Hot Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now

Newsweek, the weekly magazine once thought to be on journalistic life support, returns to print life Friday with a bang.

Its cover piece, which ran online Thursday, revealed the unconfirmed identity of the elusive founder of crypto-currency Bitcoin, birthing a literal interpretation of reporters chasing a story.

In a bizarre sequence, reporters at other news outlets rushed Thursday to the house belonging to Satoshi Nakamoto in Temple City, Calif., near Los Angeles, and waited to confirm Newsweek’s piece. As Nakamoto, who later seemed to be denying his role in Bitcoin, fled the throng with a reporter from the Associated Press, a chase ensued through the freeways of Los Angeles.

“It’s been overwhelming,” says Newsweek editor Jim Impoco, a veteran business journalist who previously worked for Fortune, Reuters, the AP and The New York Times. “I was happy to have low expectations and I think we over-delivered.”

Hot Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC)

HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC), incorporated on January 1, 1959, is a global banking and financial services organizations. As of December 31, 2010, it provided a range of financial services to around 95 million customers through two customer groups, Personal Financial Services (PFS), including consumer finance, and Commercial Banking (CMB), and two global businesses, Global Banking and Markets (GB&M), and Global Private Banking (GPB). Its international network covers 87 countries and territories in six geographical regions; Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, North America and Latin America. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had an international network of some 7,500 offices in 87 countries and territories in six geographical regions; Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, North America and Latin America. PFS incorporates the Company’s consumer finance businesses, which include HSBC Finance Corporation (HSBC Finance). In April 2011, the Company closed its retail banking operation in Russia. In July 2011, the Company sold its unsecured written-off personal loan and credit card portfolio to J M Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt. Ltd. On May 20, 2012, HSBC Holdings PLC’s wholly owned subsidiary HSBC Bank USA, N.A. and other wholly owned subsidiaries, sold 195 retail branches to First Niagara Bank, N.A. (First Niagara). In May 2012, the Company’s 70.03% owned subsidiary, HSBC Bank Malta plc, sold its card acquiring business to HSBC Merchant Services Ltd. In June 2012, the Company’s indirect wholly owned subsidiary, HSBC Iris Investments (Mauritius) Ltd, sold its 4.73% interest in Axis Bank Limited and 4.74% interest in Yes Bank Limited. In July 2012, its subsidiary, HSBC Europe (Netherlands B.V.), sold its 100% interest in HSBC Credit Zrt, to CentralFund Kockazati Tokealap. On March 31, 2013, Enstar Group Ltd’s subsidiary completed the acquisition from Household Insurance Group Holding Company of HSBC Insurance Company of Delaware and Household Life Insur! ance Company of Delaware, as well as its three subsidiary insurers.

The Company’s principal banking operations in Europe are HSBC Bank plc in the United Kingdom, HSBC France, HSBC Bank A.S. in Turkey, HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c., HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) S.A. and HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG. Through these operations it provides a range of banking, treasury and financial services to personal, commercial and corporate customers across Europe. HSBC’s banking subsidiaries in Hong Kong are The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Hang Seng Bank Limited.

The Company offers a range of banking and financial services in the People’s Republic of China, mainly through its local subsidiary, HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited. It also participates indirectly in the People’s Republic of China through its four associates. Outside Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China, it conducts business in 22 countries and territories in the Rest of Asia-Pacific region, through branches and subsidiaries of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, with coverage in Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

In the Middle East, the Company has network of branches of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, together with HSBC’s subsidiaries and associates. Its North American businesses are located in the United States, Canada and Bermuda. Operations in the United States are conducted through HSBC Bank USA, N.A., which is concentrated in New York State, and HSBC Finance, a national consumer finance company based near Chicago. HSBC Markets (USA) Inc. is the intermediate holding company of, inter alia, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. HSBC Bank Canada and HSBC Bank Bermuda operate in their respective countries.

