If you invest on your own, be advised

The Ticker

July 10, 1998|By Julius Westheimer

DO YOU manage your own investments, or do you use professional guidance? For those who "go it alone," here are some warnings:

GET HELP: Steven Camp, in "Money Matters Made Easy," says, "According to Dalbar Financial Services, investors who do not seek advice were more likely to panic and sell when stocks dived. With the advice, knowledge and experience of a financial consultant, clients were more likely to hold onto their quality investments during market downturns."

USE DISCIPLINE: Moneypaper, July, similarly advises, "Investors need a disciplined approach to buying and selling stocks to avoid the common mistakes of basing decisions on fear, pride or greed."

FOREIGN FOCUS: The London Financial Times book "First-Time Investor" says, "Unless you are sure of your ability to research the market thoroughly, you should definitely seek independent advice."

Whether you buy and sell stocks yourself or rely on professionals, there are some new trends to be aware of:

DANGER SIGNAL? "Is it any wonder investors are getting nervous? In 1997, Wall Street analysts were upbeat -- and correct -- about corporate profits for that year's second quarter. And while they began 1998 in a cheerful mood, they're now much more gloomy about second quarter earnings." (Smart Money, July.)

BARGAIN COUNTER: If you're worried that stocks will plunge, consider the brighter side. Personal Finance, July 8, says, "The Dow may never fall to 4,000 again, but if it did, these 'marked-down marvels' would still be great long-term investments: Avnet Inc., CDI Corp., Kimco Realty Corp., Noble Drilling Corp. and Phelps Dodge Corp."

HAPPY THOUGHT: "The Dow could reach 35,000 by 2008, according to highly respected forecaster Harry Dent. He says, the baby boomers, moving into the 45-54 age bracket -- their peak earnings years -- "will provide the base for such growth.' " (Financial Planning News.)

NEST EGGS: "Since you can save only $2,000 a year in a Roth IRA, compared with $10,000 in a 401(k), the Roth will, at most, be a supplement. Put all you can in a 401(k), then top your retirement sundae with a Roth." (U.S. News & World Report.)

Pub Date: 7/10/98

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