Did you miss out on China's unprecedented growth?
In the past decade and a half, China has sailed past Germany, France, Great Britain and Japan before settling in as the world's second-largest economy behind the United States.
If you missed out on that growth, were you put off from investing while many experts dithered about the reliability of official Chinese government data?
It would have been nearly impossible for an individual investor to get in on China in 1998. The Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE: FXI) made its debut in 2004 as the first Chinese exchange-traded fund (ETF), but it has had considerable downsides, including its fees and a high concentration in the financial space.
As a proxy for investing in China since 2009, consider the SPDR S&P China ETF (NYSE: GXC), which has a more balanced portfolio than FXI.
Top Construction Stocks To Buy For 2015: Affiliated Managers Group Inc. (AMG)
Affiliated Managers Group, Inc., through its affiliates, operates as an asset management company providing investment management services to mutual funds, institutional clients, and high net worth individuals in the United States. It provides advisory or subadvisory services to mutual funds. These funds are distributed to retail and institutional clients directly and through intermediaries, including independent investment advisors, retirement plan sponsors, broker-dealers, major fund marketplaces, and bank trust departments. The company also offers investment products in various investment styles in the institutional distribution channel, including small, small/mid, mid, and large capitalization value and growth equity, and emerging markets. In addition, it offers quantitative, alternative, and fixed income products, and manages assets for foundations and endowments, defined benefit, and defined contribution plans for corporations and municipalities. Affiliated Managers G roup provides investment management or customized investment counseling and fiduciary services. The company was formed as a corporation under the laws of Delaware in 1993. Affiliated Managers Group is based in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
While America�� middle class appears to be shrinking with little upward mobility, small cap wealth management stocks Noah Holdings Limited (NYSE: NOAH) and A.F.P Provida SA (NYSE: PVD)�plus larger cap Affiliated Managers Group, Inc (NYSE: AMG) are managing money in places where the ranks of the middle class and the wealthy are still growing strong. Specifically, Noah Holdings Limited is based in China, Chile based A.F.P Provida SA is spreading its footprint into other Latin American countries and the�Affiliated Managers Group is growing�a global footprint. For those reasons, you have probably not heard of these wealth management stocks, but here are some reasons why you might want to consider investing in one:
Top 10 Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc (HTGC)
Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. (HTGC), incorporated on December 18, 2003, is an internally managed, non-diversified closed-end investment company. The Company is a specialty finance company focused on providing senior secured loans to venture capital-backed companies in technology-related markets, including technology, biotechnology, life science, and clean-technology industries at all stages of development. The Company's investment objective is to maximize the Company's portfolio total return by generating current income from its debt investments and capital appreciation from its equity-related investments. The Company invests primarily in structured debt with warrants and, to a lesser extent, in senior debt and equity investments. The Company also makes investments in qualifying small businesses through two wholly-owned, small business investment company (SBIC) subsidiaries, Hercules Technology II, L.P. (HT II) and Hercules Technology III, L.P. (HT III).
The Company focuses its investments in companies active in the technology industry sub-sectors characterized by products or services that requires advanced technologies, including, but not limited to, computer software and hardware, networking systems, semiconductors, semiconductor capital equipment, information technology infrastructure or services, Internet consumer and business services, telecommunications, telecommunications equipment, renewable or alternative energy, media and life science. Within the life science sub-sector, the Company generally focuses on medical devices, bio-pharmaceutical, drug discovery, drug delivery, health care services and information systems companies. Within the clean technology sub-sector, the Company focuses on sustainable and renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency and monitoring technologies. The Company refers to all of these companies as technology-related companies and intend, under normal circumstances, to invest at least 80% of the value of its assets in such businesses. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By James Brumley]
So why did MRLN stock get cut nearly in half earlier in the year even though other small-cap stocks didn’t? Good question — the answer still isn’t clear. That may be why shares have finally perked up the last couple of weeks. The recovery may also have something to do with the fact that the forward-looking P/E of 12 for a steady-Eddie grower like Marlin Business is a bargain.Hercules Technology Growth Capital (HTGC)
Ever wanted to invest in small caps that aren’t publicly-traded? Hercules Technology Growth Capital (HTGC) is one way of doing so.
