Tis the season to be spending…

A study by British Airways last year* gave a fascinating insight into our festive activities and spending. Apparently, the average Brit sends 21 Christmas cards, travels 109 miles to visit five relatives, spends just under £400 on gifts for nine people, eats two Christmas dinners, watches four Christmas movies and plays two board games – half of which end in an argument! So, as the countdown to Christmas day beings, we thought we’d take a look at which funds have holdings in companies that could benefit from Yuletide extravagances around the world.

Covering the cost: WorldPay

Worldpay is a global leader in the payment processing technology that makes online shopping possible. It powers around 40 billion transactions annually in 146 different countries. A holding in Marlborough UK Multi-Cap Growth fund, the company is benefiting from the continuing growth of e-commerce and the increasing use of credit and debit cards around the globe. Its merger with US payment processing giant Vantiv should make it easier to win new customers, while also reducing costs. It also means that the company now has a credible footprint in the US market.

Electronics: Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics could well be the perfect Christmas story: top ten holding in Jupiter Asian Income fund, Samsung is a brand that will no doubt adorn millions of presents under trees across the globe this year. Ranging from new phones and other consumer electronics to, perhaps most importantly, brand new full spec. TVs to watch all those Christmas movies on!

Jewellery: Luk Fook Holdings

Jewellery is another popular – if more extravagant – gift: more stocking buster than stocking filler. Guinness Asian Equity Income invests in Luk Fook Holdings, a jewellery retailer in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China. It designs and sells gold and platinum jewellery and gem-set products, and is a clear beneficiary of increased consumption in China, underpinned by a more affluent population. Since listing in 1997, Luk Fook has, on average, paid out around half of its earnings as dividends and currently yields a little over 4%.

Winter sun: EssilorLuxottica

The top three destinations for Brits wanting to avoid the traditional Christmas, are Australia, the USA and the Caribbean, according to the same British Airways survey. EssilorLuxottica is an eyewear giant recently formed from the merger of Essilor, the dominant global developer of advanced lenses, and Luxottica, the world leader in branded frames and sunglasses. It is a favourite of Chris Elliott, co-manager of Evenlode Global Income fund and brands include Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley.

The family home: Places for People

Christmas is a time for gathering in the family home and Places for People, a holding in Liontrust Monthly Income Bond, is one of the largest providers of affordable housing in the UK, delivering huge social benefits. The company is highly rated and has a high-quality balance sheet but is also trading on an attractive valuation, according to the managers. Places for People builds new, and renovates existing properties, as well as leisure facilities – the latter can also help people keep to their New Year’s fitness and weight-loss resolutions following any festive over-indulgence.

All fund holding information was correct as at 31 October 2018

*OnePoll.com survey of 2,000 UK adults

The views of the author and any people interviewed are their own and do not constitute financial advice. However the knowledge that professional analysts have analysed a fund or trust in depth before assigning them a rating can be a valuable additional filter for anyone looking to make their own decisions. Before you make any investment decision make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks. If you invest in fund or trust make sure you know what specific risks they’re exposed to. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Remember all investments can fall in value as well as rise, so you could make a loss.