Greece’s parliamentary election results are in, and now investors are voting on where they want to put their money.
After last weekend’s do-over of a recent election that failed to yield a governing coalition, U.S. markets opened Monday on a positive note, relieved that the vote went to the conservative New Democracy party, which favors austerity measures that would keep Greece in the eurozone.
But by midday, that relief had dissipated a bit as stock market watchers started to consider what’s next for the common currency. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 28.87 points, or 0.23%, at 12,738. However, the S&P 500 was up slightly by 1.28 points, or 0.10%, at 1,344, and the Nasdaq index was up 15.61 points, or 0.54%, at 2,888.
The markets’ mixed messages suggest that investors are seeking security—and analysts are shaking the bushes, looking for those safe havens, whether in stocks, bonds or commodities.
Here’s what the experts are saying about the best investments now that Greece has voted:
Read more about the Greek elections at AdvisorOne.
Fear, Uncertainty and Yogurt Are Friends to Stock-Pickers With a Long View
Stock investors beware: The New Democracy Party is in power, but nothing has really changed.
So says Martin Leclerc, chief investment officer and portfolio manager of Barrack Yard Advisors, Bryn Mawr, Pa.
“Greece remains corrupt, over-indebted and uncompetitive,” says Leclerc in a statement. “There’s little prospect out of its de facto bankruptcy unless the people of Greece demand and receive real reforms. That is unlikely to happen in the intermediate term.”
With that gloomy outlook, where does Leclerc suggest that stock buyers invest their money?
“Fear and uncertainty is the friend of long-term investors because it lets you buy low,” Leclerc writes. “Many great European companies are now selling at valuations not seen since the lows of March 2009.”
Examples of Leclerc’s European stock picks, which offer dividends of between 4% and 6%, include:
- U.K. large-cap retailer Tesco, which has grown earnings by 9% a year during the past five years. The company is in 14 countries, Asia accounts for nearly 20% of its earnings, and Tesco has a strong presence in its core U.K. market with a history of innovation and growth.
- Pargesa Holding, a Swiss-based mid-cap conglomerate controlled by the billionaires Paul Desmarais and Albert Frere. Shares sell at a 25% discount to net asset value, which is composed mostly of six publicly traded European blue chips that are also attractively priced.
- Van de Velde, based in Belgium, company with a $500 million market cap that has manufactured and sold undergarments for about a century. Shares are controlled by descendants of the founding families. The company has net cash, a high return on invested capital and roughly 10% annual growth since its IPO in the 1990s.
And finally: Greek yogurt, anyone?
Yes, the Greek yogurt race is heating up, according to both Dairy Herd and AdAge, which report that New York-based Chobani is currently the leader in the U.S. Greek yogurt market, followed by France’s Danone and Greece’s Fage brands.