This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

3 Funds Banking on Financial Stocks

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Financial stocks have been rallying. With banks reporting improving earnings, financial funds have gained 14.7% this year, outdoing the S&P 500 by 4 percentage points, according to Morningstar.

Some mutual fund portfolio managers argue that financial stocks can continue climbing. The managers have big stakes in banks, insurance companies and money managers.

Funds with sizable financial holdings include Davis New York Venture (NYVTX), Haverford Quality Growth Stock (HAVGX) and Snow Capital Opportunity (SNOAX).

The bullish mutual funds are in a distinct minority. Many portfolio managers remain wary of the sector, concerned that profits could be hurt by new regulations in the U.S. and the continuing crisis in Europe. But Nate Snyder, portfolio manager of Snow Capital Opportunity, argues that the fears are excessive.

"We have endured the worst financial crisis in 70 years," he says. "The next big crisis is not likely for another 70 years. From here on, everything should improve."

Snow Capital, a large value fund, has 36.7% of assets in financials, compared to 12.4% for the S&P 500. Snyder says that many financials are cheap, based on book value -- the measure of a company's assets minus liabilities. In the past, financials typically sold for more than their book values. But now Snyder says that many solid companies sell for substantially less than their book values.

"When a stock sells for less than book, it means that investors are worried about the earnings or they question whether the business is viable," he says.

Snyder is particularly keen on life insurers, including MetLife (MET), which has a price/book ratio of 0.63, and Prudential Financial (PRU), with a ratio of 0.76. He concedes that life insurers are depressed because of headwinds they face.

The problems stem from the fact that the insurers collect premiums and invest the cash in bonds. With interest rates low these days, bond income is skimpy. But Snyder says that both MetLife and Prudential have remained comfortably profitable despite the problems.

Haverford Quality Growth

18 Dividend Stocks That Will Outlive the Hype >>

True to its name, Haverford Quality Growth Stock only takes rock-solid blue chips that seem poised to deliver steady results for years. In the past, the fund often paid premium prices to buy champion companies. But now even the best financials sell for big discounts to the market, says portfolio manager Tim Hoyle.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs