Annoying Companies, Great Stocks

We name 11 companies that tick off customers but are worth adding to your portfolio.

Consumers hate them. Investors love them. They’re companies that annoy us with high fees, rotten service and policies so abusive that you want to call the Better Business Bureau -- or a lawyer. And yet some of the very banks, airlines, insurers and other kinds of companies that you hate for their surly service and avaricious policies often turn out to be great investments. "It’s easy to vilify them,”" says Morningstar analyst Jim Sinegal. "But that’s probably why their stocks are so cheap and so attractive to investors."

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Kathy Kristof
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Kristof, editor of, is an award-winning financial journalist, who writes regularly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance and CBS MoneyWatch. She's the author of Investing 101, Taming the Tuition Tiger and Kathy Kristof's Complete Book of Dollars and Sense. But perhaps her biggest claim to fame is that she was once a Jeopardy question: Kathy Kristof replaced what famous personal finance columnist, who died in 1991? Answer: Sylvia Porter.