As we move into the winter, the outlook for the UK and the global economy is becoming more uncertain. Coronavirus cases are rising in many areas around the world, which could lead to further economic instability. Against this backdrop, I will focus on buying FTSE 100 shares that I believe will continue to succeed, no matter what the future holds for the global economy.
FTSE 100 growth champion
The first company on my list is Experian (LSE: EXPN). Data and credit ratings are two things that the world will always need. There will always be a need for credit ratings and financial analysis. Further, there will always be a need for financial data.
Many companies cannot establish the sort of foothold Experian has in the market because it has so much information in the first place. This gives the group a solid competitive advantage. It is also the main reason why I would buy the stock for my portfolio as a FTSE 100 defensive investment.
Unfortunately, I am not the only one to see this advantage. The market highly respects the company, and as a result, it commands a premium valuation.
While I do not like overpaying for stocks, I think Experian deserves a premium valuation considering its competitive advantage. One of the main risks to the company’s success is the potential for a cyberattack, which could decimate its reputation.
Navigating the storm
I would also buy retailer Next (LSE: NXT). I have been incredibly impressed by this company’s progress over the past 18 months.
As many retailers collapsed during the pandemic, Next pushed ahead, surpassing expectations. Its heavy investments in e-commerce and related infrastructure have more than paid for themselves over the past year.
While past performance should never be used as a guide to future potential, I think Next’s powerful online presence and expanding brands portfolio mean the group is well placed to capitalise on the economic recovery over the next few years and withstand further pandemic restrictions if they are introduced.
Of course, it is not risk-free. It could face cost and wage inflation pressures as we advance, which may eat away at profit margins.
The final corporation I would buy for my FTSE 100 portfolio in November is retailer Tesco (LSE: TSCO). The company is about to enter its busiest trading period. While other retailers complain about supply chain issues, Tesco has said it is prepared for all eventualities.
This suggests to me that the group could grab market share over the next few months if its competitors struggle to meet consumers’ demands. And if pandemic restrictions are reintroduced, Tesco should be able to stay open due to its designation as an essential retailer.
That is not to say that the company will not face some of the pressures affecting the retail industry in general. Rising wages could prove to be a headache for the group, and food inflation may push up prices for consumers.
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Rupert Hargreaves has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Experian and Tesco. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.