Shift to short-term speculation increases costs

The Ticker


MONEY-SAVERS and money-makers:

"Mutual fund turnover leaped from 17 percent annually in the 1950s to 108 percent in 2000," says Bloomberg Personal Finance. "With this change from long-term investing (an average six-year holding period) to short-term speculation (funds held an average of 11 months), have come higher transaction costs and far heavier tax burdens borne by fund investors."

DON'T PUT IT OFF: "If you're 25 years old and contribute $2,000 to your IRA every year until you retire at 65, you would have $518,000 at retirement, assuming an 8 percent return. But if you don't begin until 20 years before you retire, you would only have $91,524." (Nightly Business Report, PBS)

HAVE COURAGE: Here are "Five Current Reasonably Priced Technology Titans Worth Considering " from Individual Investor, March: Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Motorola Inc.

STOCK WATCH: "The trend is your friend, and the primary market trend is down. Use caution in selecting stocks. Sell overvalued stocks and buy only undervalued blue chips with rising dividend trends." (Investment Quality Trends)

"The level to watch for in the Dow is 9,600. If that level should fail, the bearish `descending triangle' pattern will be complete, leaving a lot more downside potential." (The Squeeze Play)

"Don't expect tech companies' shares to rebound simply because they have great track records. But the news doesn't have to turn positive for stocks to rise; it just needs to be less negative." (Dow Theory Forecasts)

"Retail investors are flocking to new bite-size index futures, traded electronically. Be afraid. Be very afraid." (Forbes, March 19)

"Taxable municipal bonds pay better than top-rated corporates. And they're less likely to default." (Marilyn Cohen, money manager)

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