The Company’s operations in Latin America consists of HSBC Bank Brasil S.A.-Banco Multiplo, HSBC Mexico, S.A., HSBC Bank Argentina S.A. and HSBC Bank (Panama) S.A. In addition to bankin g services, it operates insurance businesses in Brazil, Mexi! co, Argen! tina, Panama and a range of smaller markets.

Personal Financial Services

PFS offers the Company’s products and services to customers based on their individual needs. Premier and Advance services are for customers who value international connectivity and benefit from its global reach and scale. It offers a range of banking products and services reflecting local requirements. In addition, it issues card globally, offering HSBC branded cards, co-branded cards with selected partners and private label (store) cards. Its customer offerings include personal banking products, including current and savings accounts, mortgages and personal loans, credit cards, debit cards and local and international payment services, and wealth management services, including insurance and investment products and financial planning services.

HSBC Premier provides preferential banking services to high net worth customers and their immediate families with a rela tionship manager, wealth advice and solutions. Customers can access emergency travel assistance, telephone banking and an online global view of their Premier accounts globally with free money transfers between them. HSBC Advance provides a range of preferential products and services customized to meet local needs. With a telephone service, access to wealth advice and online tools to support financial planning, it gives customers an online global view of their Advance accounts with money transfers between them. Wealth Solutions & Financial Planning process designed for global individual customer needs to help its clients to protect, grow and manage their wealth through investment and wealth insurance products manufactured by in-house partners, including Global Asset Management, Global Markets and HSBC Insurance, and by selected third party providers. During 2010, PFS provided 92 million individual and self-employed customers with financial services in over 60 markets globally .

Commercial Banking

The Company ! segments ! its CMB business into Corporate, to serve both Corporate and Mid-Market companies, and Business Banking, to serve the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) sector. It provides support to companies as they expand both domestically and internationally, and ensures a focus on the business banking segments. It offers a range of financing, both domestic and cross-border, including overdrafts, receivables finance, term loans and syndicated, leveraged, acquisition and project finance. Asset finance is offered in selected sites, focused on leasing and instalment finance for vehicles, plant and equipment. It is a provider of domestic and cross-border payments and collections, liquidity management and account services globally, delivered through its e-platform, HSBC net. It provides international trade products and services, to both buyers and suppliers, such as export finance, guarantees, documentary collections and forfeiting to improve efficiency and help mitigate risk throu ghout the supply chain.

CMB customers are volume users of its foreign exchange, derivatives and structured products. Capital markets & advisory is raising capital on debt and equity markets and provide advisory services. Commercial cards issuing helps customers enhance cash management, credit control and purchasing. Card acquiring services enable merchants to accept credit and debit card payments in person or remotely. CMB offers key person, employee benefits and a range of commercial risk insurance, such as property, cargo and trade credit. Direct channels include online and direct banking offerings, such as telephone banking, HSBCnet and Business Internet Banking.

Global Banking and Markets

GB&M provides tailored financial solutions to government, corporate and institutional clients and private investors globally. Managed as a global business, GB&M operates a long-term relationship management approach to build a understanding of clie nts’ financial requirements. Sector-focused client service! teams co! nsisting of relationship managers and product specialists develop financial solutions to meet individual client needs. GB&M is managed as four principal business lines: Global Markets, Global Banking, Global Asset Management and Principal Investments.

Global Markets operations consist of treasury and capital markets services. Products include foreign exchange; currency, interest rate, bond, credit, equity and other derivatives; government and non-government fixed income and money market instruments; precious metals and exchange-traded futures; equity services; distribution of capital markets instruments, and securities services, including custody and clearing services and funds administration to both domestic and cross-border investors. Global Banking offers financing, advisory and transaction services. Its products include capital raising, advisory services, bilateral and syndicated lending, leveraged and acquisition finance, structured and project finance, le ase finance and non-retail deposit taking; international, regional and domestic payments and cash management services; and trade services for large corporate clients.

Global Asset Management offers investment solutions to institutions, financial intermediaries and individual investors globally. Principal Investments includes its relationships with third-party private equity managers and other investments. GB&M is a global business, which provides financial solutions to government, corporate and institutional clients globally.

