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The best ASX shares to buy now in 2024? (April update)

We found the 20 best ASX stocks worth adding to your watch list for the year ahead.

Important note

Unfortunately there's no one magic stock or ETF that's 'best' for everyone. Instead, you should look at your own individual needs and investment strategy to decide what stock is right for you. Further, nobody can say for certain which direction a share will go as past performance is no guarantee of future results. So keep in mind these are stock ideas only and should not be taken as personal financial advice.

Looking for the best ASX shares to buy for 2024? We've compiled a list of stocks using an algorithm that considers factors such as price performance, volatility levels and profit margins to find 20 stocks that might be worth watching over the year ahead.

Stock themes for 2024

Unless you have a crystal ball, it's impossible to say what the next 12 months will look like. But there are some big themes that are currently driving the market in 2024:

  • Inflation and central banks lifting rates. This is leading to recession fears
  • The financial landscape has significantly shifted following the collapses of major banks like Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse, events that had sparked widespread concern over potential banking contagions
  • 2024 could be the year that value investors outperform
  • Commodities continue to outperform

Stocks to watch in 2024

With all that in mind, it's not easy picking quality stocks. To help identify stock picks for 2024, we used Finder's proprietary algorithm to filter Australia-listed companies that have strong fundamentals. We take into account historical prices, dividends, revenue growth, (low) price volatility and profit margins, which might indicate a quality stock.

To avoid speculative stocks, we only include companies with a market cap of more than $1 billion. We filtered out stocks that have been listed on the ASX for less than 5 years to better compare historical data.

Again, this doesn't mean these are the best ASX stocks for you or your personal situation. Always do your own research and chat with a professional when in doubt.

The algorithm was last updated 1 April 2024.

How did we pick this list?

Our proprietary algorithm rates ASX-listed stocks based on price performance, profit, revenue and dividends. For more information about our methodology, head to our stock rating methodology page. The companies displayed on this page may not be the best for you and you're encouraged to do your own research. Investments can go up and down and we do not guarantee the performance or returns of any investment.

Carsales.Com Ltd (CAR.AU)

CAR Group Limited operates online automotive, motorcycle, and marine classifieds business in Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Chile, China, the United States, and Mexico. The company operates through Online Advertising Services; Data, Research and Services; Carsales Investments; North America; Latin America; and Asia segments.
  • Market cap: A$12.602 billion
  • YTD performance: 64.21%
  • 1-year performance: 44.95%
  • 5-year performance: 234.05%
  • P/E ratio: 35.5532
  • Headquarters: Australia

MFF Capital Investments Limited (MFF.ASX)

MFF Capital Investments Limited is a closed ended equity mutual fund launched and managed by Magellan Asset Management Limited. The fund invests in public equity markets across the globe.
  • Market cap: A$1.688 billion
  • YTD performance: A$1.688 billion
  • 1-year performance: 43.09%
  • 5-year performance: 70.76%
  • P/E ratio: 4.7273
  • Headquarters: Australia

Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd (NEU.AU)

Neuren Pharmaceuticals Limited, a biopharmaceutical company, develops drugs for the treatment of neurological disorders. Its lead product is trofinetide, which is in Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of Rett syndrome, as well as has completed Phase II clinical trial to treat Fragile X syndrome.
  • Market cap: A$2.536 billion
  • YTD performance: 1400.39%
  • 1-year performance: 90.9%
  • 5-year performance: 1847.48%
  • P/E ratio: 16.2583
  • Headquarters: Australia

Helia Group Limited (HLI.AU)

Helia Group Limited, together with its subsidiaries, is involved in the loan mortgage insurance business primarily in Australia. The company facilitates residential mortgage lending by transferring risk from lenders to lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) providers, primarily for high loan to value ratio residential mortgage loans; and portfolio of seasoned home loans.
  • Market cap: A$1.162 billion
  • YTD performance: 61.67%
  • 1-year performance: 25.57%
  • 5-year performance: 191.73%
  • P/E ratio: 4.6353
  • Headquarters: Australia

Netwealth Group (NWL.AU)

Netwealth Group Limited, a financial services company, engages in the wealth management business in Australia. It offers financial intermediation services; superannuation products; managed accounts; and managed funds, as well as investor directed portfolio services.
  • Market cap: A$4.796 billion
  • YTD performance: 22.81%
  • 1-year performance: 58.04%
  • 5-year performance: 277.3%
  • P/E ratio: 63.3871
  • Headquarters: Australia

Audinate Group Ltd (AD8.AU)

