Dow, other major indexes surge to record highs


The astonishing 1995 bull market roared on again yesterday, with most popular averages reaching record highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at its 44th peak this year, surging 46.69 points to finish at 4,727.29, now 893 points, or 23 percent, above its Jan. 1 level.

WALL ST. WISDOM: "Bonds are the house you live in." (Milton F. Westheimer, my father, a Baltimore stock broker many decades ago.)

INDEX POWER: "What a year for the humdrum index funds that simply track the S&P; 500-stock index! They're up 19.9 percent, more than any other diversified category." (U.S. News & World Report, July 17)

REINVEST DIVIDENDS! "If you reinvested dividend checks for 25 years ending in 1994, your $1 became $13.50, an 11 percent annual return. If you didn't, your dollar became only $4.99, a 6.9 percent rate. For government bonds, your $1 became $8.38 if you reinvested interest, but you had a 'negative return' if you didn't; your dollar decreased to 97 cents!" (Ibbotson Associates.)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "To prolong IRA tax deferral, name a child rather than a spouse as beneficiary. Defer taking distributions as long as possible. If you die before you start withdrawals and a child inherits, he or she can spread taxable withdrawals over life expectancy. . . . When you're 70 1/2 and begin withdrawing, you can spread distributions over a joint life expectancy, counting your child as 10 years younger than you are." (New Choices)

SAVE IT: "The next time you write a check to a charity, don't. Donate appreciated securities instead. The charity will win, you'll win and the IRS will lose a little. The above advice is fine for stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other appreciated securities." (Moneypaper, July)

MIDSUMMER MAILBAG: For a useful brochure, "Invest Wisely -- Advice From Your Securities Regulators," send 50 cents to the Consumer Information Center, Dept. 361B, Pueblo, CO 81009.

WHAT BANK? "Choosing a Bank For Your Business" in Personal Finance, June 28, is worth reading. Highlights: "Ask what lenders your industry peers recommend; interview national and local bankers and loan officers; compare interest rates, loan fees, other charges; evaluate how responsive the lender is to customers' needs; call Veribanc (800-442-2657) for a financial rating on banks you are considering."

SUCCESSFUL & HAPPY: "Want to have a successful, happy investment club? Limit socializing; elect officers with specific duties and clear mandates; keep the meetings formal; choose the right stock broker by interviewing several; spread the hard work around; don't personalize mistakes by blaming people; be willing to sell if you've made mistakes." (Donna Waldron, founder, The Burlington Stockettes Club)

WORKPLACE WISDOM: "Next time you project a completion date for a project, build in extra time. . . . If missing a deadline means trouble, take time to think about your track record on similar projects." (Psychology Today, July-August)

BALTIMORE BEAT: Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser" examines hedge funds with Cappy McGarr and panelists Ralph Acampora, Gail Dudack and Robert Stovall.

Read Business Week's July 17 story "Brownout at Westinghouse: Investors Are Tired of Waiting for Michael Jordan's Turnaround."

NationsBank investment v.p. Myron Oppenheimer will mail you his "July Investment Policy" if you phone 410-244-6569.

T. Rowe Price's Small Cap Value Fund and its Growth & Income Fund are listed under "Overachievers' Club: Funds That Outperformed the S&P; 500-Stock Index Over 3 and 5 Years With Less Risk Than The S&P.;" (Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, August)

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