Start that college fund now for maximum benefit

The Ticker

March 24, 2000|By Julius Westheimer

FOR a true "fire-and-forget" investment, zero in on zero-coupon bonds, says Black Enterprise magazine. If you have a 3-year-old child, an outlay of about $3,500 today will lock in a return of $10,000 in 2015, when those first college bills come due.

And if you're thinking about retiring in 30 years, for about $15,000 up front in "zeroes," you can bank on a $100,000 payoff in 2030.

Here are some IRA tips from Money magazine: Don't touch the IRA money; cashing out rather than rolling over costs you a 10 percent penalty, income taxes and years of potential growth. Be direct; have the money directly transferred to a new 401(k) or IRA. Be sure the check is not made out to you personally.

The retail sector overreacted to Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's determination to slow the economy. Play the rebound with these high-growth "niche" retailers: Intimate Brands Inc., Gadzooks Inc. and Wilson's the Leather Experts. (Personal Finance)

WALL STREET WATCH: Just as fortunes were made outfitting the prospectors during the Gold Rush, some companies thrive today supplying the Internet's "picks and shovels." One good example: Hewlett-Packard Co. (Kiplinger's Personal Finance)

Disregard nonsensical notions, such as a bad January means a bad year. Many of those old notions simply aren't valid. You can find a half-baked theory to support any conclusion. (Laszlo Birinyi, financial consultant)

Investors should have 10 percent to 15 percent of their stock portfolios in international stocks -- more in some cases -- because there are excellent opportunities overseas. (Jonathan Pond, financial planner)

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