LONDON -- The shares of Legal & General (LSE:LGEN) advanced 1 pence to 172 pence during early London trade this morning after the insurance and investment group issued record first-quarter results.

Nigel Wilson, Legal & General's chief executive, said: "Our U.K. and U.S. businesses have exceeded expectations, delivering another record set of trading figures."

The Q1 report showed investments assets under management had advanced 9% to 441 billion pounds during January, February and March, with overseas portfolios rising 21% to 52 billion pounds.

The FTSE 100 member also revealed new business sales on an annual premium equivalent basis had climbed 28% to 555 million pounds during the quarter.

The firm also claimed individual annuity premiums and workplace pension sales hit new records during the quarter.

Nigel Wilson, Legal & General's chief executive, added:

Legal & General has shown it can perform strongly, delivering cash, earnings and dividend growth across the economic cycle. The outlook for the business is strong, and will improve through broader economic growth and further international expansion.

Based on Legal & General's 2012 results, the shares currently trade at 12.3 times earnings and offer a dividend yield of 4.5%.

Of course, whether those ratings, today's results and the general outlook for the wider finance industry all combine to make Legal & General a buy right now is something only you can decide.

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