Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014

LONDON — Shares in British life insurance leviathan Standard Life  (LSE: SL  )  have ticked steadily higher in recent months, clocking up an 8% gain in the year to date and striking record peaks of 383 pence in the process.

The company has experienced erratic earnings performance over the past five years, and is expected to record heavy double-digit negative growth in the current 12-month period. Although the company offers a dividend yield well ahead of the U.K.’s 100 largest-quoted stocks, and earnings are expected to pick up again in 2014, I reckon that Standard Life looks overpriced at current levels.

But please bear with me, as I believe that there are other fantastic opportunities with which to electrify the investment income from your stocks portfolio, which I’ll discuss further in a minute.

An pricey pick at current levels
City analysts expect earnings per share to crash 21% lower in 2013, to 24 pence, before recovering 11% next year to 26 pence.

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014: Colony Financial Inc (CLNY)

Colony Financial, Inc. is a real estate investment and finance company. The Company primarily acquires, originates and manages a diversified portfolio of real estate-related debt instruments. The Company focuses on acquiring, originating and managing commercial mortgage loans, which may be performing, sub-performing or non-performing loans (including loan-to-own strategies), and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. The Company is managed by Colony Financial Manager, LLC (the Manager) and an affiliate of the Company.

The Company also may acquire other real estate and real estate-related debt assets. The Company collectively refers to commercial mortgage loans, other commercial real estate-related debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), real estate owned (REO), properties and other real estate and real estate-related assets as its target assets.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    For Wall Street types, single-family foreclosures can be bought cheaply and in bulk, then fixed up and rented. Companies like the Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX  ) and Colony Financial (NYSE: CLNY  ) have been very active in this market, with the former purchasing 16,000 homes just last year, and the latter ramping up its own portfolio to approximately 7,000. This new industry has also spawned fresh entrants from the REIT field, Silver Bay Realty (NYSE: SBY  ) and Altisource Residential, (NYSE: RESI  ) two trusts that were spun off earlier this year from parent companies Two Harbors Investment (NYSE: TWO  ) and Altisource Portfolio Solutions (NASDAQ: ASPS  ) , specifically to take advantage of the boom in the foreclosure-to-rental market.

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    The investment-to-REIT model is alive and well
    Before the very end of last year, those involved in the single-family purchase and rental business were largely private equity groups like the Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX  ) , Colony Financial (NYSE: CLNY  ) , and Oaktree Capital (NYSE: OAK  ) , which bought up distressed properties by the truckload.

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    Is it risky to be putting so much money into an as-yet unproven business model? Some may think so, including investors. Noting the tumble in stock price that newbies like Silver Bay and American Residential have suffered recently, Colony Capital (NYSE: CLNY  ) chief Thomas Barrack postponed the IPO of his new single-family rental company, Colony American Homes. Similarly, Public Storage (NYSE: PSA  ) has filed for an IPO, too, hoping to take its American Homes 4 Rent unit public — at some unannounced, future date. In the meantime, American Homes can rely on its $500 million credit facility with Wells Fargo, which may be bumped up to $1 billion if necessary.

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014: The First of Long Island Corporation(FLIC)

The First of Long Island Corporation operates as a bank holding company for The First National Bank of Long Island that provides various financial services. It offers various deposit products, including checking, money market, savings, escrow service and interest on lawyer, time deposit, NOW, rent security, holiday club, and individual retirement accounts. The company?s loan portfolio consists of commercial and industrial loans; residential and commercial mortgage loans; home equity loans and lines; multifamily loans; construction loans; consumer loans, such as auto and home improvement loans, personal loans, overdraft checking lines, and credit cards; commercial loans, which include short-term business loans, term and installment loans, revolving credit term loans, and loans secured by marketable securities, general business assets, deposits, and surrender value of life insurance policies; and commercial and standby letters of credit. In addition, it provides account rec onciliation, ATM banking, bank by mail, bill payment, cash management, collection, drive-through banking, personal money orders, Internet and telephone banking, merchant credit card depository, lock box, night depository, payroll, remote deposit, securities transactions, signature guarantee, trust and investment management, wire transfers and foreign cables, and withholding tax depository services, as well as offers controlled disbursement accounts, travelers and counter checks, mutual funds, annuities, life insurance and securities, safe deposit boxes, and the U.S. savings bonds. Further, the company provides pension trust, personal trust, estate, and custody services; and insurance agency services, as well as owns a real estate investment trust. It offers its services to privately owned businesses, professionals, consumers, public bodies, and other organizations through its 34 branches primarily in Long Island and Manhattan. The company was founded in 1927 and is based in Glen Head, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    The First of Long Island Corporation (FLIC) operates as a bank holding company for The First National Bank of Long Island that provides financial services. Sept. 19, the company increased its quarterly dividend 4% to $0.26 per share. The dividend is payable Oct. 11, 2013 to shareholders of record on October 3, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.7%.

