Should You Buy Manning and Napier Inc (MN)?

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Is Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN) a marvelous investment today? Investors who are in the know are becoming more confident. The number of bullish hedge fund positions improved by 1 lately.

According to most shareholders, hedge funds are perceived as worthless, old investment vehicles of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading at present, we at Insider Monkey look at the moguls of this group, around 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls the majority of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by monitoring their best equity investments, we have figured out a few investment strategies that have historically outpaced the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outpaced the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have topped the S&P 500 index by 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as key, positive insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. Obviously, there are a variety of motivations for an executive to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if you understand what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the recent action surrounding Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN).

What have hedge funds been doing with Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 6 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 20% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes substantially.

Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN)When looking at the hedgies we track, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates had the biggest position in Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN), worth close to $16.6 million, comprising 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $1.5 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies with similar optimism include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Douglas W. Case’s Advanced Investment Partners and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

As industrywide interest jumped, specific money managers have jumped into Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN) headfirst. Hutchin Hill Capital, managed by Neil Chriss, created the most valuable position in Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN). Hutchin Hill Capital had 0.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter.

How have insiders been trading Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN)?

Insider buying is most useful when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the latest six-month time period, Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN) has experienced 1 unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Manning and Napier Inc (NYSE:MN). These stocks are Resource America Inc (NASDAQ:REXI), Diamond Hill Investment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:DHIL), Calamos Asset Management, Inc (NASDAQ:CLMS), Solar Senior Capital Ltd (NASDAQ:SUNS), and FBR & Co (NASDAQ:FBRC). This group of stocks are in the asset management industry and their market caps are closest to MN’s market cap.

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