With bids for Ideagen (IDEA) and EMIS (EMIS), two of my larger and longer-standing holdings, I need to look for new small/mid cap technology stocks in which to invest. I may be willing to hold the realised cash for a short while but with inflation at 10% it’s going to be costly to hold much cash for very long.
I note AB Dynamics (ABDP) has been tipped in both Techinvest and Small Company ShareWatch last week but I already hold that and it does not look particularly cheap to me as yet.
Techinvest reported on their New Year Tips last week. With 12 stocks recommended the average fall is 17.7% to date which just shows how out of favour small tech stocks have been of late. Only one of the 12, Ingenta, rose with all the rest falling. I won’t mention the rest because none look greatly attractive to me.
What I am looking for is companies with good intellectual property, which can provide barriers to competition, in growing market sectors, with good returns on capital, high levels of recurring revenue, positive cash flow and with rising revenue (Ingenta has a poor track record in that regard and has low return on capital).
Readers should add your suggestions for companies to look at by leaving a comment (see left hand column of this blog).
One alternative to investing in tech stocks is property companies and I read the Annual Report of Value and Indexed Property Income Trust (VIP) over the weekend. Property companies are a good hedge against inflation, particularly as VIP has a focus on holdings with index linked rent reviews. Their comments on future prospects make for interesting reading. To quote:
“Total returns will be lower but still satisfactory over 2022 as a whole. They may be around 12% overall with returns for industrials, retail and the alternative sectors all in the early teens but offices only around 5% with capital values flat, rents under pressure and voids through the roof. Property’s real returns will be far lower, with the RPI already up 9% year on year. It will stay higher for far longer than the Bank or England or the market expects. Stagflation is here to stay for at least as long as the war in Ukraine drags on”.
That’s a good summary of my own view and investors might be happy with a 3% real return this year as world economies go into recession.
Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson )
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