Investment clubs offer exciting opportunities

The Ticker

June 12, 1996|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

IN THIS heady stock market that sometimes swings over 100 Dow Jones points in a day -- last Friday was an example -- are you afraid of going it alone? Try this:

"If you want an investment that often outperforms the S&P 500-stock index -- and provides fun and companionship, too -- start or join an investment club," says Personal Finance newsletter.

"Clubs are back in vogue, their popularity triggered by the most famous group, the Beardstown (Ill.) Ladies Club. Its average annual return: 23 percent since 1983.

"Through clubs you make new contacts, swap financial ideas. They usually have 10 to 20 people, often family members or co-workers. Members put in $10 to $50 a month. For information on starting a club, call NAIC [National Association of Investors Corp.], 810-583-6242."

EYES GLAZE OVER? Barron's, June 10, on newsstands this week, runs a thoughtful article, "Boring Doubles: Neglected Issues That Could Double Over Next Few Years," subtitled, "Strategy Combines Intense Analysis With Extraordinary Patience for Big Gains."

Here are successful money manager Mark Boyer's "boring" picks: American Brands, Spiegel, Playboy Enterprises, New York Times, Salomon, Lehman Bros., Whitman, Time Warner, Seagram, Lands' End, Hanover Direct, Fingerhut.

NEW TWIST: "The board of directors you really need doesn't give a damn about your company," says a surprising INC magazine, June, headline. The story begins, "You need a 'personal' board like tribal elders you turn to for guidance at times of ethical dilemmas, lifestyle crises, difficult choices, etc." Top executives should read this article, subtitled, "Looking Out for Number One."

NOT SO FAST! Thinking of retiring from an executive position? Before you pull the switch, read Fortune's June 24 cover story, "How I Flunked Retirement," about Lee Iacocca's "lonely life in Bel Air." Maybe you'll work a while longer.

MONEY-SAVER: "Plan your weekly menu around supermarket sale items. This, combined with coupons, saves you about $15 a week, or $780 a year, enough to buy shares of stock or mutual funds." (Parenting, June-July.)

TAX TIP: "Your home, vacation home or boat can be a source of tax-free or tax-deferred income.

"If you rent your residence out for 14 days or less during the year, the income you receive is tax-free -- you don't even have to tell the IRS you received it.

"A boat can qualify as a residence if it has sleeping quarters, a kitchen and bathroom facilities." (Ernst & Young.)

SAFE, NOT SORRY: "Carry money in several places to reduce chance of losing it all to a thief -- especially when traveling, where replacement may be difficult.

"Put small bills in one front pocket, larger bills in another. Never carry a wallet in your back pocket, where it's easiest to pick." ("Adventure & Profit in the World's Bazaars," by Christina Blessing, $20.)

YOUNGER SET: "Give teens an address book and discuss the importance of keeping track of people they meet, their occupations, etc. This can be helpful later for 'networking' for jobs, investment advice, etc." ("No More Frogs to Kiss," by Joline Godfrey.)

MARYLAND MEMO: Charles Allmon's "Growth Stock Outlook," Chevy Chase (301-654-5205) stands third from the top on a "risk-adjusted" basis among all newsletters tracked by Hulbert Financial Digest since the early 1980s." ("On Wall Street," June.)

LAST, NOT LEAST: The new Business Week, June 17, has a long, worthwhile cover story, "The World's Best Investments." We'll highlight it Friday.

"I see Treasury's plans to offer new inflation-indexed bonds as further evidence that inflation fears are overdone." (Gary Shilling, Forbes, June 17.)

The New Yorker, June 10, runs a thoughtful article, "Clinton Sticks With an Issue -- the Economy -- and It Comes in a Big Winner."

"You'll be able to keep your same phone number in the future, even if you switch phone companies," (Federal Communications Commission press release.)

"About 85 percent of employers match worker contributions to 401(k) plans, over half matching 45 percent." (Survey on Employer Savings Plans.)

"The title of 'The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need,' by Andrew Tobias ($12) overstates the case, but the advice is largely common sense." (The Cheap Report, June.)

"Black coffee won't ruin your computer keyboard, but cream and sugar are harmful. Generally, don't eat, drink or smoke around your computer." (Glamour, May.)

USF&G stock appears under "Where the Values Are," in a recent S&P Outlook.

Pub Date: 6/12/96

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