Some companies to consider for strength in a bear market

The Ticker

November 16, 2001|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

WOULD you like to "bear-proof" your portfolio? Bloomberg's Personal Finance, December, lists these issues under "Bad News Bets," explaining, "These companies are least likely to be affected by a bear market because of relatively high dividend yields and low debt."

The list includes, with yield percentages in parentheses: Chemical Financial Corp. (3.7), Commerce Group Inc. (3.3), Greif Brothers Corp. (2.7), Kelly Services Inc. (4.9), Lincoln Electric Inc. (2.7), Modine Manufacturing Co. (4.7) and Weis Markets Inc. (4.0)

YEAR-END MONEY-SAVER: "Pay your January mortgage and estimated tax bills now so you can apply the deductions to this year's return. Also, buy computers, other deductible business equipment, etc. and squeeze in medical and dental appointments to avoid forfeiting leftover money in Flexible Spending Accounts." (Bottom Line)

WARNING: "There are dangers in joint accounts," says Robert Klueger, tax attorney. "Each owner is exposed to the other person's liabilities. Also, joint accounts can increase gift and capital gains taxes. Better way: use as tenants in common." See your lawyer or tax person for details"

WALL STREET WATCH: "Pursue opportunities now. Look for above-average value, especially in small-caps. The bull market is not over. Amidst fear and uncertainty, there will be spending and tax cuts." (James Fraser, chartered financial analyst, in Better Investing)

"The Fed's recent rate cut clearly implies that the downward slide in the economy is not expected to turn around anytime soon." (Pado's Perceptions, in this week's Barron's)

"Investors are acting as if the war was not going to be a protracted drag on economic activity." (Charles Crane, investment strategist)

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