10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014

The aftermath of the housing bubble will likely be debated for years to come. Many analysts say the realestate market is on a path to recovery, but some are waiting for the house of cards to collapse once again, when the Federal Reserve steps back from the table. One thing is certain: Some housing markets in the country are currently stronger than others.

A new housing gauge called the Zillow Market Health Index aims to illustrate the current health of a region’s housing market relative to other markets across the nation. The index combines 10 measures capturing home value movements, the time homes stay on the market, and the financial health of homeowners. It assigns a value for each region ranging from 0 to 10. For example, if a metro area has a value of 8 on the Market Health Index, the metro is healthier than 80% of all metro areas covered by Zillow in the United States.

10 B est Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ)

iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (the Fund) seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of publicly traded securities in the aggregate in the Japanese market, as measured by the MSCI Japan Index (the Index). The Index seeks to measure the performance of the Japanese equity market. The Index is a capitalization-weighted index that aims to capture 85% of the (publicly available) total market capitalization. Component companies are adjusted for available float and must meet objective criteria for inclusion in the Index. The Index is reviewed quarterly.

The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matthew McCall]

    iShares MSCI Japan ETF (NYSE: EWJ)

    The first country to open for the week after the news out of Ukraine hit the wires was Japan, and it was an ugly open. The major stock indices fell by over two percent before they were able to rebound and the Nikkei finished the first day of the week lower by 1.3 percent. The Japanese Yen was down 0.5 percent versus the U.S. Dollar, which is good news for Japanese exporters.

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    After closing at a recent high of 16,291 on Dec. 30, the Nikkei was down by about 14% through yesterday’s close. The iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ), the most popular Japan ETF, is down a more modest 9%, due in part to currency effects (the yen tends to rally during “risk off” market conditions).

10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior S.A. (BLX)

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A. provides trade financing to commercial banks, middle-market companies, and corporations primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean. The company operates in three segments: Commercial, Treasury, and Asset Management. The Commercial segment offers deposits and loans for foreign trade transactions. This segment also provides various products, services, and solutions relating to foreign trade, which include co-financing arrangements, underwriting of syndicated credit facilities, structured trade financing, asset-based financing in the form of factoring, vendor financing and leasing, and other fee-based services, such as electronic clearing services. The Treasury segment offers liquidity management and investment securities activities, including management of interest rate, liquidity, price, and currency risks. The Asset Management segment provides asset management services, including investment advisory services for funds and managed accounts. This division is involved in trading foreign exchange, interest rate swaps, and derivative products. The company was formerly known as Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. and changed its name to Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A. in June 2009. Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A. was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Panama City, the Republic of Panama.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (NYSE: BLX  ) , better and more conveniently known as Bladex, is maintaining its dividend policy. The lender has declared a payout of $0.30 per share of its stock for its Q1, to be paid on May 7 to shareholders of record as of April 29. This amount matches the company’s previous disbursement, which has been paid in both of the preceding two quarters. Before that, Bladex dispensed $0.25 per share.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Panama-based supranational bank Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior  (NYSE: BLX  ) announced yesterday its second-quarter dividend of $0.30 per share, the same rate it’s paid for the past three quarters after raising the payout 20% from $0.25 per share.

10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: Cornerstone Total Return Fund Inc (CRF)

