Inflation-indexed Treasury bonds recall underperforming British gilts

The Ticker

June 28, 1996|By Julius Westheimer

NO FREE LUNCH: "Regarding the Treasury's forthcoming inflation-indexed bonds, they will probably pay 3-4 percentage points over inflation, but Great Britain's 1980s inflation-linked 'gilts' have dramatically underperformed other British bonds." (Barron's.)

LEARNING CURVE: "You need not be poor to qualify for college financial aid. Colleges apply a formula to determine what you can afford. The more children you have in college, for example, the wealthier you can be and still qualify for aid." (Raymond Loewe, financial consultant.)

ASK FIRST: "Airline tickets purchased through a consolidator or discount broker may not earn frequent-flier miles. Be sure to check your airline before booking." (Travel Smart newsletter.)

LOOKING FORWARD: July is historically a strong Wall Street month, with S&P 500-stock index rising an average 1.2 percent over the last 45 years. Only January, November and December exceeded July's performance.

WAITING GAME: Regarding July, the "1996 Stock Trader's Almanac" says: "Great Julys (up 3 percent or more) during bull markets invariably precede better buying opportunities in the fall."

STAY TUNED: Also looking ahead, Wednesday we will list the names of our Ticker contestants who, at midyear (4 p.m. market close this afternoon) are closest to the final Dow Jones first-half figure. Then, six months to go!

TAX TIP: "Receive a large refund this year? Although the check felt good, it's just a return of your interest-free loan to Uncle Sam -- money you could have spent or invested. After doing your math, consider filling out a new W-4 form to adjust your withholding closer to your anticipated 1996 tax bill." (Your Money, June-July.)

10-YEAR CLUB: "Investors worried about a 'pricey' market should stick with firms that raised dividends in each of last 10 years. Steadily rising dividends indicate healthy cash flow, also management's confidence. Rising payouts also help stocks in a down market. Examples: GE and Pepsi." (Mutual Fund News Service.)

SNAP JUDGMENT: "Mr. Bell, after careful consideration of your invention, while it's an interesting novelty, we've come to the conclusion it has no commercial possibilities," said noted financier J. P. Morgan on behalf of officials and engineers of Western Union after a demonstration of the telephone. (Moneypaper, June.)

EASY DOES IT: "Say goodbye to post office and bank lines. Dial for stamps at 800-782-6724. For minimum order of $16, plus $3.20 service charge, charge stamp rolls, booklets, etc., have them sent to you. Also, ask your company to automatically deposit your paycheck in your bank. For withdrawals, use an ATM." (Working Families, July.)

LIGHTER SIDE: If Hillary Clinton, in her imaginary conversation with Eleanor Roosevelt, had asked about Wall Street, the present first lady would have heard that on FDR's Inauguration Day, March 4, 1933, the Dow Jones industrial average stood at 53.84 and when he died, April 12, 1945, the Dow closed at 158.48.

CRYING TOWEL: If you had invested $10,000 in the Dow average on Inauguration Day 1933 (but who had $10,000 then?) your investment would now be worth slightly over $1 million.

MONTH-ENDERS: For a free booklet, "Eight Ways to Make $1 Million With Your 401(k) Plan," send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to National Association of 401(k) Investors, Box 410755K, Melbourne, Fla. 32941.

Westinghouse Electric stock, held by many Marylanders, is listed under "Rising Stars," in S&P Outlook, June 26. ("Expect possibility of splitting into separate broadcasting and industrial companies to help stock. Acquisition of Infinity Broadcasting another positive.")

Bell Atlantic, the utility that serves our area, is recommended for purchase "below $65" in Personal Finance, June 26. Recent price about $62.

"American Express is the most popular major charge card used by business travelers at luxury hotels, with 38 percent share of market, Visa 14, MasterCard 11." (D. K. Shifflet & Associates.)

"We're born with two ears and one mouth. That should tell us something." (Bits & Pieces, June 20.)

Pub Date: 6/28/96

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