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ClearBridge Investments, an investment management firm, published its “Value Equity Strategy” first quarter 2021 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. The ClearBridge Value Equity Strategy had a positive absolute return for the first quarter and outperformed the benchmark Russell 1000 Value Index. You can view the fund’s top 5 holdings to have a peek at their top bets for 2021.

ClearBridge Investments, in its Q1 2021 investor letter, mentioned Signature Bank (NASDAQ: SBNY), and shared their insights on the company. Signature Bank is a US-based commercial banking company that currently has a $14.3 billion market capitalization. Since the beginning of the year, SBNY delivered an 84.34% return, extending its 12-month gains to 129.85%. As of June 01, 2021, the stock closed at $250.32 per share.

Here is what ClearBridge Investments has to say about Signature Bank in its Q1 2021 investor letter:

Signature Bank has a unique operating asset with a blockchain enabled real-time payments platform that allows its customers to make payments every day and hour of the week. As a result of this capability, Signature Bank is enjoying very rapid low-cost deposit growth that is tied to the ongoing adoption of crypto currencies. We think Signature will be able to use these deposits to grow net interest income at a very healthy pace, especially if interest rates do indeed increase over the next several quarters. Despite the move higher in the stock from this attractive growth profile, the stock’s equity duration is still much less than the market’s and will shorten as core deposits are deployed effectively. In addition, cryptocurrencies may be a key hedge if inflation becomes a bigger macro risk, which would only enhance the stock’s attractiveness in a changed environment.”

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Our calculations show that Signature Bank (NASDAQ: SBNY) does not belong in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. As of the end of the first quarter of 2021, Signature Bank was in 40 hedge fund portfolios, compared to 28 funds in the fourth quarter of 2020. SBNY delivered a 12.01% return in the past 3 months.

The top 10 stocks among hedge funds returned 231.2% between 2015 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 Index ETFs by more than 126 percentage points. We know it sounds unbelievable. You have been dismissing our articles about top hedge fund stocks mostly because you were fed biased information by other media outlets about hedge funds’ poor performance. You could have doubled the size of your nest egg by investing in the top hedge fund stocks instead of dumb S&P 500 ETFs. Here you can watch our video about the top 5 hedge fund stocks right now. All of these stocks had positive returns in 2020.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.