Investor fears prompt heavy selling

The Ticker

June 21, 1994|By Julius Westheimer

Frightened by a lower U.S. dollar, higher commodity prices, weak Asian markets and a 34-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average Friday, investors sold stocks heavily yesterday. The closely watched Dow indicator fell 34.88 points, closing at 3,741.90.

WANT MORE MONEY? "Want to ask for a raise without worrying about being fired for asking? First, avoid these inappropriate ways to ask: 'I haven't had a raise for more than a year . . . Others at this firm who do similar work earn more money . . . My expenses are going up all the time.' First, nobody cares, and second, those statements antagonize the person who grants raises. Here are positive rules: Don't threaten him/her that you might resign unless you're prepared to follow through . . . Let management know that you like the company and your job . . . List your achievements for the last 12 months . . . Ask for what you want and be prepared to compromise." (Robert Half, author of "Finding, Hiring and Keeping the Best Employees.")

10G to 60M: In response to several requests, here are further details from a U.S. News & World Report (June 20) article called "Warren Buffett: The Most Successful Investor in America." The biggest stock positions in Berkshire Hathaway, his holding company, are, in order, Coca-Cola, GEICO, Gillette, Capital Cities-ABC, Wells Fargo, Federal Home Loan Mortgage, Washington Post, General Dynamics and Guinness . . . Mr. Buffett uses the old-fashioned "Rip Van Winkle" approach because, he says, "My favorite time frame for holding a stock is forever. You could be somewhere without getting mail for three weeks and do just fine." Personally worth $8.5 billion, he still lives in the $31,000 house he bought 36 years ago. (And to repeat from last Thursday's Ticker, because it bears repetition, $10,000 invested with Mr. Buffett in 1956 would be worth $60 million (!) today.

Ticker Note: Some Baltimoreans may remember Mr. Buffett as the man who came here and took over Hochschild Kohn & Co., the ailing downtown department store, many years ago.

BALTIMORE BEAT: Baltimore-based Brown Capital Management, one of the largest minority-owned investment management firms in the U.S., introduces three new mutual funds: BCM Balanced Fund, BCM Equity Fund and BCM Small Company Fund. The minimum initial investment is $10,000 or $2,000 for an IRA or Keogh. Phone (800) 809-FUND for an application and prospectus. Eddie Brown, founder, has been a panelist on "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser" for 15 years . . . "Sun Stocks" reaching 12-month highs recently include Danaher, Griffith Consumers and Mid-Atlantic Medical. Duty Free International slipped to a new yearly low . . . "The most efficient labor-saving device is still money." (Sent in by a Cockeysville reader)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "You'll be better off purchasing plane tickets on weekdays. Often, airlines will increase fares on weekends, as a test, to see if other carriers follow suit. If competing companies do not match the increase, the airline will almost always bring the ticket price down on the next business day." (Men's Health, July) . . . "Big trade shows are fine for reaching hordes of 'might-be' customers, but some business-to-business marketers find private shows better for impressing existing clients." (Inc. magazine, June, which has details on how to operate successful private shows) MARYLAND MAILBAG: The Rothschild Co.'s Dawson Richardson will mail his "Mid-Capitalization Stock Characteristics: A Comprehensive Study," if you phone 539-4660 or write him c/o his firm at 32 South St., Baltimore, Md. 21202. The report, with charts and graphs, says, in part, "I think that current valuations for mid-cap stocks present an unusual buying opportunity relative to larger-cap issues." . . . Merrill Lynch's Richard Rist writes, "Sometimes your radio and TV callers ask what to do with small amounts of money. Our funds will accept as little as $250 ($100 for retirement accounts) and $50 for subsequent investments." Call Mr. Rist (547-5000) for details.

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