NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Take the money and run" is a concept that has gained currency in popular culture.There's the famous Woody Allen movie, no less than seven books bearing the title and the Steve Miller Band 1970s hit, all with the same name. It's darn good advice, especially as investors face the dawning of the fourth quarter. Remember, year over year the S&P 500 has now risen nearly 20% in the past 12 months, and is up over 11% year to date. At the beginning of 2012,
What to do? Well, as mentioned, your circumstances permitting, take the money and run. At the very least, review your portfolio. Your security holdings should be of quality, size and have revenue growth. Avoid areas where revenue growth is tepid or even declining. Let's take a look at financial shares as the ultimate example. Financials have led the markets so far this year, with the SPDR Financial ETF ( XLF) gaining more than 20% this year. Investors have been focusing on the fact that financials had the highest earnings growth rate of the 10 Standard & Poor's sectors, increasing EPS by 62% in the past year. But revenue have only grown by 2.2% of the same period. Moreover, if you exclude Bank of America ( BAC), the EPS growth rate for financials drops to +11.7%, and brings the overall EPS growth rate to the S&P 500 to a meager 1.5% from its current trailing growth rate of 6.5%. Investors need to focus on names that have strong balance sheets, pay a "healthy" dividend and have a fundamentally strong business that will continue to grow revenue. My list of companies that fit these criteria is below.
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.