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Should You Buy The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (PNX)?: Life Partners Holdings, Inc. (LPHI)

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Is The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX) a buy, sell, or hold? The best stock pickers are buying. The number of long hedge fund bets improved by 2 in recent months.

RENAISSANCE TECHNOLOGIES

In the financial world, there are a multitude of indicators market participants can use to track Mr. Market. Two of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can beat the S&P 500 by a solid amount (see just how much).

Equally as important, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the investments you’re interested in. Just as you’d expect, there are lots of reasons for a corporate insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if shareholders know what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a glance at the recent action surrounding The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX).

Hedge fund activity in The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX)

Heading into 2013, a total of 8 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 33% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.

Of the funds we track, Toscafund Asset Management, managed by Martin Hughes, holds the biggest position in The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX). Toscafund Asset Management has a $8 million position in the stock, comprising 6.1% of its 13F portfolio. On Toscafund Asset Management’s heels is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $1 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedgies that are bullish include Gifford Combs’s Dalton Investments, Joseph A. Jolson’s Harvest Capital Strategies and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, some big names have jumped into The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX) headfirst. Dalton Investments, managed by Gifford Combs, assembled the largest position in The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX). Dalton Investments had less than $1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group also initiated a less than $1 million position during the quarter.

How have insiders been trading The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time frame, The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX). These stocks are Life Partners Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPHI), Kansas City Life Insurance Co (NASDAQ:KCLI), Citizens, Inc. (NYSE:CIA), Imperial Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:IFT), and Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC). All of these stocks are in the life insurance industry and their market caps are similar to PNX’s market cap.

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