A Fine Collection of Bargain Financials

Today I want to address one of my favorite sectors of the market, and the cheap-enough to buy stocks that can be found within it. I love the financial names, and I suspect I've made more money in this group than in any other. As a broker in the early-to-mid-1990s, something like 90% of my business was in trading bank and financial stocks for customers. I am a huge fan, not just of the banks, but all financials, including insurance companies and brokerage firms. For the most part, the stocks I'm going to talk about today are not part of my small-bank "trade of the decade portfolio." In my mind, that's a whole separate business and entity. Most of them are too small to talk about here anyway.

I will start with the insurance companies. Not too long ago, I mentioned Hartford Financial (HIG) as one of the cheapest stocks on the planet. In spite of some improvement in price, Hartford is still one of the cheapest stocks on the basis of price to tangible book value. The company is still in the process of transforming itself by selling its life-insurance operations and letting its annuity business go into run-off mode. This will allow the firm to focus on its core property-and-casualty business, as well as its wealth-management operations. The stock trades at just 50% of tangible book value -- well below not only its own historical average but also its peers in the industry....575 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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