Audinate Group Limited develops and sells digital audio visual (AV) networking solutions in Australia and internationally. It provides Dante, a technology platform that distributes digital audio and video signals over computer networks to original equipment manufacturers.
  • Market cap: A$1.572 billion
  • YTD performance: 129%
  • 1-year performance: 114.39%
  • 5-year performance: 610.77%
  • P/E ratio: 94.55
  • Headquarters: Australia

Infratil (IFT.AU)

Infratil Limited is an infrastructure investment firm specializing in digital Infrastructure, renewables, and social infrastructure. They prefer to invest in renewable electricity, data centers, telecommunications networks healthcare, and airports.
  • Market cap: A$8.382 billion
  • YTD performance: 44.21%
  • 1-year performance: 18.74%
  • 5-year performance: 202.44%
  • P/E ratio: 25.1875
  • Headquarters: Australia

Pro Medicus Ltd (PME.AU)

Pro Medicus Limited engages in the development and supply of healthcare imaging software and services to hospitals, diagnostic imaging groups, and other related health entities in Australia, North America, and Europe. The company offers Visage radiology information systems (RIS), a proprietary medical software for practice management, training, installation, professional services, and after-sale support and service products; and, an e-health platform.
  • Market cap: A$10.652 billion
  • YTD performance: 189.85%
  • 1-year performance: 71.75%
  • 5-year performance: 584.67%
  • P/E ratio: 149.5224
  • Headquarters: Australia

Pinnacle Investment Management Group Limited (PNI.AU)

Pinnacle Investment Management Group Limited operates as an investment management company in Australia. The company offers third party distribution, and fund infrastructure and support services to its affiliates and various investment managers.
  • Market cap: A$2.217 billion
  • YTD performance: 48.56%
  • 1-year performance: 43.6%
  • 5-year performance: 312.65%
  • P/E ratio: 27.9744
  • Headquarters: Australia

Codan Ltd (CDA.AU)

Codan Limited develops technology solutions for United Nations organizations, mining companies, security and military groups, government departments, individuals, and small-scale miners. It operates through Communications and Metal Detection segments.
  • Market cap: A$1.933 billion
  • YTD performance: -4.73%
  • 1-year performance: 57.61%
  • 5-year performance: 240.9%
  • P/E ratio: 26
  • Headquarters: Australia

Ingenia Communities Group (INA.AU)

Ingenia Communities Group (ASX:INA) is a leading operator, owner and developer offering quality residential communities and holiday accommodation. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, the Group is included in the S&P/ASX 200.
  • Market cap: A$1.965 billion
  • YTD performance: -5.12%
  • 1-year performance: 31.79%
  • 5-year performance: 67.02%
  • P/E ratio: 26.7778
  • Headquarters: Australia

Emerald Resources NL (EMR.AU)

Emerald Resources NL engages in the exploration and development of mineral reserves in Cambodia and Australia. The company's exploration tenements include a combination of 100% owned granted licenses, applications, and earn-in and joint venture agreements covering a combined area of 1,239 square kilometers.
  • Market cap: A$2.261 billion
  • YTD performance: 328.58%
  • 1-year performance: 111.27%
  • 5-year performance: 12400.01%
  • P/E ratio: 25.7857
  • Headquarters: Australia

Rea Group (REA.AU)

REA Group Limited engages in online property advertising business in Australia, India, and internationally. It provides property and property-related services on websites and mobile applications.
  • Market cap: A$23.293 billion
  • YTD performance: 15.42%
  • 1-year performance: 33.45%
  • 5-year performance: 158.74%
  • P/E ratio: 82.77
  • Headquarters: Australia

Summerset (SNZ.AU)

Summerset Group Holdings Limited, together with its subsidiaries, develops, owns, and operates integrated retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia. The company provides rest home care, hospital care, memory care, and respite and short-term care services; and facilities and activities, as well as villas, cottages, townhouses, apartments, serviced apartments, and care centers.
  • Market cap: A$2.404 billion
  • YTD performance: -22.8%
  • 1-year performance: 28.24%
  • 5-year performance: 139.34%
  • P/E ratio: 5.9649
  • Headquarters: Australia

Azure Minerals Limited (AZS.AU)

Azure Minerals Limited engages in the exploration of precious and base minerals in Australia. The company primarily explores for nickel, cobalt, gold, and copper deposits.
  • Market cap: A$1.578 billion
  • YTD performance: 559.62%
  • 1-year performance: 827.03%
  • 5-year performance: 6760.01%
  • P/E ratio: N/A
  • Headquarters: Australia

Bellevue Gold Ltd (BGL.AU)

