It's been a rough couple of years for insurance companies, and State Farm was no exception: The company's core property and casualty businesses suffered underwriting losses of $3.7 billion last year. No matter. Thanks to a sharp uptick in the company's investment assets, State Farm still managed to post after-tax profits of $777 million.
Too bad you can't buy shares of State Farm -- the insurance giant is owned by its policyholders. But you can purchase just about any kind of coverage from them. And thanks to its burgeoning financial operations, consumers can now borrow money and buy an assortment of mutual funds as well. --P.N.