A few memories of Mother's Day

The Ticker

May 07, 1992|By Julius Westheimer

Approaching Mother's Day on Sunday, Ticker presents today a few maternal and financial reminiscences:

MOTHER & MONEY: My mother, Helen G. Westheimer, was a quiet, Victorian-type woman who often lectured me on money matters. Born on West Lexington Street in 1881 and daughter of Julius Gutman, a well-known local merchant, my mother grew up "to know the value of a dollar," as she put it. Some of her pet warnings: "Son, be sure to put away pennies for a rainy day . . . A penny saved is a penny earned . . . Julius, don't buy Boy's Life magazine for 20 cents when your father reads the Saturday Evening Post for a nickel . . . You don't need a car; I always walked from our home in the 1700 block of Eutaw Place across the North Avenue bridge to Goucher College every day, rain or shine, to save a nickel carfare."

MIRIAM & MONEY: My first mother-in-law had different ideas. Miriam Hartheimer Joffee and her second husband traveled extensively, never worried much about "rainy days" and enjoyed their lives. But she had unique investment ideas. Widowed in the Depression, she inherited a modest stock portfolio in 1933 that she literally did not change for 51 years. "Julius," she responded when I suggested she "pep up" her list with Xerox, Polaroid, etc., "AT&T and GE were good enough for us in the 1930s, and they'll always be good." Of course she was right. (I always felt that she despised me, thinking -- partly correctly -- that I was after her money.)

8 MONTHS TO GO: Who, in our Dow Jones forecasting contest, is closest as of April 30, one-third through 1992? With the Dow closing Friday at 3,333.09, tied for first at DJ 3,333 are Gibson Messersmith, Randy Chrest, Arlene Voelker, John Waters and Ellen McClelland. In our so-called "expert" contest (bankers, brokers, media stars, etc.), closest is Andy Barth, Channel 2, at HTC 3,333, followed by James Hardesty, Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co., and Richard Barbarita, manager at Paine Webber, both at 3,350.

I figured that in last year's final eight months, the Dow Jones average climbed 8.1 percent between April 30 and the year end. If that rise is repeated this year, the Dow will end 1992 at about 3,600.

LOCAL LINGO: The Rothschild Co. for institutional funds under management equaled the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index performance for the first quarter of 1992, edging off 2.5 percent. Since its 1973 inception, Rothschild funds gained 902 percent vs. 721 percent for the S&P 500 . . . Legg Mason's May "Investor's Dozen" includes American Express, Beneficial Corp., Danaher, Fuqua, Genentech, GFC Financial, Greyhound, Hunt Mfg., International Multifoods, Lilly, Pic 'n' Save, Unilever.

MOTHERS & MORE: "A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take." (Cardinal Mermillod) . . . "One good mother is worth a hundred school masters." (George Herbert) . . . "The future destiny of the child is always the work of the mother." (Napoleon) . . . "Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars and sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends -- but only one mother in the whole world." (Kate Douglas Wiggin).

Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser" looks ahead with Patricia Chadwick, managing director of Chancellor Capital Management and panelists Elizabeth Dater, Gail Dudack and Michael Holland . . . "This market is far ahead of itself; it went too fast too soon." (Monte Gordon, retired portfolio manager) . . . "The Dow will go up 100 points, then drop 300." (Howard "Pete" Colhoun, adviser) . . . "Stocks are ahead of themselves, but there will be no crash." (Peter Bernstein) . . . "There's a rule for writers, 'Write what you know.' There's a rule for investors, 'Invest in what you understand.' " (Cabot Letter) . . . Potomac Electric Power is listed under "Stocks for Superior Long-Term Total Return" in S&P Outlook, April 29.

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