Bellevue Gold Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and evaluation of gold properties in Australia. It holds a 100% interest in the Bellevue gold project covering an area of approximately 2,700 km2 located to north-west of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
  • Market cap: A$2.243 billion
  • YTD performance: 70.09%
  • 1-year performance: 64.94%
  • 5-year performance: 524.6%
  • P/E ratio: N/A
  • Headquarters: Australia

Boss Resources Ltd (BOE.AU)

Boss Energy Limited explores for, develops, and produces uranium deposits in Australia. It holds a 100% interest in the Honeymoon uranium project covering an area of approximately 2,595 square kilometers located in South Australia.
  • Market cap: A$1.905 billion
  • YTD performance: 4559.8%
  • 1-year performance: 100%
  • 5-year performance: 13194.12%
  • P/E ratio: 22.5
  • Headquarters: Australia

HUB24 Limited (HUB.AU)

HUB24 Limited, a financial services company, provides integrated platform, technology, and data solutions to wealth industry in Australia. It operates in Platform and Tech Solutions segments.
  • Market cap: A$3.197 billion
  • YTD performance: 83.37%
  • 1-year performance: 62.24%
  • 5-year performance: 519.15%
  • P/E ratio: 74.2642
  • Headquarters: Australia

Paladin Energy Ltd (PDN.AU)

Paladin Energy Ltd develops, explores for, owns, and operates uranium mines in Australia, Canada, and Africa. The company operates through Exploration, Namibia, and Australia segments.
  • Market cap: A$4.567 billion
  • YTD performance: 5566.67%
  • 1-year performance: 2537.94%
  • 5-year performance: 40163.16%
  • P/E ratio: 54.6429
  • Headquarters: Australia

Red 5 Ltd (RED.AU)

Red 5 Limited engages in the exploration, production, and mining of gold deposits and mineral properties in the Philippines and Australia. The company holds interests in the Siana Gold project located in the Island of Mindanao, the Philippines; the King of the Hills Gold project located in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia; and the Darlot Gold mine situated in the north-east of Perth in Western Australia.
  • Market cap: A$1.49 billion
  • YTD performance: 65.39%
  • 1-year performance: 196.56%
  • 5-year performance: 309.53%
  • P/E ratio: 21.5
  • Headquarters: Australia

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How to pick stocks

There's no single winning strategy to filter "good stocks" because the most important consideration is your own circumstances. Besides, the best ASX stocks are those that perform well in the future. And if the last few years has taught us anything, markets can defy expectations.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do your homework. Whether you care more about short-term capital gains or long-term dividend growth, it's important to know whether a stock is performing well, making a profit, paying dividends or going backwards.

What are some stocks to watch?

Michael Gable

Michael Gable
Managing Director, Fairmont Equities

I will be focusing on resource stocks due to demand for commodities, supply constraints, and a falling US dollar. Gold should also do well, but investors need to remember that it is not a hedge or a long-term investment. You only hold it when the US dollar is falling. That should happen but don't fall in love with it, you need to trade it and remain nimble.

What's been happening in the market?

The past couple of years, notably 2023 and leading into 2024, have been marked as some of the most volatile periods in stock market history. This volatility was largely driven by persistent inflation, rising interest rates, and soaring commodity prices, significantly influenced by the geopolitical tensions and conflicts across different regions.

Interestingly, this period saw a unique trend where bad economic news, such as a slowdown in GDP or a rise in unemployment, was often viewed positively by investors as potential indicators of peaking inflation.

Reflecting on 2023, the narrative was dominated by inflation concerns and increasing interest rates.

Key attributes to consider in 2024

As we moved into 2024, these issues remained central to market dynamics, but signs of inflation possibly stabilising have emerged. This has led global central banks to stay alert, continually adjusting interest rates to manage the economy effectively.

During these times of uncertainty, certain sectors such as commodities, real estate, and industrials have traditionally been perceived as safe havens. Consequently, these sectors were notably dominant in the market throughout the past year.

The way investors responded to these market conditions varied significantly, heavily influenced by their individual investment strategies. Long-term investors, with ample time before needing to liquidate their shares, might have perceived this market environment as an opportunity to invest in undervalued stocks and ETFs, potentially ripe for improvement during such volatile times.

On the other hand, specific investor groups, including older Australians requiring immediate funds, active traders, and those with readily available cash reserves, might have monitored the market more closely.

This cautionary approach was often adopted by those seeking immediate returns or needing to manage their investment risks more actively in the face of ongoing market fluctuations.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involve substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances and obtain your own advice before making any trades.

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