REITs, on the rebound, are looking good again

The Ticker

October 19, 2001|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

ASSORTED money matters:

REIT RUNDOWN: "After depressed years in the late 1990s, [real estate investment trusts] played catch-up to the S&P 500, outperforming the index by 40 percent in the 12 months ended June 30, 2001. REIT valuations are still attractive." (Ken Gregory, investment adviser)

TAX TIP: "Falling tax rates make it worthwhile to defer income into next year and accelerate deductions into 2001. Every income dollar shifted from 2001 into 2002 can save 0.5 percent in taxes; the same with every dollar of deductions accelerated into 2001." (Bottom Line)

HIGHER INCOME: "Savings accounts and CDs hold little appeal now that the Fed has cut interest rates nine times," says Lee Rosenberg, founder of ARS Advisors. "Suggestion: Divide assets among a money market fund and an intermediate-term bond fund. If you're in a high tax bracket, use tax-free bond funds."

GOOD NEWS: "Changes in retirement plans bode well for participants in 401(k)s and 403(b)s," says Tax and Business Alert. "The annual limit on salary deferral rises from $10,500 to $11,000 next year and $12,000 in 2003. The limit for those age 50 and over will be $12,000 and $14,000, respectively."

WALL ST.: "The tragic events of Sept. 11 might hasten economic recovery. The Fed pumped lots of money into the system after the terrorist attacks, and could slash rates again." (Bob Carlson's Retirement Watch, Barron's)

"Since Sept. 11, the stocks of recession-sensitive companies, especially airlines and hotels, have been decimated. We feel investors are overreacting, and now is a good time to pick up bargains." (Forbes-Lehmann Income Securities)

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