Should You Avoid Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG)?

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) was in 46 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. HIG shareholders have witnessed a decrease in hedge fund sentiment in recent months. There were 46 hedge funds in our database with HIG holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Hartford logo

To most shareholders, hedge funds are seen as unimportant, old financial vehicles of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading at present, we choose to focus on the upper echelon of this club, close to 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees most of all hedge funds’ total capital, and by keeping an eye on their highest performing investments, we have unearthed a few investment strategies that have historically outstripped the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have beaten the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (see the details here).

Just as key, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are a number of stimuli for a bullish insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a glance at the latest action regarding Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG).

How have hedgies been trading Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 46 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. With hedge funds’ capital changing hands, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

Of the funds we track, Paulson & Co, managed by John Paulson, holds the largest position in Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG). Paulson & Co has a $410 million billion position in the stock, comprising 2.5% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Ric Dillon of Diamond Hill Capital, with a $261 million position; 1.4% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining hedge funds that are bullish include Steven Richman’s East Side Capital (RR Partners), David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management LP and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Since Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, logic holds that there exists a select few fund managers who sold off their entire stakes last quarter. Intriguingly, Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global dropped the largest stake of all the hedgies we track, worth close to $48 million in stock.. Joe DiMenna’s fund, ZWEIG DIMENNA PARTNERS, also dropped its stock, about $21 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How have insiders been trading Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time period, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results demonstrated by the aforementioned time-tested strategies, retail investors must always monitor hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) is no exception.

Click here to learn more about Insider Monkey’s Hedge Fund Newsletter

Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 29.2% between September 2012 and February 2013 versus 8.7% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.

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