As we close out 2013, we can start to take stock of the stocks, and see how things played out for the plays in 2013. While many sectors enjoyed a robust year in a bull run, perhaps no sector experienced the renaissance that Financial did in 2013. Financial was, understandably, hammered especially hard in the 2008 crisis, and comprehensive ETFs like the SPDR Select Sector Fund ($XLF) lost 53 percent of their value. But this year marked a real turnaround for the sector as a whole, with Financial once again asserting itself as a profitable, relatively stable gainer.
It wasn't just the upstart small-caps that did well in 2013 (though it should be noted, the Financial plays in Equities.com's Small-Cap Stars project have returned a healthy profit on the year, and the project as a whole recently broke a 40 percent return on the year). Several large-cap companies - or those with a valuation over $10 billion - had monster years as well, with a handful even doubling in price. For such large companies, that's quite an impressive achievement indeed.
Here are the top five performers in the Financial sector in 2013:
5. Ameriprise Financial Int. ($AMP)
4. Ameritrade Holding Corporation ($AMTD)
3. Lincoln National Group ($LNC)
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