After a short-lived Santa Rally at the end of 2023, market conditions seem to have calmed down again. Most of the main UK indices have made a somewhat downbeat start to the year:


At home and abroad, there are clearly plenty of plausible reasons for investors to be cautious about the year ahead.

Despite this, I think there are also some reasonable arguments to suggest that many UK equities offer a decent mix of value and medium-term growth opportunities at the moment.

I would not necessarily describe myself as a glass half-full person. But I am feeling relatively optimistic about the investment opportunities within the universe of shares I follow.

One reason for my enthusiasm is that in an era of 5% risk-free interest rates, I can still find plenty of well-respected FTSE 350 stocks offering yields in excess of 5%, with added growth potential. For me this looks potentially attractive, in terms of valuation.

As evidence of my conviction – rightly or wrongly – I am almost fully invested in my main personal portfolio. My rules-based SIF folio here at Stockopedia is also more heavily invested than it has been for a while.

In the remainder of this piece, I’ll highlight some stocks that I believe have the potential to deliver total returns (dividends plus share price gains) comfortably ahead of the 5% risk-free rate.

Finding opportunities

As is my habit, I’ve used Stockopedia’s screening tools to build a simple screen to help me find shares that might be of interest for further research.

Here are the rules I’ve used. I’ve deliberately kept this very simple in order to (hopefully) provide a decent number of sensible choices:


You can see or copy this screen here

This screen generated 32 results at the time of writing. Here they are:



Let’s take a look at a few of these.

I notice Harbour Energy (LON:HBR) near the top of the list. I covered this oil and gas stock in a recent in-depth Stock Pitch. My view on this stock can probably best be described as mixed – but check out my piece for…

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