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014: China Life Insurance Company Limited(LFC)

China Life Insurance Company Limited provides life, annuities, accident, and health insurance products in China. Its individual life insurance and annuity products consist of whole life and term life insurance, endowment insurance, and annuities. The company also engages in the writing of life insurance business. In addition, it offers group life insurance products, including group annuity products, and group whole life and term life insurance products to enterprises and institutions, as well as universal life products. Further, the company provides short-term insurance products comprising short-term accident insurance and short-term health insurance products; accident insurance products, such as individual accident insurance and group accident insurance; and health insurance products, including defined health benefit plans, medical expense reimbursement plans, and disease specific plans. It distributes its products through its direct sales representatives and exclusive ag ents, as well as through intermediaries comprising insurance agencies and insurance brokerage companies, non-dedicated agencies, bancassurance arrangements, travel agencies, and hotels and airline sales counters. The company was founded in 1949 and is based in Beijing, China. China Life Insurance Company Limited is a subsidiary of China Life Insurance (Group) Company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    That 40% gain in net income is likely to be among the lower increases reported by China’s insurance companies in the next few weeks. The average growth in net income among insurers expected by analysts is 92%. I think that makes it worthwhile holding the best of these insurers—such as Ping An and China Life (LFC), a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio, for these earnings reports, even though the systemic stress—and thus risk—in China’s financial system is rising.

  • [By John Udovich]

    China is set to ease the one child policy, something that could benefit Chinese stocks in general but be especially beneficial to insurance stocks like China Life Insurance Company Ltd (NYSE: LFC) and CNinsure Inc (NASDAQ: CISG) plus health care stocks like Mindray Medical International Ltd (NYSE: MR) and Concord Medical Services Hldg Ltd (NYSE: CCM). First, let’s be clear that China is NOT abolishing the one child policy as the changes will merely allow married couples to have two children if one spouse is an only child plus it will be up to China’s 34 province-level administrations to revise their laws and put the new policy into effect. Moreover, China’s family-planning bureaucracy employs more than 500,000 full-time workers and six million part-time workers all the way down to the village level to collect billions of dollars in fines and these bureaucrats have fought for years against policy changes – meaning they could throw up roadblocks if not placated. With that said, the insurance and health care sectors are two sectors with publicly Chinese stocks that look set to take advantage of the coming changes.

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014: Sovran Self Storage Inc.(SSS)

Sovran Self Storage, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It engages in the acquisition, ownership, and management of self-storage properties in the United States. The company?s self-storage properties offer storage space to residential and commercial users, as well as offer outside storage for automobiles, recreational vehicles, and boats. As of February 15, 2007, it owned and managed 328 properties, consisting of approximately 20.3 million net rentable square feet in 22 states. Sovran Self Storage has elected to be treated as a REIT for federal income tax purposes and would not be subject to income tax to the extent it distributes at least 90% of taxable income to its stockholders. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Williamsville, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Self-storage REIT Sovran Self Storage (NYSE: SSS  ) announced today its second-quarter dividend of $0.53 per share, a 10% increase from the payout it made to investors last quarter of $0.48 per share.

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014: Signature Bank (SBNY)

Signature Bank (the Bank) is a full-service commercial bank with 25 private client offices located in the New York metropolitan area serving the needs of privately owned business clients and their owners and senior managers. The Bank offers a variety of business and personal banking products and services through the Bank, as well as investment, brokerage, asset management and insurance products and services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Signature Securities Group Corporation (Signature Securities), a licensed broker-dealer and investment adviser. Through Signature Securities, it also purchases, securitizes and sells the guaranteed portions of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. The Bank offers a variety of deposit, escrow deposit, credit, cash management, investment and insurance products and services to its clients. As of December 31, 2011, the Bank maintained approximately 78,000 deposit accounts, 6,900 investment accounts, 8,600 loan acco unts and 14,300 client relationships. In April 2012, it formed a new subsidiary, Signature Financial, LLC.

