Guides to investing in a high-riding market

THE BALTIMORE SUN

WITH THE DOW Jones industrials, S&P; 500-stock and NYSE composite averages standing this morning at record highs, many people might ask, "Where should we put our money now?"

For guidance we list top-performing newsletters, stock selections and strategies from successful professionals:

* TOP PERFORMERS: Here are 10-year top performing stock-picking newsletters, followed by percentage gains: MPT Review, 955; California Technology, 541; The Chartist, 340; Value Line Investment, 305; New Issues, 301. For comparison, Wilshire 5000-stock index up 297 percent, T-bills ahead 74 percent. (Data from Hulbert Financial Digest)

* BEST BUYS: "My 'buys' are LSI Logic, Applied Materials and Adaptec." (Ronald Elijah, manager, Robertson Stephens Value Plus Growth Fund, on "Wall Street Week.") His fund is up 76.9 percent in year ended September 1995. Other top holdings: Micron Technology, Intel, Compaq Computer.

* SUCCESS STRATEGY: In response to many requests, the new phone number for data on "Target 5 Trust" is (800) 621-8726. This trust, which duplicates the highly successful "Dow 5" strategy, claims a 1975 $10,000 investment grew to $536,250 by year-end 1994.

LOOKING FOR WORK? "Best Jobs For Next Year" in Money's 1996 Forecast Issue, just out, are, in order: Physical therapist, physician, computer engineer, computer systems analyst, nurse, radiologic technologist, computer programmer, clergy, pharmacist, special education teacher, staff psychologist, high school teacher. (University of Minnesota survey data)

FREE STATE FILE (1): Maryland stands No. 11 in a 50-state American Federation of Teachers survey, "What Teachers Make." 1994-1995 average pay here is $40,661, up from $25,563 in 1984-1985. Tops today: Connecticut ($50,598); worst, South Dakota ($26,037); average $36,744.

(2): Baltimore ranks No. 47 in a 50-city survey under "Projected 1996 Housing Price Increases," by Regional Financial Associates. Median prices here are projected to rise 1.4 percent, from $108,264 to $109,763. Median: Up 3.7 percent.

THINK SMALL: "Studies show that large packages encourage people to use more of any product. People who bought large containers of Creamettes spaghetti, M&Ms;, Diet Pepsi, Crisco or Mr. Clean ate more, drank more and poured more than people who bought smaller containers." (Tightwad Gazette)

DON'T GIVE UP: "Three-Year Hiring Boom Continues for Executives" is an optimistic story in this week's (Dec. 1-9) National Business Employment Weekly. Most newsstands have copies.

Highlights: "Demand for senior executives is spread across the board, with searches under way for executives in all functional areas. Candidates must have successful track records at top-quality employers, superior interpersonal skills and ability to deal with change. Demand is strongest for general managers and marketing, sales and business development executives."

BE CAREFUL: "Every day a new credit card application seems to fall from your mailbox. Rates look much lower than yours -- but read the fine print. For example, is there a 25-day grace period for payment? If not, finance charges begin the day you buy something. Result: You pay a finance charge every month." (Working Families, December)

DECEMBER DIARY: On Pearl Harbor Day -- Dec. 7, 1941, 54 years ago tomorrow -- the Dow Jones industrial average stood at 116.60.

Hate driving home in the dark? Cheer up. Although the year's shortest day is two weeks away, tomorrow night marks the year's earliest sunset (4:34 p.m.), and soon you'll drive home in brighter evenings. The Earth's elliptical, not circular, orbit around the sun causes this strange phenomenon.

"Because bank mergers often bring higher fees, check your banking costs and also investigate lower-fee options like credit unions, savings and loans, brokerage money funds, etc." (Edward Mrkvicka, author, "The Bank Book.")

Business Week, Dec. 11, just out, runs a helpful piece, "Hiring an Investment Adviser? Take This Advice." Details coming Friday.

U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 11, says, "Alan Greenspan drops hints that a rate cut could be more likely if deficit-reduction is achieved."

Fortune, also Dec. 11, has a fascinating cover story on Coca-Cola's CEO Roberto Goizueta and GE's chief Jack Welch. ("Goizueta arrived in Miami from Cuba with $40 and 100 shares of Coca-Cola stock.")

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