Cornerstone Total Return Fund, Inc. (the Fund) is a closed-end, diversified management investment company. Its investment objective is to seek capital appreciation with current income as a secondary objective. The Fund may invest without limitation in other closed-end investment companies and ETFs, provided that the Fund limits its investment in securities issued by other investment companies so that not more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of any one investment company will be owned by the Fund. It invests in sectors, such as information technology, industrial, financials, healthcare, energy, consumer discretionary and consumer staples. The Fund is managed by Cornerstone Advisors, Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    According to a Gabelli Funds report, managed distribution policies offer several advantages, including:1. Lower difference between the fund’s market price and its NAV per share.2. Provides support during periods when the stock market is in a decline.3. Provides a measurable performance target for the investment adviser.Below are several high-yield funds from CEFA that have a managed distribution policy (yields as of December 16):Aberdeen Australia Eqty (IAF)- Distribution Yield: 10.4%- Income Yield: 346%Bexil Advisers LLC  (DNI)- Distribution Yield: 11.1%- Income Yield: 3.56%BlackRock En Capital&Inc (CII)- Distribution Yield: 8.78%- Income Yield: 2.34%Cornerstone Strat Value (CLM)- Distribution Yield: 18.77%- Income Yield: 1.83%Cornerstone Total Return (CRF)- Distribution Yield: 19.10%- Income Yield: 0.85%Delaware Inv Div & Inc (DDF)- Distribution Yield: 6.70%- Income Yield: 5.26%Gabelli Equity Trust (GAB)- Distribution Yield: 7.58%- Income Yield: 1.54%Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT)- Distribution Yield: 9.45%- Income Yield: 2.84%MFS Special Value Trust (MFV)- Distribution Yield: 9.60%- Income Yield: 5.73%Nuveen Tx-Adv TR Strat (JTA)- Distribution Yield: 6.70%- Income Yield: 3.12%TCW Strategic Income (TSI)- Distribution Yield: 10.54%- Income Yield: 7.88%Zweig Total Return (ZTR)- Distribution Yield: 7.27%- Income Yield: 1.95%As noted in the Gabelli report, a managed distribution policy may create confusion regarding the true current yield since the reported yield includes the return of capital portion. You can see the disparity above between the income yield and the distribution (reported) yield.If you are looking for a sustainable and growing dividend, you may want to consider some blue-chip dividend stocks such as these with a Free Cash Flow Payout less than 50%, 50+ years of consecutive dividend increases and a 2%+ yield:3M Co. (MMM) is a diversified global company provides enhanced product functionality in electronics, health care, industrial, consumer

10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: Nuveen Senior Income Fund (NSL)

Nuveen Senior Income Fund is a close ended fixed income mutual fund launched by Nuveen Investments, Inc. It is co-managed by Nuveen Asset Management and Symphony Asset Management LLC. The fund invests in fixed income markets of the United States. It primarily invests in adjustable rate senior secured loans. Nuveen Senior Income Fund was formed on October 26, 1999 and is domiciled in the United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Dowdee]

    The following 10 funds satisfied all of these conditions:

    BlackRock Float Rate Strategies (FRA). This CEF sells at a discount of 3%, which is low compared to an average premium of 2% over the past year. The distribution has been managed at 6.1% and a small amount (less than 10%) has been return of capital (ROC). However, this has not negatively affected net asset value (NAV) so has not been destructive. The fund holds 447 securities, with 90% in floating rate loans. FRA utilizes 27% leverage and has an expense ratio of 1.7%, including interest payments. Eaton Vance Floating Rate (EFR). This CEF sells at a 1% premium, which is low compared to an average premium of 5% over the past year. The distribution is 6.2%, none of which was ROC. The fund holds 800 securities, with 90% in floating rate loans. About 85% of the securities are from U.S. companies. EFR utilizes 35% leverage and has an expense ratio of 1.8% including interest payments. ING Prime Rate Tr ust (PPR). This CEF sells for a premium of 2%, which is below the average premium of 5%. It has a distribution of 6.8%, none of which was ROC. The fund has 350 holdings, virtually all in senior loans and from US companies. PPR utilizes 29% leverage and has a high expense ratio of 2.1%, including interest payments. Invesco VK Dynamic Credit Opportunities (VTA). This CEF sells for a discount of 5%, which is below the average discount of 1%. It has a distribution of 7.1%, none of which was ROC. The fund has 495 holdings, with 76% in floating rate loans. About 25% of the loans are from non-US companies. VTA utilizes a relatively low 20% leverage but still has a high expense ratio of 2.1%, including interest payments. Invesco VK Senior Income (VVR). This CEF sells for a discount of 1%, which is below the average premium of 3%. It has a distribution of 7.1%, none of which was ROC. The fund has over 500 holdings, with 89% in floating rate loans. Almost all (95%) securities are from US companies. VVR ut

10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: Unione di Banche Italiane ScpA (BPD)

