Jim Cramer's Favorite Financial Stocks

by: Insider Monkey

Jim Cramer is the host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and the chairman of TheStreet.com. In 1987, Cramer started his own hedge fund and returned an average of 24% per year between 1987 and 2001. Cramer also authored six money management books.

While Cramer has been notoriously bearish on bank stocks, there have been a few that he recommends if you can stomach the risk. During the month of August, the financial stocks he recommended on “Mad Money” were as follows:

1. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC): A viewer inquired as to Wells Fargo long-term growth prospects. While Cramer said WFC would be a survivor, in the end it is a bank stock and will be a long time before owning the stock will be profitable. Aside from Warren Buffet, Robert Pitts of Steadfast Capital Management has also been buying WFC shares en masse (see more of Pitts’ picks).

2. Annaly Capital Management (NYSE:NLY): This high yielding REIT is one of Cramer’s favorites. They own, manage and finance a portfolio of real estate investment securities. The stock currently yields 14.2%. James Melcher of Balestra sold 67% of his position in the stock.

3. Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO): Advising viewers to stay away from American financials, Cramer gave this Canadian bank a buy recommendation. They operate 900 bank branches in Canada and operate in international financial markets through their offices in eight other countries. The stock is yielding 4.9%.

4. Solar Capital (NASDAQ:SLRC): This company is a merchant of finance, according to Cramer, and they do it better than anyone else. Charles Clough of Clough Capital Partners increased his firm’s position in Solar Capital (for more of Clough’s picks, check here).

5. First Niagara (NASDAQ:FNFG): Although this bank has a good yield and a good business plan, Cramer doesn’t think now is the time to own financials or tech stocks. This bank stock is yielding close to 6% and Cramer advised a viewer who already owned shares to hold on to it, but warned others to be careful buying this bank’s stock.

6. JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM): Cramer repeatedly hails JPM as the best of the bank stocks. The stock is trading at 7.4 times earnings, just $3 above its 52-week low. It’s yielding 2.8%. Martin Hughes of Toscafund Asset Management reduced his position by 9%. The firm still has a sizeable position in the stock.

7. Ares Capital (NASDAQ:ARCC): This Maryland-based specialty finance company gained 18.3% during the past 12 months and yields 9.8%. Bruce Silver of Silver Capital Management increased his position by 10%.

8. Janus Capital Group (NYSE:JNS): This stock declined 25% over the past 12 months. It has a 1.5 billion market cap and yields 3.17%. John Rogers of Ariel Investments has a 2.9% position in JNS (see more of Rogers’ holdings).

9. PNC Financial Services (NYSE:PNC): Jim Cramer has PNC in his charitable trust’s portfolio. Despite the huge declines in financials, PNC only declined 9.5% over the past 12 months. It currently trades at 6.5 times earnings and yields 3%.

10. Advance America Cash Advance Centers (NYSE:AEA): This cash advance center’s stock gained 95% over the past year and trades at 10 times earnings with a $10.5 billion market cap. Cramer thinks this stock is benefitting from the high unemployment and stagnant economic growth environment. Joel Greenblatt of Gotham Asset Management sold 24% of his position (see more of Greenblatt’s stocks).

11. US Bancorp (NYSE:USB): Jim Cramer also has USB in his charitable trust’s portfolio. This financial stock actually gained 6.9% over the past 12 months and trades at 10.4 times earnings. The stock yields 2.3%. John Shapiro of Chieftain Capital has 8.5% of his portfolio represented by USB.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.