James Thomson, manager of the Rathbone Global Opportunities fund, is, as Sir Bruce Forsyth used to say, “my favourite”.
A number of us in the office own this fund, either for ourselves or for our children.
Mr Thomson likes simple, scalable businesses with entrepreneurial and flexible management teams, and describes his strategy as being like good cooking: he has a ‘secret sauce’ philosophy where he identifies and focuses on ‘ingredients’, or qualities, that he likes to see in companies.
So let’s take a look at what he has in his Global Opportunities investment ‘hamper’ this Christmas.
The decorations seem to go up in November these days. And now we have Alexa, the digital personal assistant for the home, to turn them on and off for us.
Legrand, the electricians, is fiercely loyal and loves to standardise its favourite switches and sockets. According to Mr Thomson, the digitalisation of our homes and offices should drive the next wave of growth.
Then there’s what to buy as gifts. With a near-teenage son in the house, video games are all the rage.
Mr Thomson highlights Activison Inc, a standalone interactive entertainment company that develops, distributes and publishes entertainment for gaming consoles, PCs, mobile and tablet platforms.
The company's products include franchises like Call of Duty and Skylander.
He believes video gaming is experiencing a 'super cycle', with 1.6bn people playing regularly and 50 per cent of games now downloaded. People buy the game and also make in-app purchases.
Looking for a last minute gift?
Amazon is the go-to website, what with its premium services Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Now.
Mr Thomson thinks that, contrary to popular belief, the company is actually depressing earnings, as it is investing so much to keep growing.
More than 50 per cent of online sales over Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend were via Amazon, with the e-commerce giant attracting a total of 12.78m transactions over the two-day period.
Then there’s lunch to think about. Eating out?
Most meals eaten outside your home have been cooked by a Rational oven. It bakes, roasts, grills, steams, stews, blanches, poaches and replaces almost all traditional kitchen equipment.
There's a Rational oven in Buckingham Palace, the White House and in the majority of commercial kitchens worldwide.
Cooking at home? Open your kitchen cupboard and you'll see herbs, spices, and sauces, mostly made by McCormick. This is a reliable growth company that has the essential ingredients for success.
Known for its butter historically, Kerry Group is a food engineering and technology company coming up with new recipes and better ingredients for people's favourite meals.
As customers demand new, healthy, and tasty foods with less salt and sugar, Kerry Group has become a creator and guide.