Company retirement plan can be key to happy retirement

The Ticker

December 05, 1997|By Julius Westheimer

Ideas on where to put -- or not put -- your money, some from offbeat publications you won't find on newsstands.

"MAX OUT": "Maximize contributions to your company's retirement plan, such as 401(k). We hope you realize that Social Security won't meet all of your retirement needs. The tax-free investment growth and savings discipline inside your retirement plan are hard to beat. Also, consider the new Roth IRAs available next year." (Income Digest)

CAVEAT EMPTOR: "There is a 'string' to most investment propositions. When someone wants to let you in on the 'ground floor,' look for the string. Don't decide on important matters like investments too quickly." (Dollars and Sense by Col. William C. Hunter, 1907)

INSIDE PITCH: Jim Palmer, "former Baltimore Orioles' Hall of Fame pitcher," is written up under "Seven People to Watch Now," in Money magazine's 1998 forecast issue. The article says, "For four years Palmer has been TV spokesman for the Money Store, the $2.9 billion lender to borrowers with poor credit records. If Palmer pops up on TV more than ads for Must-See TV, it could mean loan demand is expanding."

BE CAREFUL: "Your career provides your wealth. You will make more money from your business or profession than from investments. So don't take risks with complicated investment schemes in the hope of multiplying your capital quickly. You'd be risking a lot to gain a little." (Harry Browne's Special Reports)

SLEEPY HOLLOW: "If Rip Van Winkle had $10,000 and took a 20-year nap, he would find upon awakening that his $10,000 would buy only $5,274 worth of goods and services. Inflation had reared its ugly head. But if he invested in the S&P 500 index, Rip's nest egg would have spiraled to $55,000." (Better Investing, November)

SURPRISE ENDING: "Considering selling mutual funds and can't figure cost of shares? If you can't find records, call your broker or the fund. Be persistent, pay a small charge if necessary. If you don't succeed with your broker or fund, estimate cost from prices in old newspapers. The IRS just requires a 'good faith' effort to determine cost." (Mendlowitz, Weitsen, New York CPA firm.)

QUICKIES: "The worst is over. The Dow will set a new record before year-end." (Myron Kandel on "Moneyline," CNN)

"Best performing financial newsletter over the last 15 years -- the Prudent Speculator. Average annual return of its model portfolio: 24 percent." (Hulbert Financial Digest)

"Withdraw IRA funds for 60 days. Rather than borrow short-term funds from a third party, use your IRA funds for up to 60 days. To avoid tax, follow proper procedures." (American Association of Individual Investors Guide)

Pub Date: 12/05/97

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