Mercury General Corp
Imagine a small-cap stock with a well-known brand name that pays a 4% dividend at recent prices. Consider, too, that this stock recently increased its dividend and has climbed 50% in price just since the beginning of 2013.
Although you might be tempted to call me crazy, one such stock does actually exist. Is this stock too good to be true? Or are there underlying risks investors need to first more »
Talk to any mortgage loan officer today and he/she will still think that he/she will be accused of being one of the bad guys that caused the triggering event of the financial industry's problems. Now that sweeping regulations and reform are well underway, the mortgage loan officer that still works in this field will no longer have the curved, waxed mustache and black cape.
Home mortgages are more »
The best way to beat the market is to wait for great businesses to get cheap and then go all in. But in order to execute this strategy, you first have to identify great businesses. Great businesses are special; there's something unique about them that sets them apart from would-be competitors. In this article, I'm going to talk about what makes Progressive (NYSE: PGR) a special business.
Superior more »
Editor's Note: The original article references Prudential's annual dividend payment. As of Nov. 7, Prudential resumed their quarterly dividend payment schedule. This article has been updated.
Insurance companies enjoy a two-sided business model: they earn cash from premiums paid on the policies they write and then again through investing the large pools of their accumulated capital. Many insurance companies are trading at attractive price-to-earnings and price-to-book valuations that more »
Investing in dividend stocks is a great way to build long-term wealth. When most investors think of dividend stocks, they usually look to large-cap blue chips like Johnson and Johnson. However, companies that have paid and raised dividends for long periods of time can also be found among the small-cap universe of publicly-traded stocks. These four companies have paid and increased dividends for at least 15 years in a row more »
If risks are handled correctly, the insurance business can be one of the most attractive industries to invest in. Management needs to know how to allocate capital among different investment opportunities while at the same time maintaining a healthy liquidity balance to face potential claims. This is not always easy, but if the company is well run there are many opportunities for generating juicy returns for shareholders.
Perhaps for that more »
Bruce Berkowitz, who runs Fairholme, initiated a position in Mercury General (NYSE: MCY) and added to his holdings in Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD), Jefferies (NYSE: JEF), and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC). Below we examine his picks.
Mercury General: MCY writes risk classifications for automobile insurance. We view MCY as a turnaround story given a tough last few years. In December 2011, the company implemented a change in its personal auto rating more »