Money grows in hands of those who blend courage with caution

The Ticker

April 24, 1996|By Julius Westheimer

SPRINGTIME notes about your money, the first one pretty chilly: WARNING: "Three axioms to live by: All bubbles burst. No one can predict when. Door is never wide enough to let everybody who wants out to rush through at once." (Worth, May)

INVESTMENT IDEAS: "Have a long-term horizon. As a test, don't look at your stocks daily or even weekly. Maybe every month. If you own good companies, that's all that's necessary." (Richard Thaler, economist)

"Although there's lots of new money in mutual funds, new investors can't stand losses. But if they ride it out, they'll have the last laugh and biggest money pile at the end." (David Blitzer, S&P economist)

"Pullback in bond prices creates unique buying opportunity." (PaineWebber's "Advisor," which Marvin Fribush, 576-3220, will send.)

MARYLAND MEMO: Bethesda-based Marriott International is listed under "10 Best Outfits for You to Join -- and Then Quit," in Money, May. Excerpts:

"Early on, work for No. 1 firm in your favorite field. You'll get training, enviable standards, contacts, etc. After 3-5 years, with brand-name status, jump to a better job, maybe a small company or your own show. Marriott offers broad opportunity and world's best-run hospitality operation."

OUNCE OF PREVENTION: "Periodically photocopy contents of your wallet or pocketbook. Keep copies in a separate place. This procedure makes replacement of credit cards, driver's license, passport, etc., easier if your wallet or purse is lost or stolen." (Fortune, April 29)

STARTING OUT: Want to start a new business? Inc., April, warns: "Have a concept that's been around 100 years, an established one everybody understands, not something new and revolutionary. That's because there's nothing more expensive than educating a market."

In that regard, Dad told me, "Son, if you go into business, buy an established one with the 'habit of footsteps.' It's terribly tough to start a brand new restaurant, hotel or something like that."

RETURN MAIL: "If you get unsolicited credit cards, don't chuck them -- return them, letting issuer know you don't want them. Otherwise it hits your credit report as 'available credit,' even though you never used the card, raising future lenders' suspicions you can't pay back the loan and credit charge." (Cheap Report, April)

BALTIMORE BLUES: Of the five Maryland firms in the "Fortune 500" (April 29) listing -- Lockheed Martin, Black & Decker, Giant Food, USF&G and BGE -- only B&D, USF&G and BGE are headquartered in the Baltimore area, and BGE moves to Annapolis next summer.

NEW MAGAZINES, ETC.: Forbes, May 6, just out, runs a valuable story, "A Simple Strategy For Beating the Market Is to Buy the Highest-Yielding Dow Stocks." We'll summarize it Friday.

"If you buy an airline "consolidator discount ticket," use a charge card. If there's something wrong with it, have the credit-card company cancel the payment and get your money back." (Consumer Reports, May)

From an article, "Can Wal-Mart Get Back the Magic?" (Fortune, April 29) this sentence: "What almost killed Sears and Kmart, after all, was management's resistance to change."

"Before taking a hotel room, look out the window for noisy highways. Avoid rooms near elevators or ice machines. Ask for a room upgrade based on frequency of stay." (Entrepreneur, April)

Well-known Baltimore native Carter Randall, regular "Wall Street Week" panelist since 1970, announced his retirement. He appears on his final show June 14.

"Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds," a Charles Mackay classic first published in 1841, has just been re-published, $19.95. I suggest every stock investor read it.

"If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some." (Benjamin Franklin)

"Ollie North Goes Gunning for Investors," reads a Business Week, April 29, headline, adding, "But his company's initial public offering, Guardian Technologies (bulletproof vests and shields) may wound wallets."

"The poorest man at the table always reaches for the check." (My father, 1872-1956)

Pub Date: 4/24/96

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