The 12 Best Financial Stocks to Buy for 2022

Financial-sector investors could be in for another year of outperformance. These 12 financial stocks have the best prospects for 2022, say Wall Street's pros.

An old generic bank building in gothic style
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The financial sector was one of the S&P 500's biggest winners last year and market strategists believe the best financial stocks to buy for 2022 will outperform by wide margins once again.

In 2021, financial stocks delivered a total return (price appreciation plus dividends) of 35%. Only energy (+55%) and real estate (+46%) generated superior returns. (For context, the S&P 500's total return for 2021 came to +28.7%.)

Financial stocks are holding up their end of the bargain in the new year as well. As of Feb. 3, the S&P 500's year-to-date total return came to -6.0%. The index's financial sector, however, delivered a total return of +1.0% over the same span.

Rising interest rates – which benefit everything from banks' net interest margins to insurance companies' fixed-income holdings – an accelerating global economic recovery and moderating inflationary pressures are just a few of the tailwinds at the financial sector's back in 2022, analysts say.

Be that as it may, not all financial stocks are created equal. A rising tide might lift all boats, but some sector names are forecast to be more buoyant than others. So we turned to Wall Street analysts to find the best financial stocks in the S&P 500 to buy for 2022, using data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Here's how the ratings system works: S&P surveys analysts' stock calls and scores them on a five-point scale, where 1.0 equals a Strong Buy and 5.0 is a Strong Sell. Scores between 3.5 and 2.5 translate into Hold recommendations. Scores higher than 3.5 equate to Sell ratings, while scores equal to or below 2.5 mean that analysts, on average, rate a stock as being a Buy. The closer a score gets to 1.0, the stronger the Buy recommendation.

From regional banks to multiline insurance firms to massive asset managers, the following 12 names rank as Wall Street's best financial stocks to buy for 2022.

Stock prices, market values and dividends as of Feb. 3. Analysts' recommendations and other data as of Feb. 3, courtesy of S&P Global Market Intelligence and YCharts, unless otherwise noted. Stocks are listed by analysts' consensus recommendation, from lowest to highest.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.