A rebound for investments in financial services will come a bit closer if Congress and the Bush administration get on the same track and implement a bailout plan.
Even with a government package, there is no way to tell when financial investments will finally turn the corner. But if and when they do, the pair of funds on the accompanying table would be worth keeping in mind.
They represent the best-rated open-end financial mutual fund and financial exchange traded fund tracked by TheStreet.com Ratings.
As befits the current shape of the financial industry, the highest-rated open-end financial mutual fund, the
Burnham Financial Industries Fund
, currently rates a grade of C-plus from TheStreet.com Ratings.
BURFX represents a diversified approach to the financial sector. That doesn't seem to be a bad idea, considering the hammering that the banks, brokers and mortgage-related industries have suffered. Besides commercial banking giants
, its top holdings include insurance giant
Metropolitan Life Insurance
, financial planning and services firm
and some S&L firms, mortgage organizations and smaller regional banking firms.
Top-rated financial ETF
PowerShares Dynamic Banking Portfolio
hasn't done that badly, considering that it passively tracks the Dynamic Banking Intellidex Index. In addition to JPMorgan Chase, its top holdings include
But given the abortive false starts experienced by financials after previous government rescue attempts, caution can't be stressed enough in approaching this sector. Whereas stocks typically recover months before the fundamentals of a group show any improvements, even with government help, there is no way to predict when things will turn upward for the financials. But when they do, the two funds in the nearby table should be kept in mind.
Richard Widows is a senior financial analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, Widows was senior product manager for quantitative analytics at Thomson Financial. After receiving an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University in California, his career included development of investment information systems at data firms, including the Lipper division of Reuters. His international experience includes assignments in the U.K. and East Asia.