Stock sages are now cautious but confident and also nervous

The Ticker

March 29, 1996|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

ON THE LAST trading day of the first quarter -- with the Dow Jones industrial average this morning up 513 points, or 10 percent, since New Year's Day -- many people ask, "And now where?"

FORBES FOURSOME: Speaking of stocks, here are four differing opinions from Forbes, April 8. Take your choice:

"I'm nervous about this market." (David Dreman) "There's no end in sight to the flow of money into stocks." (R. S. Salomon Jr.) "No matter who wins the presidential election, for now be cautious about stocks." (Mark Hulbert) "Genius is eternal patience." (Michelangelo)

SILVER THREADS: "Save Now, Don't Starve Later," in Cosmopolitan, April, is worth reading. Excerpts:

"We don't mean to scare you, but your 20s aren't too soon to think about a secure future. If unprepared, you can end up in a tight financial bind. But you'll enjoy heaps of money if you begin pumping cash into a retirement account when you're young.

"Curb credit-card debt. Accept 'free money' Uncle Sam offers by opening IRA, 401(k) or Keogh. Make retirement savings automatic by having percent of earnings deducted directly from your paycheck. Stick with the program."

BIG DIFFERENCE: Speaking of retirement programs, compare these figures, from a recent Wall Street Journal ad:

"Two investors, both in 28 percent tax bracket, save $2,000 annually at 8 percent. Taxable, $2,000 grows to $27,600 in 10 years vs. tax-deferred (IRA, for example) $31,000. After 30 years, it's $160,000 taxable but $244,000 tax deferred."

SALES TIP: "In a business setting, a good listener can get a larger sales commission, be more persuasive and strike a better deal -- all because he or she is aware of what the other person really wants." (Working Families, April)

BALTIMORE BEAT: Accustaff, parent of Baltimore-based Attorneys Per Diem, is under "Most Popular Stocks" in Hulbert Financial Digest, March. Seven newsletters recommend the stock.

Baltimorean Charles "Chip" Morris, T. Rowe Price Science & Technology Fund manager, appears on the cover of Forbes, April 8. ("He starts his research in the company's parking lot.")

Baltimore is No. 45 under "How Biggest Housing Markets Are Faring" in U.S. News & World Report, April 1. (Our prices down 1.3 percent 1992-1996.)

LOOKING UP: If you want to attend the Astrology & Stock Market Forecasting Conference ("Naturally a stellar performance") in New York, May 17-18, phone (212) 949-7211. Good luck.

MONTH-END MEMOS: Average tax refund last year was $1,178.

For security reasons, it's advisable to have your refund sent directly to your bank by filing Form 8888 with your tax return.

Speaking of taxes, deadline for federal and Maryland tax returns is midnight, Monday, April 15, a little more than two weeks away.

"Technology stocks' collapse is Wall Street's biggest story. Sun Microsystems, AT&T, etc., are great buys, but for most the bad times are just beginning." (Personal Finance, March 27)

"Only about 75 percent of workers who qualified for 401(k) plans in 1995, or 28 million people, participated in them." (Business Week, March 11)

"When you take money from your IRA before age 59 1/2 , you suffer a 10 percent penalty, but there's no penalty if distribution is for death, disability or to pay medical bills." (Tax Hotline, March)

LAST, NOT LEAST: "Eastern Savings Bank, Md." ((800) 787-7372) is listed under "Best Savings Yield in U.S.: Five Year CDs," in Money, March.

"We added Westinghouse to our model portfolio. The company, a solid turnaround play, underwent a major face lift in recent weeks." (DRIP Investor)

Fortune, April 15, just out, runs a worthwhile cover story, "Market Mania? Will It All End Badly?"

"MaxiMarketers know how to navigate the electronic marketplace to reach their best customers." (Success, April, just out. We'll summarize the story Wednesday.)

"Doing nothing is the hardest work of all." (Bits & Pieces)

Pub Date: 3/29/96

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