) -- The financial sector has lagged the market considerably since the market perked up this fall. Since Sept. 1, the broader stock market is up about 12% even after recent declines, while the financial sector has tacked on about half that. The laggards do not just include massive banks like


(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report


Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

-- but also financial services companies including insurance companies and insurers.

Perhaps you've already trimmed some financial positions from your portfolio due to the recent weakness in the major banks -- but don't overlook some of the major insurance stocks that continue to suck wind like their retail banking brethren.

Here are six of my top offenders in the insurance industry, which you should cut from your portfolio ASAP if you own them:

Manulife Financial

(MFC) - Get Manulife Financial Corporation Report

Manulife Financial is a financial services company that works with customers in 22 countries. Since January, MFC stock has dropped 19.7%, compared with respective gains of 7.5% and 7.3% for the

S&P 500


Dow Jones

. Additionally, MFC has missed earnings estimates for the past two quarters and most recently reported a net profit margin of 19.9% in its last income statement. Currently trading at $14.73, MFC is trading well below its 52-week high of $20.79.

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China Life Insurance

(LFC) - Get China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. Sponsored ADR Class H Report

In addition to life insurance, China Life Insurance also provides accident insurance and health insurance for its customers. Despite rebounding slightly since September, LFC stock is still down 7.3% year-to-date. LFC is currently priced at $67.98, after having hit a 52-week high of $81 earlier in the year. With a high price tag and uninspired performance on the year, LFC is an overweight stock that should be avoided.



Aviva PLC is focused on the long-term insurance and savings business, as well as fund management and general insurance. AV stock has been stagnant in 2010, down 0.7% year-to-date, compared to gains by the broader markets. Since last November, the insurance stock has dropped 4.8%. While Aviva has regained slightly since September, this stock should be avoided based on its yearlong performance.


(ALL) - Get Allstate Corporation Report

Allstate is the holding company for Allstate Insurance Company, which is known for its wide range of insurance services. Since January, this stock is actually up slightly, at 0.5, thanks to a September rally. However, since the last week in October, ALL has slid nearly 8% to its current trading price of $30.18. Additionally, ALL missed its last earnings estimate by over 15%. While the stock looked like it was rebounding last month, it appears that Allstate should still be avoided.

Sun Life Financial

(SLF) - Get Sun Life Financial Inc. Report

Sun Life Financial offers a diverse range of life and health insurance, along with investment management, retirement and pension products. Year-to-date, SLF stock has dropped nearly 5%, compared with gains by the broader markets. Also, analysts have downgraded their expectations of SLF's earnings, projecting EPS of 65 cents after the company posted EPS of 79 cents last quarter. SLF stock currently trades at $28.75 with a 52-week range of $23.58 to $33.46.

Hartford Financial Services

(HIG) - Get Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (HIG) Report

Hartford Financial Services is an insurance and financial services company rounding out my list of top insurance stocks to sell. Since May, HIG stock has performed poorly, down 14.6%. As was the case with Sun Life, analysts are predicting EPS of just 88 cents a share despite a posted EPS of $1.43 last quarter. Trading at $24.40, HIG is far removed from its 52-week high of $30.46.

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At the time of writing, Louis Navellier did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.

One of Wall Street's renowned growth investors, Louis Navellier is the editor of four investing newsletters: Emerging Growth (formerly known as MPT Review), Blue Chip Growth, Quantum Growth and Global Growth. His longest-running publication, Emerging Growth, has a track record of beating the market nearly 3 to 1. Navellier is the author of a BusinessWeek bestseller, "The Little Book That Makes You Rich," and the chairman and founder of Navellier & Associates, Inc.