BRK.B). Even if TARP is not the taxpayer burden the government once estimated that it would be -- as much as $341 billion -- it's probably safe to say that the government won't be going for its series 7 license. One doesn't need to make the philosophical case that the government has no place managing public stock investments to come to this conclusion. Just look at all the insurance stocks that over the past two years actually posted some decent performance. Geithner & Co. couldn't even put together a decent basket of underperforming insurance stocks set to rally, but had to pick from the bottom of the barrel. The KBW Insurance Index (pictured above) is up just under 50% since the beginning of November 2008. November 2008 was the month when the government announced its restructured TARP bailout package for AIG. Of course, it's important to remember that AIG's five year performance is much worse than its two-year story. AIG shares had already been tanking by the time November rolled around, and Lehman was already history. Yet for TARP historical purposes, and as TARP and the restructured AIG bailout hit the two-year anniversary, what follows is a look at the insurance stocks that didn't just manage to survive, but outperformed their sector, and all without the helping hand of brokerage firm Uncle Sam LLC. There are eight insurance stocks in the KBW Insurance Index that outperformed the median return of 48.6% over the past two years, since AIG and its toxic debt cohorts took down the entire financial sector. Read on to read about the real insurance outperformers, ranked from the least outperformance to the best of the non-TARP-backed bunch.
Meanwhile, just because these eight insurance stocks may have made more quick money as undervalued insurance plays for TARP over the past two years, and the trio of Assurant, Ameriprise and Prudential even managed positive gains over the 5-year time horizon, there are a few KBW Insurance Index members that managed to do even worse than AIG since the historic events of the Fall 2008.
Read on for the real dogs of insurance sector who didn't see a dime from Uncle Sam....