Global Private Banking

GPB works with the Company’s high net worth clients to offer ways to manage and preserve wealth. HSBC Private Bank is the principal marketing name of its international private banking business, GPB. GPB works with its clients to offer both ways to manage and preserve wealth while optimising returns. GPB accesses six advisory centers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Geneva, New York, Paris and Lon don. Private Banking services consist of multi-currency depo! sit accou! nts and fiduciary deposits, credit and specialist lending, treasury trading services, cash management, securities custody and clearing. GPB works to ensure that its clients have access to other products and services available in HSBC, such as credit cards, Internet banking, corporate banking and investment banking.

Private Wealth Management consists of both advisory and discretionary investment services. A range of investment vehicles is covered, including bonds, equities, derivatives, options, futures, structured products, mutual funds and alternatives (hedge funds, private equity and real estate). Corporate Finance Solutions helps provide clients with solutions for their companies, working in conjunction with GB&M. Private Wealth Solutions consist of planning, trustee and other fiduciary services to protect wealth and preserve it for future generations. Its expertise includes trusts, foundation and company administration, charitable trusts and foundations, in surance, family office advisory and philanthropy.

Other

The Company’s Other contains the results of certain property transactions and unallocated investment activities. It also includes centrally held investment companies, movements in fair value of own debt, HSBC’s holding company and financing operations.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sara Sjolin]

    Banks posted some of the biggest gains in London, with Barclays PLC (UK:BARC)   (BCS)  up 1.6%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (UK:RBS)   (RBS)  rising 1.1% and sector heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC (UK:HSBA)   (HBC)   (HK:5)  0.7% higher.

  • [By Sara Sjolin]

    Banks were among major decliners, playing a part in dragging the FTSE 100 index lower. Shares of Barclays PLC (UK:BARC)   (BCS)  fell 2.7%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (UK:RBS)   (RBS)  dropped 2.9%, Lloyds Banking Group PLC (UK:LLOY)   (LYG)  gave up 2.3% and sector heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC (UK:HSBA) (HBC)   (HK:5)  erased 1.3%.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: Vanguard Large Cap Etf (VV)

Vanguard Large-Cap ETF, formerly known as Vanguard Large-Cap VIPERs, is an exchange-traded share class that seeks to track the investment performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) US Prime Market 750 Index (Index). The Fund employs an indexing approach to provide exposure to predominantly large-cap companies in the United States, diversified across growth and value styles.

The Index represents the universe of predominantly large-capitalization companies in the United States equity market. Using full replication, the Fund invests in all of the Index stocks, holding each stock in approximately the same proportion as its weighting in the Index.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you’d like to add some large-cap stocks to your portfolio but don’t have the time or expertise to hand-pick a few, the Vanguard Large-Cap ETF (NYSEMKT: VV  ) could save you a lot of trouble. Instead of trying to figure out which large-cap stocks will perform best, you can use this ETF to invest in lots of them simultaneously.

    The basics
    ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual-fund cousins. This ETF, focused on large-cap stocks, sports a relatively low expense ratio — an annual fee — of 0.1%. It yields about 2%.

    This ETF has performed reasonably, but it’s also very young, with just a few years on the books. It underperformed the S&P 500 in 2008 and 2010, though it beat it substantially in 2007 and 2009. As with most investments, of course, we can’t expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with co nviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: Capital Bank Financial Corp (CBF)

Capital Bank Financial Corp, formerly North American Financial Holdings, Inc., incorporated in 2009, is a bank holding Company. The Company focuses on creating a regional banking franchise in the southeastern region of the United States through organic growth and acquisitions of other banks. As of March 31, 2011, the Bank operated 82 branches in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. On July 16, 2010, the Bank acquired approximately $1.2 billion of assets and assumed approximately $960.1 million of deposits of three banks from the federal deposit insurance corporation (FDIC): First National Bank of the South in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Metro Bank of Dade County in Miami, Florida and Turnberry Bank in Aventura, Florida. On September 30, 2010 and January 28, 2011, the Bank consummated controlling investments in TIB Financial and Capital Bank Corp., respectively. The Bank’s products and services included commercial bank business, consumer bank business, Mortgage Ba nking, and Private Banking, Trust and Investment Management. In October 2012, it acquired Southern Community Financial Corp.

