There must be a lot of value in the FTSE despite notable upward trends in the general index. The index put on over 1,200 points in the last five months, breaking the 8,000 barrier for the first time.
In addition, the index has added over 7% in the last year, with the first three months of 2023 seeing a 5% uptick. It is not as amazing as US tech stocks on a good run. However, it is still very impressive. So, is there value in the index’s companies? Let us find out.
2022 Vs. 2023
In October 2022, buying shares in the FTSE did not require a second look as it was packed with top stocks trading over ten times and yielding between 5% and 9%. So is this still a good idea today?
While many shares are higher than last year, some have remained stagnant, and some have dropped significantly. For example, Barclays Bank shares saw an uptick of 0.69%. On the other hand, Vodafone and Barratt Developments hit the floor, both losing over 20%. But there is beauty in buying individual stocks compared to index trackers.
They offer investors different requirements at different times. This aspect gives you more flexibility and control over your portfolio as you can easily monitor individual stocks. The FTSE has struggled in the past, but it is always more resilient in the face of turmoil.
The company was able to shrug off the war in Ukraine and Chinese lockdowns that caused supply chain disruptions. However, it has outperformed many global markets, including the Nasdaq and S&P 500.
Top Dividends For Cheap
According to recent forecasts, Barclays Bank should yield up to 5.7%, with earnings covering 3.7 times. L&G’s yield is slightly higher at 7.91%, with a cover of 1.7 times. The housebuilder Barratt is expected to yield 7.56%, while Vodafone is expected to yield over 9.2% with 1.1 times cover.
These stocks are very cheap, but does that make it a good time to buy? Investors should be careful not to walk into a value trap. While the companies may look good on paper, we cannot just dive in. The Vodafone stock makes me wary as the stock has stayed put for decades.
Given the state of the economy and persistent inflation, the FTSE could change direction soon, which is not an understatement. The coming months will be crucial for these indices. As traders, the best time to buy Barclays would be now. They offer great dividends, and given the current state of flux, another 50 basis point hike by the ECB could see the giant banking experience an uptick in stock value.