Unione di Banche Italiane Scpa is an Italy-based holding company engaged in the governance, control, coordination and support of Unione di Banche Italiane Group. The Company’s activities are divided into three business segments. The Banking sector comprises of nine network banks of the Group, including IW Bank SpA, Banque de Depots et de Gestione SA and UBI International SA. The Non-banking financial sector includes Centrobanca SpA, Ubi Leasing SpA, Ubi Factor SpA, Ubi Pramerica SGR SpA, Banca 24-7 SpA, Silf SpA, Prestitalia SpA, Ubi Fiduciaria SpA and UBI Gestioni Fiduciarie SIM SpA. The Corporate Centre segment comprises UBI Banca Scpa and Ubi Sistemi e Servizi Scpa, among others. The Company is engaged in the corporate banking, consumer credit, asset management, factoring, leasing, life and non-life bancassurance sectors, among others. On May 6, 2013, it completed merger of Centrobanca Banca di Credito Finanziario e Mobiliare SpA into the Company. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By April Yee]

    In its annual outlook, released this month, Opec said demand for its crude would dip to between 28 million and 29.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2018, from 30.3 million bpd today.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    US oil production has risen from 5 million barrels per day (BPD) in 2008 to 7.3 million BPD in the most recent quarter. The US is now the fastest-growing oil producing region in the world.

10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: 1st Constitution Bancorp(NJ)

1st Constitution Bancorp operates as a bank holding company for 1st Constitution Bank that provides community banking services to corporations, individuals, partnerships, and other community organizations in the central and northeastern New Jersey area. It offers various deposit products, including noninterest bearing demand deposits, interest bearing demand deposits, savings deposits, and time deposits, as well as certificates of deposit, and money market and NOW accounts. The company also provides a range of loan products comprising commercial loans for working capital, business expansion, and the purchase of equipment and machinery; construction loans to real estate developers for the acquisition, development and construction of residential subdivisions; residential consumer loans; term loans; lines of credit; loans secured by equipment and receivables; second mortgage home improvement loans; home equity lines of credit; and non-residential consumer loans for automobile s, recreation vehicles, and boats, as well as secured and unsecured personal loans, and deposit account secured loans. It provides its services through a network of 14 branches. The company was founded in 1989 and is based in Cranbury, New Jersey.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mark Skousen]

    And that brings me to Nidec (NJ). Based in Kyoto, Japan, Nidec manufactures small- to mid-size motors, fan motors, and pivot assemblies used in dozens of IT products, as well as home appliances, automobiles, office equipment, and industrial machinery.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Nidec (NYSE: NJ) shares climbed 2.75% to $20.17. The volume of Nidec shares traded was 506% higher than normal. Nidec’s trailing-twelve-month revenue is $9.42 billion.

10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: Community Trust Bancorp Inc.(CTBI)

Community Trust Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Community Trust Bank, Inc. that provides various banking products and services. It accepts various deposit product that include checking accounts, regular and term savings accounts and savings certificates, commercial demand deposit accounts, individual retirement accounts and Keogh plans, non interest bearing deposits, NOW accounts, money market deposits, savings accounts, and certificates of deposit and other time deposits. The company?s loan portfolio comprises residential and commercial real estate loans; commercial loans; commercial, construction, mortgage, and personal loans; and lease-financing, lines of credit, revolving lines of credit, term loans, and other specialized loans, including asset-based financing. It also provides full service securities brokerage services; annuity and life insurance products; trust services; debit cards; cash management services to corporate and individual customers; l etters of credit; safe deposit boxes; and funds transfer services. In addition, the company acts as a trustee of personal trusts, an executor of estates, trustee for employee benefit trusts, registrar, transfer agent, paying agent for bond and stock issues; and depositor for securities, as well as provides full service brokerage services. Community Trust operates 80 banking locations in eastern, northeastern, central, and south central Kentucky; southern West Virginia; and northeastern Tennessee, as well as 5 trust offices across Kentucky. The company was founded in 1903 and is headquartered in Pikeville, Kentucky.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. Avg. High Yield Price
    2. 20-Year DCF Price
    3. Avg. P/E Price
    4. Graham Number

    GWW is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. The stock is trading at a 10.0% premium to its calculated fair value of $219.95. GWW did not earn any Stars in this section.

    Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. Free Cash Flow Payout
    2. Debt To Total Capital
    3. Key Metrics
    4. Dividend Growth Rate
    5. Years of Div. Growth
    6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%

    GWW earned three Stars in this section for 1.), 2.) and 3.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. GWW earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured.

    Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% means that dividends grew on average in excess of 15% for each consecutive 4 year period over the last 10 years (2003-2006, 2004-2007, 2005-2008, etc.) I consider this a key metric since dividends will double every 5 years if they grow by 15%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1965 and has increased its dividend payments for 42 consecutive years.

    Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. Avg. High Yield Price
    2. 20-Year DCF Price
    3. Avg. P/E Price
    4. Graham Number

    HRL is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. The stock is trading at a 27.6% premium to its calculated fair value of $35.92. HRL did not earn any Stars in this section.

    Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. Free Cash Flow Payout
    2. Debt To Total Capital
    3. Key Metrics
    4. Dividend Growth Rate
    5. Years of Div. Growth
    6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%

    HRL earned one Star in this section for 2.) above. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1928 and has increased its dividend payments for 48 consecutive years.

    Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. NPV MMA Diff.
    2. Years to > MMA

    HRL earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $984. This amount is in excess of the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as HRL has. If HRL grows its dividend at 13.2% per year, it will take 7 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%.

    Memberships and Peers: HRL is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achiever

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. Avg. High Yield Price
    2. 20-Year DCF Price
    3. Avg. P/E Price
    4. Graham Number

    NUE is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. The stock is trading at a 85.8% premium to its calculated fair value of $28.51. NUE did not earn any Stars in this section.

    Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. Free Cash Flow Payout
    2. Debt To Total Capital
    3. Key Metrics
    4. Dividend Growth Rate
    5. Years of Div. Growth
    6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%

    NUE earned one Star in this section for 2.) above. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1973 and has increased its dividend payments for 40 consecutive years.

    Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. NPV MMA Diff.
    2. Years to > MMA

    The negative NPV MMA Diff. means that on a NPV basis the dividend earnings from an investment in NUE would be less than a similar amount invested in MMA earning a 20-year average rate of 3.68%. If NUE grows its dividend at 0.7% per year, it will never equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%.

    Memberships and Peers: NUE is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of Community Trust Bank Corp. (CTBI). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:

    Company Description: Community Trust Bank Corp. owns and operates Community Trust Bank, Inc. of Pikeville, KY, which provides commercial banking services in Kentucky and West Virginia; and a trust company.

10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: Ishares Trust Russell 1000 (IWF)

iShares Russell 1000 Growth Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the large-capitalization growth sector of the United States equity market, as represented by the Russell 1000 Growth Index (the Growth Index). The Growth Index is a subset of the Russell 1000 Index. The Index is capitalization weighted, and consists of those companies, or portion of a company, with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth within the Russell 1000 Index. The Growth Index represents approximately 49% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 1000 Index.

The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Growth Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Growth Index. iShares Russell 1000 Growth Index Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James Brumley]

    It’s been especially untrue the last few years. Since this point in the year back in 2003, the iShares Russell 1000 Growth Fund (IWF) has advanced 81%, while the iShares Russell 1000 Value Fund (IWD) has only advanced 67%.

10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: Investment Technology Group Inc (ITG)

Investment Technology Group, Inc. (ITG), incorporated on March 10, 1994, is an independent execution and research broker that partners with global portfolio managers and traders to provide data-driven insights throughout the investment process. It operates in three segments: United States Operations, Canadian Operations, European Operations and Asia Pacific Operations. The United States Operations segment provides electronic and trade execution, trade order and execution management, network connectivity, analytical products and investment research services. The Canadian and Asia Pacific Operations segments provide electronic and high-touch trade execution, trade execution management, network connectivity, analytical products and investment research services. The European Operations segment provides electronic and high-touch trade execution, trade order and execution management, network connectivity and analytical products and includes a technology research and development facility in Israel.

ITG offers a range of solutions for asset managers in the areas of electronic brokerage, research sales and trading, trading platforms and analytics. These offerings include trade execution services and solutions for portfolio management, as well as investment research, pre-trade analytics and post-trade analytics and processing. Its principal subsidiaries include: ITG Inc., AlterNet Securities, Inc., ITG Derivatives LLC, Investment Technology Group Limited, ITG Australia Limited, ITG Canada Corp., ITG Hong Kong Limited, ITG Software Solutions, Inc. and ITG Solutions Network, Inc.

