Brokers, banks offer 'mixing' tips

November 17, 1991|By Jonathan Lansner | Jonathan Lansner,Orange County Register

Does asset allocation sound overwhelming? Does juggling proportions of stocks, bonds and cash seem like too much to do?

If so, here's a few ways to "cheat" on the work while gaining the potential financial benefits:

Serious hand-holding can be obtained from Citicorp and Shearson Lehman Brothers, among others.

Citicorp Select Investments (800-872-8755) will devise an asset-allocation strategy for investors and help them choose from 650 mutual funds the bank reviews for performance. Shearson's TRAK service will tell you what asset allocation is right for you -- and match money managers to your financial goals.

With a home computer, several programs can help. Quicken by Intuit, Managing Your Money by Meca and Money by Microsoft all tally asset mixes, although not so easily. WealthBuilder by Reality goes one step further, helping users build a portfolio to match their needs. The programs are available at most software shops.

Many money managers offer their own guides to asset allocation, including work sheets and tips on how to match mixes to investments. One of the better ones is from T. Rowe Price in Baltimore (800-638-5660).

Finally, you can turn the asset mix debate over to a professional. Asset-allocation mutual funds subtly change their mix of stocks, bonds and cash in an attempt to maximize return with cutting risk. The top performers in the year that ended Aug. 31 were: Quest for Value Opportunity (up 35 percent, for more info call 800-232-3863), Dean Witter Strategist (up 27 percent; 800-869-3863) and Fidelity Asset Manager (up 27 percent, 800-544-6666).

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