The Bank offers a range of products and services oriented to the needs of its business clients, including deposit products, such as non-interest-bearing checking accounts, money market accounts and time deposits; escrow deposit services; cash management services; commercial loans and lines of credit for working capital and to finance internal growth, acquisitions and leveraged buyouts; permanent real estate loans; letters of credit; investment products to help better manage idle cash balances, including money market mutual funds and short-term money market instruments; business retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans, and business insurance products, including group health and group life products. It offers a range of products and services oriented to the needs of its high net worth personal clients, including interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing che cking accounts, with optional features, such as debit/ autom! ated teller machine (ATM) cards and overdraft protection and, for its clients, rebates of certain charges, including ATM fees; money market accounts and money market mutual funds; time deposits; personal loans, both secured and unsecured; mortgages, home equity loans and credit card accounts; investment and asset management services, and personal insurance products, including health, life and disability.

Lending Activities

The Bank’s commercial and industrial (C&I) loan portfolio is consisted of lines of credit for working capital and term loans to finance equipment, company owned real estate and other business assets, along with commercial overdrafts. Its lines of credit for working capital are generally renewed on an annual basis and its term loans generally have terms of 2 to 5 years. The Bank’s lines of credit and term loans typically have floating interest rates, and as of December 31, 2011, approximately 61% of its outstanding C&I loans w ere variable rate loans. As of December 31, 2011, funded C&I loans totaled approximately 15% of its total funded loans. The Bank’s real estate loan portfolio includes loans secured by commercial and residential properties. It also provides temporary financing for commercial and residential property. As of December 31, 2011, funded real estate loans totaled approximately $5.74 billion, representing approximately 80% of its total funded loans. It issues standby or performance letters of credit, and can service the international needs of its clients through correspondent banks. As of December 31, 2011, its commitments under letters of credit totaled approximately $235.7 million. Its personal loan portfolio consists of personal lines of credit and loans to acquire personal assets. As of December 31, 2011, its consumer loans totaled $11.8 million, representing less than 1% of its total funded loans.

Investment and Asset Management Products and Services

< p>Investment and asset management products and services are ! provided ! through the Bank’s subsidiary, Signature Securities. Signature Securities is a licensed broker-dealer. Signature Securities is an introducing firm and, as such, clears its trades through National Financial Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Fidelity Investments. Signature Securities is also registered as an investment adviser in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. It offers an array of asset management and investment products, including the ability to purchase and sell all types of individual securities, such as equities, options, fixed income securities, mutual funds and annuities. The Bank offers transactional, cash management type brokerage accounts with check writing and daily sweep capabilities. It also offers retirement products, such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and administrative services for retirement vehicles, such as pension, profit sharing, and 401(k) plans to its clients. Signature Securities offers wealth management services to its high net worth personal clients. Together with its client and their other professional advisors, including attorneys and certified public accountants, it develops a financial plan that can include estate planning, business succession planning, asset protection, investment management, family office advisory services, bill payment, art and collectible advisory services and concentrated stock services.

Sources of Funds

The Bank offers a variety of deposit products to its clients. Its business deposit products include commercial checking accounts, money market accounts, escrow deposit accounts, lockbox accounts, cash concentration accounts and other cash management products. Its personal deposit products include checking accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit. The Bank also allows its personal and business deposit clients to access their accounts, transfer funds, pay bills and perform other account functions over the Interne t and through ATM machines. As of December 31, 2011, it main! tained ap! proximately 78,000 deposit accounts representing $11.70 billion in client deposits, excluding brokered deposits.

Insurance Services

The Bank offers its business and private clients an array of individual and group insurance products, including health, life, disability and long-term care insurance products through its subsidiary, Signature Securities. The Bank does not underwrite insurance policies. It only acts as an agent in offering insurance products and services underwritten by insurers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Each month, Credit Suisse’s small-cap strategists ask the firm’s analyst to name their favorite small- and mid-cap stocks. This month, six new stocks made the list: RPM International (RPM), SunCoke Energy (SXC), Zions Bancorp (ZION), Signature Bank (SBNY), Edwards Lifesciences (EW) and Rexnord (RXN).

