Dow is 25% above where it was one year ago


LET'S KEEP things in perspective.

Although yesterday's decline pushed the Dow Jones and other indices sharply lower, the Dow this morning stands 381 points above its Jan. 1 level and 1,126 points, or 25 percent, ahead of its perch a year ago today.

May, has a worthwhile story, "Read Your 401(k) Statement and Reap." Excerpts:

"Wondering what to make of that dense quarterly statement you just got from your company's 401(k) plan? Suggestions:

"Make sure money deducted from your paycheck matches amount deposited in your fund.

"Employers have 90 days to put funds in your 401(k), but if yours takes that long, ask the firm to speed it up so your money goes to work faster.

"Check the mix. Keep 60 percent of your money in stocks, which typically outpace inflation.

"Don't put over 10 percent of your funds in your firm's stock, even at a discount. What if the business goes under?"

GETTING YOUR SHARE? "More companies are putting stock in management pay packets. Over seven years, options, etc., have doubled, to make managers more attentive to stockholders' concerns." (Business Week, May 6.)

LOCAL LINE: Maryland stands fifth from the top in a U.S. News & World Report (May 6) listing of "1995 Per Capita Income." Our state stands at $25,927, up 4.3 percent from 1994. The top state: Connecticut, $30,303. The lowest is Mississippi, $16,531.

FIDELITY FILE: Fidelity Magellan Fund ($55 billion) appears under "In Need of Fixing," in Business Week's May 6 cover story, "Has Success Spoiled Fidelity?" Holders of any Fidelity fund should read this eye-opening story.

TRAVEL TIPS: "If you plan to rent a car, carry proof of insurance so you won't be intimidated to buy coverage you already have. Most auto policies cover domestic car rentals."

"Several cruise lines recently went broke, leaving customers stranded. Prevent this by charging tickets on your credit card so you get your money back." (Both items from Living Cheap News, May.)

SILVER THREADS: "Senior citizens need not pay for elder-care advice. Call Eldercare Locator, 800-677-1166, for free guidance on nursing homes, home health aides, etc." (Kiplinger's, April.)

Also, Equitable Foundation, 787 Seventh Ave., Box B, New York, N.Y. 10019, will mail a free, 50-page guide that includes organizations that can help senior citizens.

LOOKING BACK: "The average price of a 1966 new car was $3,000. The average price today is $21,300." (Consumer Reports, May.) Regarding that, in 1940 I bought a new, top-of-the-line Fox Chevrolet for $695. These days some repair bills cost that much.

"You're playing against odds when you speculate in stocks. Real estate is the true basis of wealth. If you want a sure game, buy land that produces things." (Dollars And Sense, 1907.)

LOOKING AHEAD: "In a climate like this, prayer might be the only recourse for raging bond bulls." (Liscio Report.)

"Becoming more cynical, which already paid off, will continue to benefit investors." (Prudential Securities' Comments.)

Do you think you can "time" your stock purchases? Get this -- half the gain over the last 10 years came in only four of the 120 months.

"Diversify your portfolio by investing internationally. For high growth, foreign funds are your best bet." (Black Enterprise, May.)

"Want to buy a CD with high interest rates? Look on the Internet. Many banks offer good rates to on-line customers." (Smart Money, May, which has details.)

"Only in the dictionary does success come before work." (Jack Bloom, Pikesville.)

"What price dreams? On average, Americans say $102,200 a year would fulfill theirs." (Cosmopolitan, May.)

Pub Date: 5/03/96

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