It’s that magical time of the year again. Yes, time to fill your stockings up with… stocks. For 2023.

James Whelan

Investment manager, VFS Group

We’ll start with the inimitable James Whelan, of weekly Stockhead column Free Whelan fame, reminding us all how the “lofty junk of 2021 was met with the brute reality of 2022 valuations as central banks raised at the fastest pace in history”.

It hasn’t been an easy year for investing. But Whelan’s confident we’re close to the end of the upwards run in yields. “One or two more smaller moves from the Fed and RBA and we’re about done,” he says, “then they’ll keep them up around that level for most of 2023 and the reduction starts”.

So what’s his strategy for 2023? A bit of Google, a bit of BHP. That FOOD ETF and thematic he’s been pushing all year. But for a portfolio? James does love an ETF. And he’s got seven that he believes will help navigate next year safely.

US bond ETF allocation – Global X US Treasury Bond ETF (Currency Hedged) (USTB): “Long bonds has to be the order of the day for 2023. The 60/40 equities/bonds portfolio is back. US treasuries offer slightly more than Aussie ones and any reduction in yield by the Fed means the capital appreciation for this one is to the upside.”

Aussie Bond ETF Allocation – Vanguard Australian Fixed Interest Index ETF (VAF): “Add for diversification in the bonds market. It’s more than just Government Treasuries, it covers semi-gov bonds and investment grade corporations. Our companies are fine. Invest with confidence.”

Credit ETF Allocation – BetaShares Australian Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (CRED): “Access to senior, fixed rate, investment grade corporate bonds listed in Australia. Non-Government so the yield is higher. Investment grade bonds should stay okay with rates not having as much impact on them … and with the global economy not going completely backwards the debt is fine.”

Aussie Index Weighted ETF – iShares Core S&P/ASX 200 ETF (IOZ): “Moving on to the core equities portion of the portfolio we get to the index weighted Aussie ETF, tracking the ASX 200. I want to be weighted to the big end of town. Own BHP and RIO on China reopening, own the banks on bigger Net Interest margins and a housing market under the close protection of the RBA.”

Overseas Equities Exposure – BetaShares FTSE 100 ETF (F100): “My preferred overseas equities exposure remains the biggest companies on the FTSE. Energy, Staples, Financials. The biggest, most dependable companies in Europe. Shell, Astrazeneca, Unilever, HSBC and BP are the biggest holdings. It ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Global X Copper Miners ETF (WIRE) and Global X Physical Silver (ETPMAG): “This ETF offers exposure to the best copper miners in the world. As for silver, something happens when rates start coming off with a USD that’s probably going to be taking a breather for a while.”

Alto Capital

Investment manager Tony Locantro

Copper – everyone wants it, the world’s running out of it. Or at least, not looking for it at a level anywhere near as much as demand says we should be.

Locantro has three juniors he’s watching, all of which “look very attractive relative to their resources and growth potential”, but “we haven’t really seen a lot of positive sentiment to them at all, it is baffling.”

Eagle Mountain (ASX:EM2) is trading around 0.16 cents. It’s exploring the Oracle Ridge Copper Project in Arizona, one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world.

“Exploration results have been strong, and they also have multiple of other exploration projects in the region which boast upside potential,” Locantro explains.

AIC Mines (ASX:A1M) recently acquired a 90c interest in Demetallica shares. Its Eloise copper mine and processing facility is only 4km from Demetallica’s Jericho copper deposit. Combining these assets should provide the most efficient means of developing, mining, and processing the Jericho deposit and potentially others.

Locantro says that could increase mine life to over 10 years, and production to over 20,000tpa copper and 10,000ozpa gold in concentrate – a 60% increase on the current production rate at Eloise.

Maronan Metals (ASX:MMA) owns the Maronan Copper-Gold-Lead-Silver deposit in the Cloncurry region of Queensland where drilling results have confirmed the geological integrity of the resource.

“This is a bit of a higher risk stock as they are undertaking a program of deep drilling for a large-gold system at depth as well as lead-silver at depth,” he says. “They have underlying resources but … they are still learning about the deposit.”

The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interviews in this article are solely those of the interviewees and do not represent the views of Stockhead. Stockhead does not provide, endorse or otherwise assume responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.