Some think '98 will reward those who buy bonds, or try Asia again

The Ticker

December 19, 1997|By Julius Westheimer

FROM a torrent of 1998 predictions, here is advice from sources I respect:

"Buy Treasury bonds. With no inflation but lots to worry about, Uncle Sam's IOUs may be the next year's best investment." (Michael Shamosh, bond specialist, in Fortune, Dec. 29)

"Dip into Asian stocks now. Volume is down, sentiment negative and 'emerging tigers' hibernating. Now's the time to buy." (Personal Finance)

"Encouraging Sign: Stock ownership is expanding. In 1989, 31.7 percent of households owned stocks. Last year, 47.2 percent." (Worth, December)

"Stocks are overpriced and overvalued, but Wall Street is not heading for a major crash. Bonds are a good buy now, but not my long-term favorites." (Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate economist)

"Interest rates will edge lower. Flood of cheap imports will keep inflation down. Fed will remain on sidelines." (Kiplinger Washington Letter)

"We used to have bull and bear markets. Now we have 'sheep' markets, with people blindly following 'experts' on radio and TV. Be careful next year." (Roy Neuberger, 94, Wall Street veteran)

"Asian currency collapse creates bargains for importers, so we own shares of Nordstrom Inc. and Liz Claiborne, major importers that make exciting fashion statements." (Neal Miller, manager, Fidelity New Millennium Fund)

"In 1998, stoke up your retirement accounts. You can shovel $10,000 into your 401(k) or 403(b) next year, up from $9,500 now." (Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, January)

"Forget industrial stocks. For the next few years real estate is where the action will be. Ripe for REITS: $2 to $3 trillion of offices, malls, golf courses, apartments, hotels, hospitals." (Cover story in Forbes, Dec. 29.)

"If you want growth with minimum risk, stick with stocks like BankBoston Corp., Dillard's Department Stores Inc., First Union Corp., Morgan (J. P.) and Texaco Inc." (David Dreman, author, "The New Contrarian Investment Strategy")

"Invest in 30-year Treasury bonds which will rise in value as interest rates decline to 5.5 percent from about 6 percent." (Charles Clough, chief strategist, Merrill Lynch)

"Looking ahead, remember that stocks have given the largest increase in wealth over 71 years -- by a huge margin." (Ibbotson Associates)

Sign on a Xerox truck on Interstate 95: "Drive carefully; you're the one thing we can't duplicate."

Pub Date: 12/19/97

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