Should You Buy Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (SLF)?

Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF)Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF) investors should pay attention to an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months.

In the financial world, there are dozens of methods market participants can use to analyze Mr. Market. Some of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite hedge fund managers can trounce their index-focused peers by a significant margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, positive insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the marketplace. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of incentives for a bullish insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Various academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if you understand what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a gander at the recent action surrounding Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF).

How have hedgies been trading Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF)?

At year’s end, a total of 7 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 75% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, holds the most valuable position in Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF). Arrowstreet Capital has a $48.4 million position in the stock, comprising 0.2% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Bryn Mawr Capital, managed by Ken Gray and Steve Walsh, which held a $4.2 million position; 0.4% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedge funds that hold long positions include Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, John Thiessen’s Vertex One Asset Management and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

As aggregate interest increased, some big names were breaking ground themselves. Bryn Mawr Capital, managed by Ken Gray and Steve Walsh, assembled the most outsized position in Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF). Bryn Mawr Capital had 4.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Thiessen’s Vertex One Asset Management also made a $1.4 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest 180-day time period, Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF) has seen zero unique insiders buying, 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 Sun Life Financial Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SLF). These stocks are Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC), ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING), Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU), Manulife Financial Corporation (USA) (NYSE:MFC), and AEGON N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:AEG). This group of stocks belong to the life insurance industry and their market caps are similar to SLF’s market cap.