Lending activities

As of March 31, 2011, the Bank’s loans included: Real estate mortgage loans, Commercial and agricultural loans and Home equity loans. Real estate mortgage loans include: Commercial, Residential, and Construction and vacant land. As of March 31, 2011, covered loans were $656.6 million, representing 22.3% of its loan portfolio. As of March 31, 2011, non-covered loans were $2.3 billion, representing 77.6% of its loan portfolio. As of March 31, 2011, loans related to real estate totaled $2.6 billion (or 87% of the Bank’s total loan portfolio). At March 31, 2011, commercial real estate loans in all regions totaled $1.8 billion.

Investment activities

Investment securities represent a major portion of the Bank’s assets. As of March 31, 2011, the Bank’s investment securities includ ed mortgage backed securities, United States government agen! cies, states and political subdivisions, corporate bonds, equity, collateralized debt obligations and foreign government. Of the securities in the portfolio, 94% were rated AAA, and 97% were rated A or higher.

Sources of Funds

As of March 31, 2011, the Bank’s deposits included Non-interest demand deposit accounts, Interest Bearing demand deposit accounts, Savings and Money Market. It also included Customer Time Deposits and Wholesale Time Deposits. At March 31, 2011, total deposits were $3.5 billion of which $3.4 billion (or 97%) were non-brokered deposits and $94.4 million (or 3%) were brokered deposits. At March 31, 2011, the Bank’s core deposits (which are all deposits other than time deposits) consisted of $463.2 million of non-interest checking, $430.7 million of negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, $157.5 million of savings accounts and $456.2 million of money market deposits.

The Bank competes with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, BB&T, First Citizens, Royal Bank of Canada, SunTrust, Regions, FNB United Corp., Toronto-Dominion, Synovus, First Financial, SCBT, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, EverBank, Fifth Third Bancorp, First Horizon, Pinnacle Financial, First South and U.S. Bancorp.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    The year ahead should be a great one for the smaller bank stocks. Larger regionals like Huntington Bancorp (HBAN) and Capital Ban Financial (CBF) have made it clear they intend to grow by acquisition in the years ahead. Banks like First Merit (FMER) and First Merchants (FRME) have done deals in the past year and are open to doing more to increase their market share and footprints. This should be the year the floodgates open and we see the first wave of merger activity in small banks.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: Apartment Investment and Management Co (AIV)

Apartment Investment and Management Company (Aimco), incorporated on January 10, 1994, is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is engaged in the ownership and operation of a portfolio of apartment properties. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, AIMCO-GP, Inc. and AIMCO-LP Trust, it owns majority interests in AIMCO Properties, L.P., which it refers to as the Aimco Operating Partnership. The Company conducts substantially all of its business and owns substantially all of its assets through the Aimco Operating Partnership. As of December 31, 2011, Aimco’s portfolio of owned and/or managed properties consisted of 518 properties with 93,694 apartment units.

During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired limited partnership interests in 12 real estate partnerships that owned 15 properties and in which its affiliates served as general partner. During 2011, it acquired a vacant, 126-unit property loc ated in Marin County, north of San Francisco, California. During 2011, it acquired 50% interest in entities that owned four contiguous properties with 142 units located in La Jolla, California. During 2011, it sold 67 consolidated properties. During 2011, the Company owned general and limited partner interests in real estate partnerships that owned approximately 123 properties.

