Advice on where to invest

The Ticker

September 05, 1997|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

HERE'S SOME ADVICE on where -- and where not -- to put your money now.

The 1997 version: Keep it simple; stick to quality; and invest for the long pull.

Don't follow the crowd; the crowd is often wrong.

Your own emotions are the best "reverse indicator" of what you should be doing in the stock market.

More mistakes are made by selling than by buying.

Build a quality portfolio that every headline and news bulletin -- war, assassination, stock crash, higher interest rates, etc. -- doesn't buffet.

Good companies will be around a long time.

Don't take "hot tips." Nine out of 10 go down the drain. The tipster often forgets that he or she gave you the tip, and no one warns you when to sell. You could lose a lot of money.

You need not live on a fixed income.

Buy stocks that raise their dividends regularly, such as Procter & Gamble, Exxon and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Don't let taxes dictate your investment judgment. If you pay taxes, it means you've made a profit.

Buy only those mutual funds with a strong five- to 10-year record. One- or two-year performance is not enough.

When buying mutual funds, have your broker explain both "A" and "B" share commission plans. Each has advantages and drawbacks.

Never have more than 30 percent of your holdings in one stock, no matter how great it's doing.

Put every nickel you can into tax-deferred retirement plans, such as 401(k), 403(b) and self-directed IRA plans.

The time to invest money is when you have it. "Timing" is a loser's game.

Investigate before you invest. Nothing will run away.

Never buy from people you don't know.

Let the other guy have the last 10 percent.

Bond and income funds -- even U.S. government bond funds -- carry some risks. Read the prospectus carefully before buying.

Before buying stocks, pay down your mortgage.

Cut your losses, let your profits run.

When buying stocks, go with the industry leader first. It's not the leader by accident.

Stagger CD and bond maturities -- some short-term, some medium-term, some long-term -- to eliminate worry about whether interest rates rise or fall.

Ask about "tax-deferred annuities," which are ideal for compounding growth and income.

There are no emergencies.

Enjoy your money. This is not a dress rehearsal.

Pub Date: 9/05/97

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