OPENING THE NOVEMBER notebook:
November is the year's second strongest Wall Street month, rising an average 1.5 percent over 44 years. Best month: December.
The 1996 Stock Trader's Almanac says, "There have never been losses in the June-December period of any election year. If there's weakness, it will be in the first five months of 1996."
BGE stock is listed under "Our 10 Current Electric Utility Favorites" in S&P Outlook, Oct. 25.
RECENT ANNIVERSARY: "Oct. 29, 1929, was the most devastating day in stock market history. Great blocks of stock were offered for whatever they would bring. Air holes, which bankers were to close, opened wide. In one brokerage house an employee fainted from fatigue, was revived and put back to work again." ("The Great Crash: 1929," by John Kenneth Galbraith.)
LOOKING AHEAD (1): People ask if I think a 1929-1932 type crash (Dow Jones down 88 percent) will happen again. I think it will not. One reason: In the 1920s investors and speculators needed only 10 percent margin (deposit) to buy stocks. Today, 50 percent. Another reason: Recent proliferation of pension funds, mutual funds, etc., which are big stock buyers.
LOOKING AHEAD (2): "At this point you can sleep well with bonds." (Forbes, Nov. 6.) "Son, bonds are the house you live in." (My father, a stock broker many decades ago.)
"Only 45 percent of newsletters are bullish, and that's good. When over 65 percent are optimistic, that's bad, meaning people are fully invested and can't buy more unless they sell." (Investors Intelligence)
SAFE, NOT SORRY: "Upping auto and homeowners deductibles can save enough to buy you $1 million of 'catastrophe umbrella' insurance. You'll need it if your car accidentally injures and/or kills pedestrians. See your insurance person." (Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine)
DEALS ON WHEELS: "Most people finance a car for as long as they can. That's completely wrong. Put at least 20 percent down, finance it for four years or less. If you can't handle that, buy a cheaper car." (Working Woman, November)
HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Financial steps to take when a baby is on the way:
"Evaluate spousal health insurance to avoid duplicate coverage; estimate day care costs; create a 'slush fund' to cover cost of unpaid maternity leave; have enough money in bank to cover 3 to 6 months' living expenses; draw up a will." (Black Enterprise, November)
GOOD OPPORTUNITY: "Specialist in English as Second Language" is included in "20 Hottest Job Tracks," in U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 30.
Excerpts: "Students designated as 'limited English proficient' just jumped 22 percent Many students use a native language other than English Teachers take small groups daily to teach them basic English Fluency in another language not mandatory Typical salary $46,000."
THIS WEEK: Read Financial World (Nov. 7), about utility mergers, including comments on BGE, Potomac Electric Power and Delmarva Power & Light.
Learn about T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund chief Jack Laporte, in a long, favorable article in Worth, November.
This week's (Oct. 30) Barron's "Big Money Poll" concludes that "portfolio managers see Dow nearing 5,000 by midyear 1996."
Business Week devotes most of this week's (Nov. 6) issue to "First Annual Computer Buying Guide."
Call (800) 772-1213 for your Social Security Personal Earnings Statement. After filling out the form SSA will send you, you'll have your earnings printout in about three weeks.
"For $12 an hour, Internet Business Center [(212) 929-0566] will teach you how to use Internet." (Success, Oct.)
I will answer your call-in "money" questions each weekday at 6:45 a.m. on WBAL-TV, Channel 11. Dial 481-8844.