Guess-the-Dow contest has 7 early leaders

The Ticker

December 03, 1992|By Julius Westheimer

In our annual Dow Jones contest, which crystal-ball gazers are closest to winning dinners and lunches as guests of Mr. and Mrs. Ticker?

With four weeks to go and the Dow Jones industrial average slipping 8 points yesterday, to close at 3,286.25, here are the leaders:

Closest is Mrs. Eugene Johnston, Camp Hill, Pa. (3,288), followed, in order, by Catherine Gutberlet, Seven Valleys, Pa. (3,290), Rose Terracina, Catonsville (3,292), Bernadine Cochran, Reisterstown (3,292), Mary Mosetti, Baltimore (3,292), Eugene Johnston, Camp Hill, Pa. (3,294) and Irene Eddy, Reisterstown (3,296.) In case of a tie, a coin flip will decide.

CAVEAT EMPTOR: Before buying a mutual fund between now and Dec. 31, be careful not to make the investment before the fund distributes its year-end capital gains. If you do, you'll be taxed on profits you have not made. Check with your broker . . . "I'm very worried when I see the high valuations of some growth companies." (George Vanderheiden, manager, Fidelity Investments' stock funds, up an average 18.3 percent per year over 12 years) . . . "With short-term interest rates rising and stocks fully priced, the stock market is in for tough times ahead." (Steven Leeb, fund manager)

MONEY SAVERS: Here are a few new books about saving money, possibly helpful during recession: "Living Cheap: Survival Guide for the Nineties," by Larry Roth (Ropubco, $14.95); "1,001 Ways to Cut Expenses," by Jonathan Pond (Dell, $8); "Personal Budget Planner," by Eric Gelb (Career Advancement Center, $19.95); "Scrooge Investing," by Mark Skousen (Dearborn Financial Publishing, $19.95)

BITS & PIECES: If you had invested $10,000 a year ago, here is how you would have fared: In U.S. stocks, $11,667; in Treasury bonds, $11,267; in a money fund, $10,302; in foreign stocks, $9,743; in gold, $9,117 . . . Inflation note: "In June 1991, we bought a new Mercedes 420-SEL with a sticker price of $63,000. The current equivalent car, a 400 SEL (the 420 is no longer in production), has a sticker price of $81,000. When you add the increased luxury tax and state sales taxes, this increase comes to a huge 34 percent!" (Letter to BusinessWeek from a Florida resident) . . . "Word processors make it easier to write these days, but it's just as hard to think of something to write." (Overheard somewhere)

WORKPLACE WISDOM: "The CEO of a major firm once told Roger Ailes, corporate consultant, that he would soon fire a $400,000-a-year executive but was reluctant to do so because, when he looked beyond the man's personality, the executive did his job very well. The CEO asked Ailes for help. 'I met with the executive,' said Ailes, 'and told him I heard he was rude, thin-skinned -- and very talented.' Ailes had six long meetings with the executive in which Ailes played back tapes of the meetings; the executive was shocked at what he heard. Before Ailes was through, the man was convinced he should listen to people, be diplomatic, get their ideas. As it turned out, he held onto his job and became a better executive." (Leadership)

LOCAL FILE: Highest insured money funds and CDs in this area are at Custom Savings, Chevy Chase Savings, Eastern Savings, Maryland National Bank, Washington Savings (Waldorf) and Equitable Federal Savings (Wheaton). (Data from "100 Highest Yields," Nov. 30) . . . "Although the stock market will not experience the gains that it did over the past five years, it will provide returns that exceed those from bonds and cash. We expect to increase our stock exposure in the near future." (First National Bank, by Charles Knudsen)

MORE LOCAL NEWS: "States that pay their governors the most are, in order, New York, $130,000; North Carolina, $123,000; Maryland, $120,000; and California, $112,000. (Council of State Governments) . . . Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co.'s "Emphasis List" includes Apple Computer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Giant Food, Murphy Oil, Pacific Telesis and Times Mirror . . . Wooden & Benson (825-4860) will mail its 24-page booklet, "1992 Year-End Tax Planning Strategies." . . . BusinessWeek, Dec. 7, runs a long article, "Westinghouse: More Pain Ahead; Will Paul Lego Be Able to Turn Things Around?" (" 'We were approving loans at 110 percent of value. It was crazy,' one former Westinghouse Credit Corp. employee said." . . . Harry B. Gorfine & Co. (539-5474) will mail last-minute tax planning suggestions, final employment tax deposit rules, etc. . . . A rare total eclipse of the moon in this area will take place Wednesday.

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