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014: Weingarten Realty Investors(WRI)

Weingarten Realty Investors operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in the management, acquisition, and development of real estate. It operates in two segments, Shopping Center and Industrial. The Shopping Center segment engages in the acquisition, development, and management of real estate, primarily anchored neighborhood and community shopping centers located in Texas, California, Louisiana, Arizona, Nevada, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Utah, Kentucky, and Maine. Its customer base includes supermarkets, discount retailers, drugstores, and other retailers. The Industrial segment engages in the acquisition, development, and management of bulk warehouses and office/service centers. Its properties are located in Texas, Nevada, Georgia, Florida, California, and Tennessee. As of June 30, 2005, Weingarten Realty Investors owned or operated under long -term leases, directly or through its interest in joint ventures or partnerships, a total of 350 developed properties and 3 properties that are in various stages of development. Its properties include 294 shopping centers and 59 industrial properties. Weingarten Realty Investors qualifies as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, it would not be taxed on the portion of its income, which is distributed to shareholders, provided it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income. The company was founded in 1948 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Shopping center real estate investment trust (REIT) Weingarten Realty (WRI) raised its quarterly dividend 6.6% to 32.5 cents per share, payable March 14 to shareholders of record as of March 6.
    WGI Dividend Yield: 4.32%

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014: Nomura Holdings Inc ADR (NMR)

Nomura Holdings, Inc. provides financial services in Japan and internationally. The company operates in three divisions: Retail, Asset Management, and Wholesale. The Retail division primarily offers investment consultation services to retail clients. It also provides various financial instruments, such as stocks, debt securities, investment trusts, and variable annuity insurance products for the short, medium, and long term. As of March 31, 2011, this division operated a network of approximately 174 branches. The Asset Management division involves in the development and management of investment trusts. This division also offers investment advisory services to public and private pensions, governments and their agencies, central banks, and institutional investors. The Wholesale division engages in the fixed income and equity trading, and asset finance businesses. It provides debt securities, foreign currencies, and stocks, as well as related derivatives; and equities securit ies and equity-linked derivatives; and execution services, such as algorithmic trading and transaction cost analysis. This division also involves in underwriting various types of stocks, convertible and exchangeable securities, investment grade debt, sovereign and emerging market debt, high yield debt, structured securities, and other securities; offers financial advisory services and solutions on business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, capital structuring, corporate defense activities, leveraged buyouts, and risk solutions; and operates private equity investment business. The company primarily serves individuals, corporations, financial institutions, governments, and governmental agencies, as well as retail and asset management clients. Nomura Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Carroll]

    Financial stocks have had a good week as well, as Nomura Holdings (NYSE: NMR  ) reported outstanding earnings. Nomura pulled in a net profit of more than 82 billion yen, more than tripling the result from the quarter a year ago, with the company’s retail operations flourishing on the back of the Nikkei’s rise. Revenue also jumped more than 30% at the company.

  • [By Dan Carroll]

    Japan’s average stock valuation compares with Dow member Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , which also boasts a P/E of 17.6 after running up more than 24% this year, one of the Dow’s top gainers. Boeing’s a fit match for the P/E after a successful but mixed recent past marred by the 787 grounding drama, even as the company topped earnings expectations this past quarter. Similarly, Japan faces both rewards and challenges from its new, stimulus-paved road. While the easy-money climate has sparked a surge in Japanese financial stocks such as Nomura Holdings (NYSE: NMR  ) — a company where revenues jumped 30% on the back of stimulus — questions linger about how Japan will service its debt, which has grown to more than 200% of GDP, as well as combat the potential of reduced bank lending as a result of low interest rates.

Hot Financial Companies To Invest In 2014: SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY)

SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (the Fund) seeks to replicate the price and yield of the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index (the Index). The Index is designed to measure the performance of 50 highest dividend yielding S&P Composite 1500 constituents that have followed a managed-dividends policy of consistently increasing dividends every year for at least 25 years. These stocks have both capital growth and dividend income characteristics.

The Fund utilizes a passive or indexing approach and attempts to approximate the investment performance of its benchmark index, by investing in a portfolio of stocks intended to replicate the Index. SSgA Funds Management, Inc. acts as the Adviser of the Fund.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Vaughan Scully]

    Investors who would like to gain exposure to the Aristocrats may want to consider the ProShares S&P 500 Aristocrats ETF (NOBL), which tracks the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index. The fund has attracted almost $12.5 billion in assets since launching in October, 2013. Also, State Street’s SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) tracks the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats index.

  • [By J. Royden Ward]

    SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) holds all the companies in the S&P 1500 Index which have raised their dividends every year for the past 20 years. The objective of SDY is to include companies which have increased their dividends consistently. Only 85 qualify out of 1,500 companies!

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    Experian (EXPN) lost 2.8 percent for the biggest decline on the FTSE 100 Index after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended selling the credit-reference company’s shares. Speedy Hire Plc (SDY) tumbled the most since January 2009 after the construction-equipment leasing company reported accounting irregularities and its chief executive officer resigned. Barclays Plc (BARC) advanced 2.3 percent, pushing a gauge of banks higher.