Here’s our Pick of the Month for January, 2009

Article Excerpt

FAIRFAX FINANCIAL HOLDINGS $360 (Toronto symbol FFH: SI Rating: Average) (416-367-2612; www.fairfax.ca; Shares outstanding: 16.9 million; Market cap: $6.1 billion) is a financial services holding company with assets of $27.9 billion. Fairfax engages in insurance, reinsurance and investment management. Prem Watsa is the chairman and founder of the company. Fairfax’s shares are high priced, but you can buy an odd lot of as few as 10 shares or so through any broker. Fairfax provides reinsurance through OdysseyRe and Group Re. Reinsurers provide insurance to insurers. Crum & Forster is Fairfax’s main U.S. insurance subsidiary, and Northbridge Financial is its principal subsidiary in Canada. Fairfax also sells insurance in Asia. Fairfax recently announced that it will acquire the 36.9% of Northbridge Financial not already held. Northbridge is a recommendation of Stock Pickers Digest. In the nine months ended September 30, 2008, Fairfax’s earnings jumped 112.8%, to $1.13 billion or $60.63 a share, from $532.2 million or $29.54 a share. The latest nine months…

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