Property Operations

The Company’s owned real estate portfolio consists of two business components: conventional and affordable property operations. Its conventional property operations consist of market-rate apartments with rents paid by the resident and included 198 properties with 62,834 units in which it held an average interest of 93% as of December 31, 2011. The Company’s affordable property operations consist of apartments with rents that are generally paid, in whole or part, by a government agency and consisted of 172 properties with 20,612 units in which it held a n average interest of 59% as of December 31, 2011. The Compa! ny’s property operations are organized into two geographic areas, the West and East.

Portfolio Management

As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s affordable portfolio included 172 properties with 20,612 units. As of December 31, 2011, its conventional portfolio included 198 properties with 62,834 units in 33 markets.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Residential apartments real estate investment trust (REIT) Apartment Management and Investment Company (AIV) raised its quarterly dividend 8% to 26 cents per share, payable on Feb. 28 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 14.
    AVI Dividend Yield: 3.74%

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Apartment Investment & Management Co. (NYSE: AIV  )
    When long-term lending rates began rising dramatically just a few weeks ago, anything related to the housing sector dove, including apartment rental community operator Apartment Investment & Management, better known as AIMCO. Investors who sold may have made a big mistake, as rental communities look to be stronger than ever as the housing sector gets caught in a nasty catch-22.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: Spdr Dj Wilshire Small Cap Etf (SLY)

SPDR DJ Wilshire Small Cap ETF (the Fund), formerly streetTRACKS DJ Wilshire Small Cap ETF, seeks to replicate as closely as possible the total return of the Dow Jones Wilshire Small Cap Index (the Index). The Index is a float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that reflects the shares of securities of the small-cap portion of the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Composite Index actually available to investors in the marketplace. The Index includes the components ranked 751 to 2,500 by full market capitalization. The Index consists of common stocks selected for their capitalization. The composition of the Index is reviewed semiannually in March and December. Shares and float factors of the Index are updated on a quarterly basis.

The Fund utilizes a passive or indexing approach and attempts to approximate the investment performance of its Index, by investing in a portfolio of stocks intended to replicate the Index. The Fund’s investment manager is SSgA Fund s Management, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    By the time the dust settled in 2013, small caps won the day (well, year) — the SPDR S&P SmallCap 600 (SLY) had outperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by almost 9 percentage points.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Where the best gains are
    In fact, when you compare returns across stocks of various sizes, you’ll get some surprising results:

    The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEMKT: SPY  ) weighs in with 20% gains with its exposure to 500 of the largest companies in the U.S. market. When you step down to mid-cap stocks, though, you’ll get even better returns, with the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF (NYSEMKT: MDY  ) posting returns of 21% so far in 2013, based on the performance of 400 mid-sized companies domestically. The smallest companies in the market have done better still, as the SPDR S&P SmallCap 600 ETF (NYSEMKT: SLY  ) has given investors impressive 24% returns since Jan. 1.

    Why are smaller companies outperforming the largest stocks in the market? Historically, smaller stocks have posted better long-term returns than their larger counterparts, with theoreticians pointing to the greater risk involved in small-cap stocks as justifying the higher risk premium that investors should demand in order to hold them over the long run.

Hot Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: iShares Government/Credit Bond ETF (GBF)

iShares Lehman Government/Credit Bond Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the United States Government and investment-grade United States corporate securities of the United States bond market as defined by the Lehman Brothers U.S. Government/Credit Index (the Index). The Fund invests in a representative sample of the securities in the Index, which has a similar investment profile as the Index. Due to the use of representative sampling, the Fund may or may not hold all of the securities that are included in the Index.

The Index measures the performance of United States dollar-denominated United States Treasuries, government-related securities and investment-grade United States corporate securities that have a remaining maturity of greater than or equal to one year, and have more than $250 million or more of outstanding face value. The securities must be fixed-rate and non-convertible securities.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    Bilfinger SE (GBF) climbed 3.1 percent to 74.30 euros. Germany’s second-largest builder predicted a significantly stronger second half after reporting second-quarter net income of 47 million euros ($62.5 million), which was in line with analysts’ estimates.