Ask a friend, if you want a good broker

The Ticker

July 12, 1996|By Julius Westheimer

IN RESPONSE to many queries, "How Do I Find a Good Broker?" some suggestions: "To find a good broker, ask friends and people you trust for recommendations. Find out why they value someone. If their reasons match your concerns, meet with the person to find out if he or she is compatible with you.

"Tell him/her everything necessary to understand your financial picture -- including other accounts, etc." ("Money: 127 Answers to Your Financial Questions," by Steven Camp, $12.95.)

AND NOW THIS: In addition to the above, I suggest you prepare -- and ask -- a list of questions, such as these, some from "Selecting a Qualified Financial Planning Professional" booklet:

"What is your investment philosophy? What areas do you specialize in? What professional affiliations do you maintain? Are you a member of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners?

"How often will you meet with me? Will you show your results in weak and strong markets? How are you compensated for various services?"

For more information on this topic, call Institute of Certified Financial Planners, (800) 282-PLAN.

FAIL SAFE? "If a stock goes up, a convertible bondholder gets 60 to 70 percent of the gain. If the stock tanks, the bondholder's losses are buffered." (Tracy Maitland, Advent Capital Management.)

SUMMER READING: From Business Week's recent Best-Seller List: "Wall Street Money Machine," by Wade Cook, $24.95. ("Formulas to Help You Strike It Rich.") "Beardstown Ladies Common Sense Investment Guide," (paperback, $10.95) "The Warren Buffett Way," by Robert Hagstrom, $14.95.

WOMEN'S WORRIES: "What Worries Women Most?" asks a recent Ladies Home Journal article. "Biggest worry: The economy, their fears falling into three categories:

"(1) Time and Money -- Being able to make ends meet, afford college for kids, holding a well-paying job (2) Retirement and Health Care -- 57 percent fear Social Security and Medicare won't be there for them (3) Taxes and Government Waste -- 54 percent say IRS takes too big a bite from family's income."

INFLATION INDEX: "The first automobile insurance policy was issued in 1897, by Travelers. Its liability coverage: $1,000. Its annual premium $7.50. Average annual premium in 1995: $637." (Insurance Information Institute.)

HOT OFF PRESS: Kiplinger's magazine, August, just out, names four stocks under "Four Pros Select a Stock That Meets Their Tests." The stocks are: First Data, Network Equipment Technologies, Melville and ICN Pharmaceuticals. The story gives specific reasons to buy.

GOOD LUCK! "Starting this month, when you use your ATM card to get cash, you just might win some money back. MasterCard's Express Lane ATM sweepstakes offers prizes ranging from $100 in cash to a Chrysler convertible. "To get get in on the game, your ATM card must bear the MasterCard Maestro or Cirrus logo, and your bank must be participating." (Smart Money, July.)

WHAT COUNTS MOST: "What do workers want most? (1) The opportunity, every day, to do what they do best. (2) A supervisor who cares about them as people. (3) To work at a firm where employees' opinions count. (4) A place to learn and grow. (5) A place where management feels employees' jobs are important." (Gallup Organization survey.)

MIDSUMMER MEMOS: "If you regularly breeze into hotels without reservations, watch out! In the months ahead -- with occupancies running at all-time highs -- business travelers who don't call ahead are likely to be left out in the cold." (Entrepreneur, June.)

Baltimore Gas & Electric stock appears under "Where the Values Are," in a recent S&P Outlook.

"Two insurance policies you don't need are credit life insurance and mortgage life insurance which pay off your debts when you die. A much cheaper alternative is to buy sufficient term life insurance to cover your liabilities." ("Straight Talk on Your Money" newsletter.)

Pub Date: 7/12/96

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