Sound advice on debt and savings, at any age

The Ticker

April 14, 2000|By Julius Westheimer

Are you a young man or woman looking for financial guidance? Here is a "Personal Checklist for Young Adults," from Financial Perspectives: "Pay off your debts and keep them paid off. ... Start saving 10 percent of income. ... Put money away for retirement with tax-deferred plans. ... Don't cash out retirement plans when changing jobs; roll them into other retirement accounts.

"Buy medical coverage if you're not covered at work. ... Take out disability insurance. ... Talk over financial affairs with your spouse. ... Get a will, a living will and a durable financial power of attorney."

POPULAR PICKS: "The most widely held stocks among all investment clubs today are, in order, Intel Corp., Lucent Technologies, Inc., Home Depot Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Merck & Co. Inc., PepsiCo Inc., Microsoft Corp., AFLAC Inc., Pfizer Inc. and McDonald's Corp." (Better Investing)

TAX TIDBIT: "The lowest tax rate on long-term gains drops two percentage points next year, to 18 percent from 20 percent for people in the 28 percent-or-higher brackets, and to eight percent from 10 percent for persons in the 15 percent bracket." (Tax Hotline)

WALL ST. WATCH: "A slowdown in the `Old Economy' would put a big dent in technology sales to industry. Shift a larger portion of your portfolio to short-term government bonds and dirt cheap `Old Economy' stocks." (David Dreman, money manager)

"You could be part of a select crew allowed to participate in a `private equity fund,' where you will be skinned alive by fees." (Forbes, April 17)

"Hold onto your seats. It was a tough first quarter but given the market's volatility many balanced portfolios did well." (Personal Finance)

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