Top 10 Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Aon Corporation(AON)
Aon Corporation provides risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing services primarily in the United States, the Americas, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. The company?s Risk Solutions segment offers retail brokerage products and services, including affinity products, general underwriting management services, placement services, and captive management services; and advisory services to technology, financial services, agribusiness, aviation, construction, health care, and energy industries, as well as facilitates various risk management solutions for property liability, general liability, professional liability, directors' and officers' liability, workers' compensation, and various healthcare products. This segment also provides risk consulting services comprising captive management; eSolutions products that enable clients to manage risks, policies, claims, and safet y concerns through an integrated technology platform; reinsurance brokerage services, such as actuarial, enterprise risk management, catastrophe management, and rating agency advisory services; property and casualty reinsurance; and specialty lines, which include professional liability, medical malpractice, accident, life, and health, as well as capital management transaction and advisory services. Its HR Solutions segment offers human capital services in the areas of health and benefits, retirement, compensation, and strategic human capital; and benefits administration and human resource business process outsourcing services. The company was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Holly LaFon]
Aon (AON) also performed well in the quarter and first half, adding 5% and 16% respectively. As the world's largest insurance broker, the Risk Solutions group grows with global economic recovery as insurance pricing and risk coverage increase. In addition, fiduciary income should rise as interest rates move up. CEO Greg Case and his team continue to improve the Human Resources segment, which has been hampered by various issues including European weakness. By repurchasing $300 million in shares at discounts to our appraisal, management built value per share over the period.
- [By Holly LaFon]
Company Dell Inc. (DELL) Chesapeake Energy (CHK) DirecTV (DTV) Loews (L) Walt Disney (DIS) Aon Plc (AON) The Travelers Companies (TRV) Level 3 Communications (LVLT) FedEx (FDX) Bank of New York Mellon (BK)
Learn more about Mason and his views on the present economy in his second-quarter letter here. See his portfolio here.
- [By Sean Williams]
It's been a banner year for private-platform health insurers, as some very large enterprises including�Walgreen, IBM, Time Warner,�and Home Depot�have shifted at least some of their employee base to a privatized exchange. The two names here that should benefit are Aon (NYSE: AON ) , which runs the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange and had landed 18 clients with 5,000 or more employees as of last month, and Xerox (NYSE: XRX ) , whose subsidiary Buck Consultants built RightOpt, an employer-based privatized exchange aimed primarily at retirees who are getting the boot from their corporate health benefits plan.
Top 10 Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Citigroup Inc.(C)
Citigroup, Inc., a global financial services company, provides consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a range of financial products and services. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. The Citicorp segment operates as a global bank for businesses and consumers with two primary businesses, Regional Consumer Banking and Institutional Clients Group. The Regional Consumer Banking business provides traditional banking services, including retail banking, and branded cards in North America, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The Institutional Clients Group business provides securities and banking services comprising investment banking and advisory services, lending, debt and equity sales and trading, institutional brokerage, foreign exchange, structured products, cash instruments and related derivatives, and private banking; and transaction services consisting of treasury and trade solutions, and securiti es and fund services. The Citi Holdings segment operates Brokerage and Asset Management, Local Consumer Lending, and Special Asset Pool businesses. The Brokerage and Asset Management Business, through its 49% stake in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture and Nikko Cordial Securities, offers retail brokerage and asset management services. The Local Consumer Lending business provides residential mortgage loans, retail partner card loans, personal loans, commercial real estate, and other consumer loans, as well as western European cards and retail banking services. The Special Asset Pool business is a portfolio of securities, loans, and other assets. Citigroup Inc. has approximately 200 million customer accounts and operates in approximately 160 countries. The company was founded in 1812 and is based in New York, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Matt Koppenheffer]
When stacking up JPM to its close competitors, the 11% return on equity for 2012 wasn't quite at the 12.9% level of�Wells Fargo� (NYSE: WFC ) , but it easily topped the 1.8% at�Bank of America� (NYSE: BAC ) as well as the 4.3% at�Citigroup� (NYSE: C ) . It also beat Goldman Sachs� (NYSE: GS ) , which put up a 10.1% return on equity for 2012.
- [By Jessica Alling]
Banks follow suit
While the Dow makes steady improvement this morning, its bank stock components are mixed. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) is up 0.45%, while JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) is just below breakeven. While both banks were hit last week by the Fed announcement and then Monday's Chinese liquidity scare, JPMorgan is the lone loser this morning. Even Citigroup (NYSE: C ) , which has the biggest exposure to the Asian markets of the big four banks, is back in positive territory this morning.
- [By Amanda Alix]
Of course, the current loan modification suit puts the spotlight squarely on B of A, but the report from settlement monitor Joseph A. Smith shows that each of the Big Four have had their problems in that area. Both Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) failed on two of at least 12 benchmarks used to assess the banks' progress on the settlement, and Citigroup (NYSE: C ) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) were lax on one each. JPMorgan and Citi both had the good grace to admit their failures and declare that they were working on fixes; Wells and B of A had no comment, which, for the latter, may only make it look even less sympathetic in the public opinion.
