With the money they've made, investors have much to ponder

The Ticker

January 31, 1996|By Julius Westheimer

CLEARING THE January notebook:

WALL ST. WATCH: "Since 1988 the stock market has no parallels in financial history. The Dow hit record highs every year. Stocks now dominate net worth of Americans." (New York Times.)

"There's nothing wrong with raising cash, even in a booming market. It gives you time to think." (Robert Prechter, Elliott Wave Theorist.)

"Domestic stock funds were up over 29 percent in 1995 but global funds gained only 8 percent. Since this wide spread historically narrows, don't overlook foreign funds." (Barron's.)

MARYLAND MEMOS: Bethesda-based Lockheed-Martin appears under "Building a Well-Balanced Portfolio" in S&P Outlook, Jan. 17.

Steven Eskenazi, of Alex. Brown, is listed under "The 25 Best Analysts" in Financial World, Jan. 30.

"Big money now is flowing into Dow Jones stocks, the index portfolio managers try to beat." (Richard Cripps, Legg Mason chief strategist.)

TIME-SAVER: "If you're sick of hearing that recorded 'Press 1, press 2, press 3,' pretend you're using a rotary dial phone and stay on the line. An operator will answer quickly." (A Lutherville reader.)

CAREER CORNER: "With corporate downsizing rampant, best way to survive long run is often to move sideways, short-run -- move laterally." (Working Woman, Feb., with specific suggestions.)

"If you don't take time to develop new business, you may end up with no business at all." (Entrepreneur, Feb.)

Surprise! "Construction, trucking and machinery lead the list of women-owned businesses with annual sales over $2.5 million." (Business Week, Jan. 29.)

INVESTMENT IDEAS: "Worst risk today is you'll give in to an urge to flee stocks when the market tanks and you'll miss the rebound." (Fortune, Feb. 5.)

"Because real estate trusts yield much more than Treasury bonds, and with the industry healing, REITS appear especially attractive." (Moneyline, CNN.)

"Before you sell any mutual funds, minimize taxes by checking different ways of computing costs. See your accountant." (Consumer Reports, Feb.)

LOOKING BACK: Grim Reminder: From 1972 highs to 1974 lows, these blue-chip stocks suffered the following percentage plunges: Avon, 87; Coca-Cola, 70; IBM, 56; Eastman Kodak, 62; McDonald's, 72; Disney, 86.

"Hard to realize, but long-term bond yields dropped these substantial percentages: In 1991, 10 percent; 1993, 11 percent, 1995, 21 percent" (Personal Finance.)

LOOKING AHEAD: From your entries in our forecasting contest:

"I predict year-end Dow Jones 6,001. We'll have balanced budget agreement before election, and presidential years are good." (Lawrence Simpson.)

"I'll say 5,475. Things are looking up for all of us, I do believe." (Bea Harris.)

"You're the best-dressed broker on TV. Your Dad sure taught you how to dress. I predict 5,547 because I think you pay $55.47 for ties." (Neal Bowden.) Sorry, I don't; I'm a Depression guy.

MONTH-ENDERS: The latest Kiplinger Washington Letter says President Clinton will be "tough to beat" in November.

Looking back, I find that when Mr. Clinton was elected, on Nov. 3, 1992, the Dow Jones average stood at 3,223.04.

"Starting in April, ATM transaction fees at a bank other than yours will double or triple the average $1.15." (Reliance Enterprises, bank consultants.)

"The 10 highest-yielding Dow Jones stocks turned in a whopping 37 percent increase last year." (Money, Feb.)

"Now's the time to open your wallet to closed-end funds; they're as cheap as they've been in years." (Jason Zweig.)

"While men's pay dropped a stunning 11.7 percent between 1973 and 1993, the typical woman's pay rose 6.1 percent, both figures adjusted for inflation." (Working Woman, Feb.)

"If you're a retiree, your investment horizon is longer than you think. Your cost of living will double or triple. Be sure to stay invested in growth." (Jonathan Pond, planner.)

"Become more humble as the market goes your way." (Bernard Baruch, successful investor.)

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