on relatively high valuations.

As such, investors may wish to consider sound companies that are currently experiencing difficult operating conditions. For example, they may be facing disruption caused by the coronavirus. Or they may be affected by weak demand for their products as a result of declining consumer confidence. Should they have the financial means to survive the short-term challenges they face. And over the long run they may be able to deliver impressive returns due in part to their low prices. They may be among those shares that benefit the most from a long-term stock market recovery.

A diverse range of stocks

It continues to be difficult to assess how the economy will change in the next decade. Some of the best shares may even struggle to adapt and deliver growth in an economy that has an unclear future.

As such, it is a good idea to diversify across a broad range of businesses within a portfolio. Doing so can mean less risk, as well as greater returns as the world economy gradually recovers from the challenges faced in 2020.

The post How I’d identify the best shares to buy now for the next decade appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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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.

Motley Fool UK 2021