Top 10 Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: CNinsure Inc.(CISG)
CNinsure Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance brokerage and agency services, and insurance claims adjusting services in the People?s Republic of China. The company offers property, casualty, and life insurance products underwritten by domestic and foreign insurance companies operating in China. Its property and casualty insurance products include automobile, individual accident, commercial property, homeowner, cargo, hull, liability, and construction insurance; and life insurance products comprise individual whole life insurance, term life insurance, education annuity, and health insurance, as well as universal insurance and group life insurance. The company also offers insurance claims adjusting services, which include pre-underwriting survey, claims adjusting, disposal of residual value, loading and unloading supervision, and consulting services, as well as damage assessment, survey, authentication, and loss estimation to insurance companies and the i nsured; and value-added services to its customers in conjunction with distributing automobile insurance products. As of April 15, 2010, its distribution and service network consisted of 49 insurance agencies, 3 insurance brokerages, and 4 claims adjusting firms, with 571 sales and service outlets. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Guangzhou, the People?s Republic of China.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jake L'Ecuyer]
Financial sector was the leading decliner in the US market today. Top losers in the sector included GSV Capital (NASDAQ: GSVC), off 9.3 percent, and Cninsure (NASDAQ: CISG), down around 6.6 percent.
- [By Monica Gerson]
CNinsure (NASDAQ: CISG) is projected to post its Q4 earnings at $0.10 per share.
Ferrellgas Partners LP (NYSE: FGP) is expected to report its Q2 earnings at $0.85 per share on revenue of $722.07 million.
- [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�� 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�� 34 province-level administrations to revise�their laws and put the new policy into effect. Moreover, China�� 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.
Top 10 Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Hovnanian Enterprises Inc (HOV)
Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. (Hovnanian), incorporated in 1967, designs, constructs, markets, and sells single-family detached homes, attached townhomes and condominiums, mid-rise condominiums, urban infill and active adult homes in planned residential developments. The Company consists of two distinct operations: homebuilding and financial services. Its homebuilding operations consist of six segments: Northeast,including New Jersey and Pennsylvania; Mid-Atlantic, including Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C; Midwest, including Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio; Southeast, including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina; Southwest, including Arizona and Texas, and West, including California. Its financial services operations provide mortgage loans and title services to the customers of its homebuilding operations. During fiscal year ended October 31, 2011 (fiscal 2011), the Company had delivered 4,216 homes.
As of October 31, 2011, the Company was, excluding unconsolidated joint ventures, offering homes for sale in 192 communities in 37 markets in 16 states throughout the United States. It markets and builds homes for first-time buyers, first-time and second-time move-up buyers, luxury buyers, active adult buyers and empty nesters. It offers a product range to provide housing to a range of customers. Its diverse product array includes single-family detached homes, attached townhomes and condominiums, mid-rise condominiums, urban infill and active adult homes.
The Company�� residential development activities include site planning and engineering, obtaining environmental and other regulatory approvals and constructing roads, sewer, water, and drainage facilities, recreational facilities and other amenities and marketing and selling homes. These activities are performed by its associates, together with independent architects, consultants, and contractors.
The Company sells its homes to customers who finance their purchases th! rough mortgages. It originates loans in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rick Munarriz]
Finally, we have Hovnanian (NYSE: HOV ) taking a page out of the Ciena playbook by posting a small profit when the market was bracing itself for a quarterly deficit. The homebuilder's return to profitability comes after posting back-to-back quarterly losses.
Top 10 Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Entertainment Properties Trust (EPR)
EPR Properties, a real estate investment trust (REIT), develops, owns, leases, and finances entertainment and related properties in the United States and Canada. Its properties include megaplex theatres, entertainment retail centers, and destination recreational and specialty properties. As of December 31, 2007, the company had a real estate portfolio of 79 megaplex theatre properties located in 26 states in the U.S. and Ontario, Canada; 1 additional theatre property under development; 8 entertainment retail centers located in Westminster, Colorado, New Rochelle, New York, White Plains, New York, Burbank, California, and Ontario, Canada; and 1 additional entertainment retail center under development and land parcels leased to restaurant and retail operators. EPR Properties qualifies as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code and would not be subject to federal income tax to the extent that it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. The company wa s founded in 1997 and is based in Kansas City, Missouri.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Lawrence Meyers]
I also jumped on the 9% Preferred Series E of an interesting REIT called EPR Properties (EPR), a $2.38 billion trust that owns 114 megaplex movie theaters; nine entertainment retail centers; seven family entertainment centers where one can bowl, enjoy nightlife, or sit atop observational towers; 13 metro ski parks; three water parks; four golf complexes, and 48 public charter schools.
- [By Monica Gerson]
EPR Properties (NYSE: EPR) closed a deal to acquire the Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville, PA, for around $70 million. EPR Properties shares gained 0.31% to close at $48.59 on Friday.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Entertainment properties real estate investment trust EPR Properties (EPR) raised its monthly dividend 28.5 cents per share, payable Feb. 18 to shareholders of record Jan. 31. EPR stock is the highest yielder of this week’s dividend stocks.
EPR Dividend Yield: 6.77%