×

Picking Winners as Consumers Downgrade Their Lifestyles

With the U.S. economy not out of the woods yet and the days of easy money and easy credit a thing of the past, the U.S. consumer is forced to trade down in this tough environment. Daphe Roth, equity research at ABN AMRO Private Banking, believes in picking stocks that benefit from the lifestyle changes made by U.S. consumers in the current recession.

“They have to rebuild their wealth so they have to save much more but they still want to maintain their lifestyle. They’re not going to compare themselves to the Joneses and the Smiths next door but they certainly will want to have the convenience and (to continue) travelling," explains Roth on CNBC Asia's "Protect Your Wealth".

That means the U.S. consumer will want to do what he is used to, except the more premium brands once enjoyed will have to give way to down-to-earth choices more aligned to his pocket.

“They still like to travel but maybe with low-cost carriers like Ryanair. And they'd still like to have their healthcare, they still like their generic drugs. Teva (Pharmaceutical Industries) is a good play on that. They’re not going to go for expensive labels so private labels such as Li & Fung, from the Asian side, should benefit," says Roth.

Roth also counts Nintendo among her basket of "no-nonsense" consumer stocks. That is because instead of going out, consumers are more inclined to stay home for quality time with the family and bond through a round of video console games.

Sector wise, Roth is overweight on tech stocks globally, especially those in Taiwan and South Korea.

“What we like is that since the dotcom bust, most of these companies have not leveraged themselves up, so a lot of these IT companies have a lot of cash," Roth says. "And Taiwanese stocks have, of course, seen a lot of downgrades last year. Recently in April, we’ve actually seen some upgrades so Taiwanese tech stocks are being upgraded by about 27 percent."

Roth also favors the Chinese equities, with banks such as ICBC, Bank of China, and the insurance sector's China Life among her "buy" list.

Comments? Questions? Send them in here.


Catch "Protect Your Wealth" on CNBC's Asia Pacific network every Tuesday on "CNBC's Cash Flow," Wednesday on "Asia Squawk Box" and Thursday on "Capital Connection."