TRUE TO FORM, October -- historically a "crash" and "massacre" month on Wall Street -- opened on a discouraging note as most popular averages showed two-day losses. Where do we go from here? Take your choice:
"Soon we'll see a stock market crash like the disaster that shattered Wall Street in 1929, just 66 Octobers ago." (Joseph Granville, in this week's Barron's.)
"If you listened to all the gloomsters last year, it cost you FFTC bundle. So why listen to them now?" (Kenneth Fisher, in Forbes, Oct. 9.)
OCTOBER OPENERS: The Kiplinger Washington Letter, with a good forecasting record, feels that Social Security checks won't stop but that Medicare Part B may be hit.
"Hire your kids. Instead of paying your child a non-deductible allowance, put him/her to work as a bona fide employee in your business. Their wages are tax-deductible." (Tax Hotline, Oct.)
The T. Rowe Price Science & Technology Fund is listed under "The Best Total Returns" in Business Week, Oct. 9.
CAREER CORNER: "The more your personal problems affect your work, the more you need to tell your boss. If you're afraid, talk to the human relations department." (Working Families, Oct.)
"When a co-worker is in distress, don't keep asking what you can do to help. Just do something." (Overheard somewhere.)
"When looking for a job, repeat to yourself your past successes, not old disappointments." (National Business Employment Weekly, Oct. 2.) The whole article is worth reading.
MONEY MATTERS: "It's important to have an up-to-date checklist of the location of your important financial data. Examples: Birth certificates, title to realty you own, six years' tax returns, insurance policies, stocks, bonds, CDs, your will, bank accounts, IRAs, names and addresses of your CPA, attorney, broker, etc." (Clifton, Gunderson, CPA firm.)
BALTIMORE BITS: The University of Maryland appears under "Best Business Schools: Tops in Their Fields," in U.S. News & World Report, Sept. 18.
A Black & Decker write-up is featured in "Stocks We Like in Groups Trailing the S&P; 500," in S&P; Outlook, Sept. 20.
The stock of Bell Atlantic, the utility that serves our area, is recommended by Personal Finance, Sept. 27.
HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Watch out for the 'I love you' will, in which your entire estate goes to your spouse. That's fine now, but it increases the survivor's tax burden." (Smart Money, Oct.) See your lawyer or estate planner.
MONEY-SAVER: "Help people move. Marie K. found that when she helps people move, she is in a good position to receive things people don't want, including an antique upholstered side chair, a six-foot pantry shelf, an antique tread-table sewing machine and general household items. Place ads to get customers." (The Tightwad Gazette, Oct.)
DON'T HIDE: "If you're swamped by debt and can't meet minimum payments, contact your creditors. Explain your total debt picture. Tell them how much you can pay now. While banks and credit card issuers won't forgive loans, you might work out relief with other creditors -- waived late fees, reduced interest rate, etc." (Money, Sept.)
FALLING LEAVES: Procter & Gamble, parent of the former Noxell Corp., now P&G;'s Cosmetics & Fragrances unit, appears under "Master List of Recommended Stocks," in a recent S&P; Outlook.
"Index funds are boring, but they're this year's dazzling performers. The S&P; 500 Fund, including 500 widely held stocks, is up 24 percent this year." (Michael Stolper, investment adviser.)
"Expect to live much longer than you think. Many people avoid retirement saving, feeling they won't live beyond 75. Average retirees today should count on 25 more years." (R. Theodore Benna, author, Escaping The Coming Retirement Crisis, $24.)