The euphoria that greeted the Conservatives’ general election win last week is well and truly over. A victory that vanquished the challenge of Labour’s proposed nationalisations and profits-curbing programmes, and raised hopes of a swift and soft resolution to the Brexit saga, has all but dissipated as the threat of a no-deal withdrawal from the European Union has re-emerged.
Unsurprisingly, gold prices have risen again and had been seen at their most expensive since early November around $1,480 per ounce as I wrote this. If there’s one thing that investors can likely expect in 2020, it’s that safe-haven bullion should remain strong, supported by ever-looser central bank policy and doubts over the health of the broader global economy.
Getting access to gold-producing stocks may be a good idea, then, shares that are good buys to shield yourself from financial market volatility both now and in the future. And for dividend investors, Centamin might be the most appealing option, its 5.4% yield for next year making it the best-paying of all of the London-listed precious metals diggers.
Building for the future
I reckon that Bloomsbury Publishing (LSE: BMY) also has the tools to thrive in a potentially-tumultuous 2020. We all know how beloved the world of Harry Potter is, JK Rowling’s books still flying off the shelves and providing a terrific defensive weapon. City analysts expect Bloomsbury earnings to rise 6% and then 12% in the fiscal years to April 2020 and 2021 respectively.
But it’s also important to point out just how rapidly other business at the small-cap is progressing as we embark on a new year, with revenues at its Academic & Professional division jumping 9% in the six months to August, reflecting the huge sums it has dedicated to developing its non-consumer activities via both organic and acquisitive means.
And Bloomsbury is not done splashing the cash just yet. In recent days it’s given itself a pre-Christmas gift by paying a cool £1.2m for the entire share capital of drama publisher Oberon Books, a move that the company says “strengthens our offerings in contemporary theatre” and boosts its position in the academic and professional segment still further.
And in other exciting end-of-year news, the company said that it was entering the Chinese marketplace through a joint venture launched with the China Youth Publishing Group and Roaring Lion Media. Bloomsbury will command a 50% stake in the enterprise, one which it describes as “an important strategic step” for expanding the company’s international footprint.
A 3% forward dividend yield means that Bloomsbury isn’t the biggest yielder out there, though I’d argue that the brilliant earnings visibility and strong cash flows that the boy wizard brings to the publisher make it a great dividend growth for those banking on annual payout increases long into the future. I’d happily buy the business and hold it in my ISA through the new decade.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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 2019