Electronic Brokerage

ITG electronic brokerage services include self-directed trading using algorithms, smart routing and matching through POSIT in cash equities (including single stocks and portfolio lists), futures and options. ITG Algorithms and ITG Smart Router offer portfolio managers and traders a way to trade orders quickly, from any ITG Execution Management System (EMS) or ITG Order Managemen! t System (OMS) and third-party trading platforms. ITG Algorithms help users pursue execution through two suites: ITG Single Stock Algorithms and ITG List-Based Algorithms. ITG Smart Router offers an alternative to routing trades that can help capture liquidity with a combination of speed and confidentiality. These routers continuously scan markets for liquidity with an emphasis on trading without displaying the order.

POSIT Alert is a buyside-only block crossing mechanism within POSIT. POSIT Alert scans uncommitted shares from participating clients. When a crossing opportunity is detected, POSIT Alert notifies the relevant users that a matching opportunity exists. POSIT Marketplace provides access to POSIT liquidity, the dark pools of other ATSs, and certain exchange hidden order types. POSIT Marketplace is a dark pool aggregator that provides clients with access to a range of liquidity destinations. POSIT Marketplace uses advanced quantitative techniques in an effort to protect clients from gaming and to interact with quality liquidity. ITG Derivatives provides electronic-listed futures and options trading, including algorithmic trading and direct market access. ITG offers options features for traders employing volatility or delta-neutral strategies and also provides low-latency application programming interfaces.

ITG offers guidance, administration, and consolidation of client commission arrangements across the range of preferred brokerage and research providers of its clients using ITG Commission Manager, a robust, multi-asset Web-based commission management portal. Through stock borrow and stock loan transactions, ITG facilitates shortened or extended settlement periods to help clients meet their internal cash flow needs.

Research Sales & Trading

ITG provides unbiased, data-driven equity research through its ITG Investment Research subsidiary. This offering has expanded ITG’s client relat ionships beyond the trading desk to chief investment officer! s, portfo! lio managers and analysts. ITG Market Research offers market research capabilities to corporate clients within the healthcare and telecom industries. The healthcare market research practice combines survey results with empirical data to deliver syndicated and custom reporting capabilities. ITG provides high-touch sales trading and portfolio trading for institutional clients. ITG’s high-touch trading desk is staffed with experienced trading professionals who provide ITG clients with execution expertise and also convey trading ideas based on ITG Investment Research.

Trading Platforms

ITG EMSs are designed to meet the needs of disparate trading styles. Triton Derivatives is a broker-neutral direct access EMS that provides traders with access to scalable, low-latency, multi-asset trading opportunities. ITG OMS combines portfolio management, compliance functionality (ITG Compliance Monitoring System), trading and post-trade processing (ITG Trade Operat ions Outsourcing), and a fully integrated and supported financial services communications network (ITG Net) with a consolidated, outsourced service for global trade matching and settlement (ITG Trade Operations Outsourcing) that provides connectivity to the industry’s post-trade utilities, support for multiple, flexible settlement communications methods and a real-time process monitor. ITG Net is a global financial communications network that provides secure, reliable and fully supported connectivity between buy-side and sell-side firms for order routing and indication-of-interest messages from ITG and third-party trading platforms.

ITG’s commitment to execution platforms also extends to broker-neutral operational services to help ensure that trades clear and settle efficiently, and to significantly lower the transaction costs associated with trade tickets. The ITG Smart Trading Analytics suite enables portfolio managers and traders to improve execution performa nce before the trade happens (pre-trade) and during trading ! (real-tim! e) by providing reliable portfolio analytics and risk models that help them perform predictive analyses, manage risk, change strategy and reduce trading costs. ITG Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA) offers measurement and reporting capabilities to analyze performance across the trading continuum. ITG Alpha Capture Reporting measures cost at every point of the investment process and provides portfolio managers with quarterly analytical reviews, written interpretations and on-site consultative recommendations to enhance performance.

ITG provides tools to assist asset managers with portfolio decision-making tasks from portfolio construction and optimization to the enterprise challenges of global, real-time portfolio compliance monitoring and the fair valuation of securities. ITG Portfolio Fair Value Service helps mutual fund managers meet their obligations to investors and regulators to fairly price the securities within their funds, and helps minimize the impact of m arket timing. ITG Portfolio Optimization System allows portfolio managers to develop new portfolio construction strategies and solve complex optimization problems. ITG Portfolio Optimization System allows users to accurately model tax liability, transaction costs and long/short objectives, while adhering to diverse portfolio-specific constraints.

