In a `down' market, consider dividend stocks

The Ticker


ALTHOUGH STOCKS staged a partial recovery yesterday, many investors still worry about minimal growth of principal. But how about concentrating instead on high returns from dividends?

"Dividend stocks are coming back in style," says Family Money. "When other stocks were rising at double-digit rates, a four percent dividend didn't look very sexy. In a sharply 'down' market, however, that guaranteed return can keep a stock's price afloat."

High-dividend categories include utilities, real estate investment trusts (REITS) and financial stocks.

RETIREMENT TIPS: "There's no such thing as a `widows and orphans' retirement stock anymore, but these 10 are solid candidates for addition to your retirement portfolio," says Money:

Bear Stearns Cos. Inc., Bellsouth Corp., CEC Entertainment Inc., Coca-Cola Co., E*Trade Group Inc., Fedex Corp., JDS Uniphase Corp., Pfizer Inc., Philip Morris Cos. Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

BE FLEXIBLE: "A Flexible Spending Account [FSA] to pay medical expenses - eyeglasses, dental care, hearing devices, etc. - is better than deducting them because funds in an FSA escape income tax and Social Security tax. Consult your benefits department." (Bottom Line)

TAKE YOUR CHOICE: "The market outlook for the next few years is surprisingly good. With taxes and interest rates heading down, stocks look set to perk up." (Michael Sivy, Money )

"A `value' approach is the only way to protect one's wealth from the Nasdaq's coming plunge to 1,000." (Value View Stock Report)

"Interest rates are falling. It is almost guaranteed that a year from now, money-fund yields will be lower. Stocks also rally when rates fall. Be bullish, but not wildly bullish." (Bob Carlson's Retirement Watch)

"REITS [real estate investment trusts] should return 13 to 15 percent this year - robust, but not the 30.74 percent the Wilshire Real Estate Securities Index Fund gained in 2000." (Rison Ferguson, investment adviser)

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