Metlife Inc. (NYSE: MET) is the parent company of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which is more commonly known as MetLife, as well as affiliated companies and subsidiaries. Through these affiliates and subsidiaries Metlife holds its leading stock market position not only in the U.S. but also in Japan and Mexico. It also has a commanding presence in the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America.
MetLife was long the largest U.S. life insurance company, and as of 2020, it remains one of the largest global providers of life and other insurance products, employee benefit programs, and annuities. MetLife has over 90 million global customers in more than 60 different countries. In 2019 Metlife was ranked as the 44th largest U.S. corporation by revenue in the Fortune 500 list.
The History of MetLife
MetLife was originally founded on March 24, 1868, as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, with a focus on the life insurance business as the name indicated. By the late 1870s, the company was struggling due to severe economic depression. Then MetLife president Joseph Knapp introduced the concept of “workingman’s insurance” from the UK, where premiums were collected monthly, or even weekly from policyholders at their homes. By 1880 there were over 250,000 such policies sold, with premiums of more than $1 million annually being paid.
By 1909 MetLife was the largest U.S. insurance company. Later in the 1930s, it expanded into commercial real estate loans, investments in government bonds, and investments in public utility bonds. MetLife financed the construction of the Empire State Building in 1929, and during WWII it moved 51% of its assets to war bonds, making it the largest private contributor to the Allies.
MetLife becomes a Publicly Traded Company
MetLife became a Mutual Company in 1915, switching from a public company owned by external stockholders to a mutual company which operates for the benefit of policyholders and without any external stockholders. This organisation lasted for 85 years until 2000 when MetLife demutualised and conducted an initial public offering of its stock on the New York Stock Exchange at $14.25 a stock.
In 2013 MetLife got out of the banking business by selling its MetLife Bank unit to GE Capital. It also exited the mortgage business by selling its $70 billion mortgage servicing unit to JPMorgan Chase. Both sales were intended to get MetLife back to its roots as an insurance company. It was also intended to avoid regulations related to Federal Reserve risk-based capital ratio, but it failed, and in 2014 MetLife was designated as “systemically important” to the U.S. economy and was brought under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law requirements
January 2016 saw MetLife spin off its U.S. retail insurance business, including individual life insurance and annuity products. The new company spun off is known as Brighthouse Financial (NASDAQ: BHF), which immediately became one of the largest U.S. providers of life insurance and annuities with 2.6 million annuities and life insurance contracts in force and assets of $219 billion.
Metlife Inc Stocks Historical Chart
In April 2000, investors got the first stock trading opportunity in MetLife in 85 years. The stock was listed on the NYSE as MET and debuted at $14.25 a stock. It was popular with investors, and even as the dot-com bubble was exploding and sending tech stocks crashing lower stocks of MetLife rose more than 100% by the end of the year to a December 2000 high of $32.52 a stock.
The stock experienced choppiness and sideways price movement over the next year, and in 2002 it fell to a low of $18.35 in October. Little did investors at the time know that MetLife Inc stocks were getting ready for their largest bull run ever. From October 2002 to October 2007 stocks of Metlife went from $18.35 to $63.47 for a five-year return of almost 250%.
MetLife Inc Stocks and the Global Financial Crisis
That’s when the stock began getting hit by the global financial crisis. Over the next 17 months stocks would plummet, finally hitting a low of $10.13 in March 2009 for a loss of over 80%.
Since that time the price has been choppy, but on a larger scale, we can see a long-term uptrend that’s lasted since that March 2009 low. stocks have seen three higher highs and three higher lows over the more than 10 years since hitting that low. As of January 2020, the stock is looking to put in a fourth higher high as it trades at $52.47 and looks to top the most recent November 2017 high of $55.91 a stock.
Metlife Inc Stocks Trading Ideas
As mentioned above, Metlife Inc stocks are looking to put in the fourth higher high since the 2008 financial crisis. Aggressive traders could buy at January 2020 levels in anticipation of a break above the November 2017 high of $55.91. More conservative investors might want to wait until the stock closes above that most recent high to confirm the uptrend remains intact. If the stock does close above $55.91 a stock, there’s a very good chance it will set its sights upon the all-time high of $63.47 a stock, which would represent a gain of almost 14%.
If the stock fails to put in a new high, the most recent low at $37.76 from December 2018 will come in focus. That support level will also mark the failure or continuation of the more than decade old uptrend based on if it can hold or not. If it does hold, we’ll be looking at a range bound sideways trade, but if it fails the next support is the $32.23 low from June 2016.
MetLife stock remains very popular among investors, with an uptrend in the stock price lasting more than a decade as of January 2020. New and experienced investors can get access to MetLife Inc stocks through a stock trading account at AvaTrade UK. In addition to MetLife, it is also possible to trade over 600 other popular global equities through the new and improved MetaTrader 5 platform being offered at AvaTrade UK.
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AvaTrade Metlife Stock Trading Information
- Metlife Stock Symbol: #METLIFE
- Trading Times: Monday – Friday 14:30 – 20:59 GMT
- Country: USA
- Currency: USD
- Exchange: NYSE
Metlife Stock FAQ
- Why should I trade MetLife stocks?
MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, and employee benefits. It’s just the kind of company that professional investors like Warren Buffet love for its ability to generate tons of cash. And as one of the world’s largest insurance firms it is certainly worth keeping in the watch list of any active trader. Stocks have great liquidity, and by trading through AvaTrade’s CFDs you’ll be able to sell the stock short just as easily as you can buy it to go long. There’s potential profits trading in both directions on MetLife, and that shouldn’t be ignored.
- Is MetLife the best insurance stock for trading?
Insurance companies are a boring business, but their stock movements can be quite exciting. MetLife is no different, and at times it can certainly be considered as the best insurance stock for trading. It all depends on market conditions. But even at times when it isn’t the best insurance stock for traders, it remains an excellent stock to trade thanks to the price action that gives ample opportunities to both buy on dips and sell on spikes. Traders shouldn’t miss out on the opportunities presented by this large cap insurance stock.
- What’s the best strategy for trading MetLife stocks?
Because MetLife has historically been a sideways trading stock without large or clearly defined trends the best strategy is to look for support and resistance levels and trade based on the stock reaching those levels and then reversing. For example, with the exception of the plunge in March 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic, stocks of MetLife have remained in a range of $40 to $50 since 2013. Traders have been able to buy as the stock hits $40 and sell when it climbs to $50 to make good profits over that time frame.