Instead of Running Around Like a Crazed Chicken

I've continued spending a lot of time thinking about the small bank trade this week amid still-strong improvements in balance sheets and bottom lines in the space. What we are not seeing is a truly strong rise in the valuation -- these stocks are still fixed at roughly 80% of tangible book value, on average, and in my view this creates an enormous opportunity in regional and community banks. I have been trolling around the Internet the past few days, looking for articles and commentary on the group that either reinforce or deflate my opinion thereof. It has been an interesting experience.

This morning I ran across the most recent commentary from the managers of the John Hancock Regional Bank Fund (FRBCX). Back in the 1990s, this was my favorite mutual fund for small investors who wanted to participate in the opportunities created by the savings-and-loan crisis. The fund has struggled with the collapse of the sector for the past decade, but it now improving dramatically as banks have been restored to profitability and viability in the past year. I am not much of a mutual fund guy these days, but if I had access to this fund in my 401k program, I would not hesitate to put some money in regional banks via a fund....450 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

Read the full story and get access to the Real Money Pro trading floor.

There’s no substitute for a trading floor to get great ideas, so Jim Cramer created a better one at Real Money and blogs there exclusively. We then added legendary hedge fund manager, Doug Kass, with his exclusive Daily Diary and best investing ideas. Staffed with more than 4 dozen investing pros, money managers, journalists and analysts, Real Money Pro gives you a flood of opinions, analysis and actionable trading advice found nowhere else, and allows you to interact directly with each expert.

Already a Subscriber? Please login.

Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.