Market throw you for a loss? Try some strategy

The Ticker

April 12, 1996|By Julius Westheimer

CHEER UP! Although the Dow Jones industrial average is nearly 200 points lower this week, the blue-chip index is up 370 points year-to-date, and ahead 1,653 points, or 43 percent, since Jan. 1, 1995.

But if you lost money in Wall Street, here are ways to build back cash:

"Make automatic payments from your bank to an investment plan. Don't trade stocks willy-nilly; commissions and taxes are expensive. Shop now if you haven't checked life insurance prices recently. Call SelectQuote, 800-343-1985. When traveling, take an ATM card instead of expensive travelers' checks.

"To allow your IRA to grow, pay annual fee by check instead of letting fund dip into your account. Get ruthless with incidentals: Cancel magazines you don't read, dump clubs you don't use, drop credit cards you don't need. Pay ahead on your mortgage." (Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, May.) We'll have a mortgage example next Wednesday.

BIZ & QUIZ: "When your boss tells you to relocate, insist on enough bucks to meet your family's needs. Companies will give what it takes to relocate valued people." (Fortune, April 15, in a useful article, "Helping Your Trailing Spouse.")

Kiplinger Washington Letter (April 5) says that to get 60 percent of your working days' income in retirement, you must put in 13 percent of your pay from age 30 to 65.

Can you guess where the Dow Jones industrial average closed on April 12, 1945 -- 51 years ago today -- the day Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt died? Read on.

APRIL SHOWERS: CNN says college tuition will rise about 5 percent this fall, the smallest increase in 20 years.

"Today, 60 percent of Dow Jones stocks cost $60 or more per share. In 1992, only 10 percent traded there." (CNBC TV.)

"To get your name, address and phone number removed from telemarketers' lists, write Telephone Preference Service, P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735." (Living Cheap News.) When traveling, carry a wad of one-dollar bills. They make good tip, taxi and airport limo money, especially abroad, before you figure out foreign currency.

MONEY MAILBAG: For "Money Management Guide," including forms to organize your income and expenses in a concise, understandable manner -- plus advice on how to get out of debt -- send $5 to BankCard Holders of America, 524 Branch Drive, Salem, Va. 24153.

TAX-SAVER: "Give kids real estate tax-free, $10,000 at a time. Since you can give each child $10,000 a year -- $20,000 if you're married -- you can give that amount of real estate and conserve your cash. See your tax adviser for details." (David Rhine, CPA, New York.)

QUIZ ANSWER: On the day FDR died, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at 158.48. (I was in the New York Times composing room and a generous foreman gave me Page 1 proofs from three editions.)

LOOKING BACK: Responding to several requests, more quotations from Dollars & Sense, by Col. William Hunter, 1907:

"Don't decide on important matters too quickly. You're fighting odds when you speculate in stocks; you can't win. In newspapers, editors get $20-$80 a week; advertising men $50- $200. One produces theoretical, the other tangible results. Get into and stay in sales, the side that produces profits.

"When you go to New York, stay at a good hotel for $2, not a second-class hotel for 50 cents less. There's a string in every proposition. When someone 'lets you in' on the ground floor, look for the string. Learn to say 'No.' Of thousands who failed in business, you'll often find the inability to say 'No.' "

LOOKING AHEAD: Final Reminder: Your tax returns must be postmarked by midnight Monday, April 15.

Speaking of taxes, Working Families (April) says, "If you inform on a tax cheat and start an investigation that leads to recovery, you get 10 percent of the first $75,000, 5 percent of the next $25,000 and 1 percent of the remainder."

"Stocks aren't cheap. The elevator left the bargain basement some time ago. You're late in the game. Keep an eye on the exit." (Margo's Small Stocks.)

Pub Date: 4/12/96

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