Look before you buy stock in your employer

The Ticker

December 04, 1998|By Julius Westheimer

ARE YOU wise to buy stock in the company you work for? "You're better able to answer that question than most securities analysts," says Working Woman. "For clues, talk to outsiders who know the company well, evaluate your firm's product line, ask your broker for company research reports, size up management and monitor morale."

Plan to borrow from your 401(k)? "It's risky," says Ted Benna, president of the 401(k) Association. "If you quit, retire or are laid off, 401(k) rules require that any loan balance be paid back immediately. Otherwise, you owe taxes on the balance, plus a 10 percent penalty if you're under 55."

QUICKIES: December and January are historically the best-performing months, each ahead 1.7 percent over 47 years.

"Remain fully invested in top-performing stocks. But if any stock shows a loss of 15 to 20 percent, sell immediately." (Cabot Market Letter.)

"Despite high-tech optimism now raging, a word of caution. The current mania for Internet stocks is at the very least frightening." (Dick Davis Digest.)

Pub Date: 12/04/98

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