The dominant investment theme of the last 18 months has been COVID winners and losers, but going forward there are a number of investments which were losers, and which might now be worth a look.
One person who has been watching this trend is Richard Ivers, a fund manager who runs the Prime Value Emerging Opportunities Fund, which invests in smaller companies listed on the ASX.
Ivers fund has returned an impressive 42% over the last year, but that is no fluke. It has beaten its index by 20% since 2018, so the man clearly knows his stockpicking.
In a recent interview for trade website Citywire Australia, Ivers nominated a company called United Malt as one to watch, and one he had recently brought into his fund.
The company sells malt to beer and whisky producers, so when the world was in major lockdown in 2020 there wasn’t a lot of brewing or distilling going on anywhere.
As Ivers points out, United Malt sources around 60% of its revenue from the US, and craft brewers and whisky distillers are all operating at full speed now that the world’s biggest economy is open and Americans are celebrating their new found freedoms.
A look at the 12 month performance of the stock shows a modest gain, from just over $4 to around $4.50 this week. Ivers philosophy is to buy stocks when they are cheap and unloved and then watch them rebound, so he clearly thinks that United Malt has some more upside.
Another take on the COVID theme is in the warehousing and logistics sector. The boom in eCommerce over the last 12 months has been well documented and it has produced some spectacular results for the likes of Kogan.
This week, online furniture and homewares group Temple & Webster are the big story, reporting record profits and revenues. Ideally, you would have bought shares in that company a while back.
Those ships, you might think, have probably sailed so how else to tap into the eCommerce boom?
While office property investments are languishing with people still largely working from home, companies providing warehousing and logistics services to the world of online retailing are in line for some adjacent benefits.
Have a look at a company such as Centura Industrial, a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) listed on the ASX which is Australia’s largest domestic pure play industrial property investment vehicle.
Looking at the graph of the share price performance, Centura is a little like United Malt – the trajectory is upwards but the trend line does not look like Jeff Bezos blasting off into space.
This suggests that once again there might be some more upside. A year ago you could buy into Centura for $3.22, today for $3.77.
Away from equity markets, the world’s obsession with crypto currencies shows no sign of slowing down, fueled this week by reports – since denied – from Amazon that it may accept payment by crypto.
The problem with investing in crypto is that everyone runs the danger of buying in at the top, with fears of a crash are never far away.
Although it must be said that predictions for crypto’s demise have been going on for a while, and the sector continues to surge.
In the interests of getting value for the investment dollar, then, how about looking at a cryptocurrency which is not yet associated with Elon Musk?
Ripple XRP is a cryptocurrency token used in cross border trade, and was in the headlines for the wrong reasons this month because it is out of favour with regulators in the US.
That has wounded the price of XRP, but if those wounds are not terminal the timing might be right to buy when the price is suppressed and hope for blue sky as global trade opens up and regulators back off.
A necessary caveat: do your research before making any investment. Hoping that an investment will increase in value doesn’t mean that it actually will.