Worthwhile investment ideas lurk in less-well-known areas

The Ticker

September 17, 1997|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

ALTHOUGH MOST people get investment advice from brokers, investment advisers, newspapers, well-known magazines, etc., many investors may be unaware that worthwhile ideas also appear in less-well-known, offbeat publications. Examples:

"Despite deregulation, top utility stocks are an investor's dream come true," says Utility Forecaster. The story stresses "price stability, improving share prices and rising dividends," adding, "The best utilities pay four times the dividends of most common stocks, and many utility stocks will double over the next year."

Cabot Market Letter warns, "If you want to read about all the risks in an investment you're considering, be sure to read the company's many-paged Form 10-K. Most likely it will convince you not to buy the stock you're interested in."

"Food and beverage stocks offer safety plus probable outperformance of the popular averages in the next year or two," advises "Ticker: Tools for Professional Investors" (no connection to this column.) The article recommends Interstate Bakeries, Ralston Purina and Panamerican Beverages.

"Coming after a five-fold rise in stocks between 1982 and 1994, the further surge in the Dow Jones average from 4,000 to 7,700 in 2 1/2 years astonished even the most ardent bulls. While it's likely favorable conditions will continue, it is sensible in such euphoric markets to temper your optimism and be careful about the quality and valuation of stocks you buy." (Better Investing)

"Don't overlook 'Junkyard Treasures.' Such high-yield junk bonds offer investors advantages over lower yielding counterparts: They're less interest-rate sensitive and a vigorous economy allows recovering companies to throw off healthy capital gains." (Personal Finance Newsletter)

OFFBEAT ODDS & ENDS: "After Oct. 31, watch how many mutual funds start touting 'new and improved' 10-year performance. You'll see many funds crowing as Black Monday (Oct. 19, 1987) disappears from long-term performance." (Research Magazine)

"Best growth stock opportunities lie in these fields: Health care, data processing, communications technology and environmental-cleanup firms." (American Association of Individual Investors Journal)

"Financial planners are busier than ever. Their number surged more than 35 percent last year." (Dow Jones Investment Advisor)

Financial analysts are included under "Hot Careers of the 1990s" in a new Bureau of Labor Statistics survey.

"The inflation picture couldn't be brighter. The producer price index has fallen for seven straight months. This hasn't happened for 50 years." (Income Digest)

Pub Date: 9/17/97

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