Non-U.S. Operations

ITG has a development center in Tel Aviv. In Asia Pacific, ITG has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Singapore. Local representation in regional markets provides an important advantage for ITG. ITG also provides electronic and high-touch trading for Latin American equities, including algorithms for Brazil and Mexico, from its New York headquarters.

Canadian Operations

ITG Canada provides electronic brokerage services, including ITG Algorithms, ITG Smart Router and the POSIT suite, as well as high-touch agency execution and portfolio trading services. In addition, ITG Canada provides Triton, Triton Derivatives! , connect! ivity services, ITG Single Ticket Clearing, ITG Portfolio Optimization System, ITG Smart Trading Analytics, ITG TCA and investment research services. ITG Canada also engages in principal trading activities. ITG Canada’s customers primarily consist of asset and investment managers, broker-dealers and hedge funds.

European Operations

ITG Europe focuses on trading European, Middle Eastern and African equities, as well as providing ITG’s technologies to its clients. ITG Europe provides electronic brokerage services, including ITG Algorithms, ITG Smart Router, and the POSIT suite, as well as high-touch agency execution and portfolio trading services. ITG Europe also provides ITG OMS, Triton, connectivity services, ITG Single Ticket Clearing, ITG TCA, ITG Alpha Capture Reporting and ITG Smart Trading Analytics.

Asia Pacific Operations

ITG provides institutional investors with a range of ITG’s products and services including tra de execution, trade execution management through Triton, connectivity services and pre-and post-trade analysis through ITG TCA and ITG Smart Trading Analytics. Execution services are provided through electronic brokerage products such as ITG Algorithms and the POSIT suite and through an experienced high-touch agency trading services team. Other trading tools provided by ITG Hong Kong include Triton, connectivity services, ITG TCA and ITG Smart Trading Analytics. ITG Singapore provides institutional investors in Singapore with a range of ITG’s products and services including electronic and high-touch execution services, trade execution management through Triton and trading analysis through ITG TCA and ITG Smart Trading Analytics.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Investment Technology Group Inc. (NYSE: ITG) was downgraded to Market Perform from outperform by Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

    Liquidity Services Inc. (NASDAQ: LQDT) was raised to Buy from Underperform, and the price target was raised up to $45 from $28.50, at Merrill Lynch.

10 Best Financial Stocks To Own For 2014: Fortegra Financial Corporation (FRF)

Fortegra Financial Corporation, an insurance services company, provides distribution and administration services primarily in the United States. The company’s Payment Protection segment delivers credit insurance, debt protection, warranty and service contracts, and motor club solutions under the Life of the South, Continental Car Club, United Motor Club, and Auto Knight Motor Club brand names to consumer finance companies, regional banks, community banks, retailers, small loan companies, warranty administrators, automobile dealers, vacation ownership developers, and credit unions. This segment specializes in providing products that protect consumer lenders and their borrowers from death, disability, or other events that could impair their borrowers’ ability to repay a debt. Fortegra Financial Corporation’s Business Process Outsourcing segment offers various administrative services under the Consecta and Pacific Benefits Group Northwest, LLC brand names to insurance and o ther financial services companies. This segment’s services include sales and marketing, electronic underwriting, premium billing and collections, policy administration, claims adjudication, and call center management services. The company’s Brokerage segment sells specialty property and casualty, and surplus lines insurance to retail insurance brokers and agents, and insurance companies under the Bliss & Glennon, eReinsure.com, Inc., and South Bay Acceptance Corporation brand names. This segment also provides its clients the ability to obtain various types of commercial insurance coverage outside of their core areas of focus. In addition, it offers insurance underwriting services as a managing general agent for specialized insurance carriers. The company was formerly known as Life of the South Corporation and changed its name to Fortegra Financial Corporation in 2008. The company was incorporated in 1981 and is based in Jacksonville, Florida.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Hilary Kramer]

    I am a big fan of financials, which is why I named Fortegra Financial (FRF) as the best stock of 2014. Fortegra isn’t your traditional bank or financial company, but it has great potential.