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How my top shares for 2020 performed

Edward Sheldon, CFA
·4-min read
Chart showing an upwards trend, possibly in the FTSE 100
Chart showing an upwards trend, possibly in the FTSE 100

Every month at The Motley Fool, writers are asked to share their best UK stock idea for the month ahead. These tips can be an excellent source of investment ideas.

Here’s a look at how my top UK share picks for 2020 performed.


My top UK stock for January was warehouse company Tritax Big Box. I saw it as a good online shopping play. This was a solid performer. It started the year at 149p. Today, it’s at 164p. Add in the 6p in dividends received and the return is about 14% for the year. When you consider that the FTSE 100 has fallen about 14% (not including dividends) for the year, that’s a good return.


In February I went with tobacco giant Imperial Brands. It was trading at a low valuation. This stock has been disappointing, falling from 1,950p to 1,544p. That’s a decline of about 21%. Over the same period, the FTSE 100 has fallen 11%.


For March I picked online broker Hargreaves Lansdown. It’s up about 2% since then versus a 1% fall for the FTSE 100. It’s worth pointing out that returns here have been boosted by dividends. During the year, Hargreaves declared a full-year dividend of 37.5p per share and a special dividend of 17p per share.


Picking a stock for April was not easy. The deadline for submission in March was near the peak of the stock market crash. I went with Diageo, which was trading at 2,587p. This pick worked out ok. Today Diageo trades at 2,914p. That represents a gain of 13%. But the FTSE 100 is up about 15% in that time.


In May, I went with property website company Rightmove. It was trading at 511p. Now, it’s at 643p. That represents a gain of 26%. Over the same period, the FTSE 100 has risen just 10%.


June was another good month for me. I picked IT company Computacenter. It started June at 1,604p. It’s now at 2,498p. That’s a nice gain of 56%. The FTSE 100 is up just 7% since then.


In July, I picked insurer Prudential. At 1,219p, I thought it looked cheap. Since then, it has risen to 1,353p – a gain of about 11%. That’s about double the return of the FTSE 100.


My top share for August was Reckitt Benckiser. This was another disappointing performer. It started August at 7,706p. Now it’s at 6,494p. That’s a fall of about 16%, while the FTSE 100 has climbed about 10%. I’m surprised by this underperformance as results were good.


In September, I went with Boohoo. It has risen from 290p to 335p since then. That’s a gain of about 16% – well above the FTSE 100’s 9%.


I picked Diageo again in October. It’s up about 10% since then, which is a decent return in just a few months. The FTSE 100 is up 11%, however.


I chose Hargreaves Lansdown again. Since then, HL shares have risen from 1,352p to 1,552p – a gain of 15%. That’s a good result but a little below the FTSE 100’s return of 17%.


Finally, I went with Reckitt Benckiser again. I liked the fact that insiders bought shares in November. It hasn’t moved much this month.

Overall, I think this is a solid performance in a highly unpredictable year. Imperial Brands and Reckitt Benckiser were disappointing share tips. However, these losses were more than offset by decent gains from Computacenter, Rightmove, and Tritax BigBox.

The post How my top shares for 2020 performed appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Edward Sheldon owns shares in Diageo, Hargreaves Lansdown, Boohoo, Rightmove, Prudential, Tritax Big Box and Reckitt Benckiser. The Motley Fool UK has recommended boohoo group, Diageo, Hargreaves Lansdown, Imperial Brands, Prudential, Rightmove, and Tritax Big Box REIT. 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 2020