It's been a tough year for shares of Ameriprise Financial (AMP). Dragged down by weakness across the financial sector, the firm's stock has shed approximately 20% so far this year.
If there's any silver lining in that statistic, it's the company's dividend payout: On Wednesday, management announced a 21.74% increase in its dividend. That brings Ameriprise's yield up to 2.46%.Ameriprise is a diversified financial services firm with its hand in everything from asset management to insurance to financial planning. The key to this stock is the fact that it carries reasonably limited risk for the sector -- insurance lines carry lower leverage than most peers, and the balance of the firm's revenues come from fee-based businesses. For investors looking for exposure to the financial sector without the excessive balance sheet risks of most options, Ameriprise offers a good alternative. In recent years, the company has been growing its asset management business, most notably with the acquisition of Columbia Management in 2009. With considerably less manager stickiness among investors, Ameriprise could benefit from good timing if it can set itself apart from rivals. Ameriprise shows up on a recent list of 5 Cash-Rich, Low-P/E Stocks.
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