This could be the time for conservative moves

The Ticker

November 13, 1996|By Julius Westheimer

IN THIS record-setting stock market, with the Dow Jones industrial average this morning at an all-time high of 6,266.04 -- up 1,148.92 points, or 22.4 percent, this year -- why not consider some relatively conservative investments?

Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, December, lists "Safe Stocks If The Market Flops." Among them are St. Paul Companies, Sun Trust Banks, Clorox, Kimberly Clark, Procter & Gamble, Winn-Dixie Stores, American Home Products, Schering-Plough and Warner Lambert.

Or maybe you should go "against the crowd" and peel off some shares.

Wall Streeters call that contrarian strategy "taking money off the table."

But if you must buy, here are suggestions. Legg Mason's November "Investor's Dozen" recommends Allstate, American General Hospitality, Ametek, ChiRex, Hannaford Bros., Integrated Health Services, Mid-Atlantic Energy, Peoples Heritage Financial, Potomac Electric Power, A. O. Smith, Standex and Tecumseh Products.

Speaking of favorite stocks, here, from this week's Barron's, are some "Value Stocks": International Business Machines, Chrysler, Union Carbide, Caterpillar, Archer Daniels Midland and Dana Corp.

And here are a few of the publication's "Growth Stocks": Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup, Procter & Gamble, Wrigley, G.E., Merck and Gillette.

When investing, should you buy individual stocks or mutual funds? The case for buying individual stocks is that you, not fund managers, decide when to sell and take the tax consequences.

And rewards can be just as good for conservative investors.

In any market, how often should you check your stock and bond portfolios? The locally published Gross, Mendelsohn PA Concepts newsletter suggests doing so:

When your lifestyle changes -- after the birth of a child, a marriage, divorce, retirement or death of a spouse.

When there are dramatic changes in financial markets -- sharp rallies or severe shakeouts.

At a regular time each year.

Did you know that the Social Security Administration is considering investing some of your money in stocks and bonds?

This practice will, I'm told, be encouraged by the Securities Industry Association and the Investment Company Institute, a mutual fund trade organization.

A reader writes, "Please give the names of stocks of some funeral home and cemetery companies." Some well-known companies are Service Corp. International, Loewen Group and Carriage Services.

Do you wonder why you rarely read a negative brokerage report about a stock?

Business Week, Nov. 11, says, "Analysts are under growing pressure to stifle negative reports. Unfavorable reports can hurt many firms' investment banking activities."

Pub Date: 11/13/96

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