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Little ground gained in 45 Junes, but there's reason to hang in there

CLEARING the May notebook:

HANG IN THERE: "$10,000 invested in the Dow Jones' 30 industrial stocks in October 1987 -- when most people were selling after the crash -- is worth about $31,000 today." (Tom Brokaw, NBC, on the Dow's 100th birthday.)

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AND NOW JUNE: Looking ahead, 1996 Stock Trader's Almanac says, "Historically, very little ground was gained in 45 Junes. Many sharp spring declines accelerated into this month."

BUYING PANIC: Speaking of stocks, Business Week, June 3, runs a cover story, "Our Love Affair With Stocks. Should We Worry?"

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Excerpts: "Never before have so many had so much riding on stocks. We're mesmerized by a market that rocketed 60 percent in 19 months. But the new love affair exposes millions to risks they never encountered. They loaded up on mutual funds.

"But power in fund managers' hands could destabilize things, more than in the 1987 crash. The resolve of many investors today hasn't been tested by a serious decline. But despite naysayers' warnings, it could be the start of a long-lasting love affair."

TICKER ADVICE: Remember that your own emotions are probably the best "reverse indicator" of what you should be doing.

MORE WORRIES: "How often adults worry their income won't pay the bills: 32 percent always worry; 33 percent sometimes; 19 percent seldom; 16 percent never." (Marist College Institute Poll.)

FREE STATE FILE: Maryland appears under "Lowest Workers' Comp Cost States" and "Costliest Medical Coverage States" in Kiplinger's Washington Letter, May 24.

Looking South, Washington is listed under "Highest Minimum Wages," pegged at $5.25 an hour.

TEST YOURSELF: "For financial fitness, ask: Do I put the maximum in my 401(k) or other retirement plans? If not eligible for a company plan, do I 'max out' in my IRA? Do I invest long term, accepting some risk?

"Do I have enough emergency cash? Sufficient life insurance for my family's future? Does my will state where I want my assets to go? Hopefully your answers are 'Yes.' " (Terry Savage's " '90s Strategies," $14.)

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GAMES KIDS PLAY: "In today's high-tech world, excellent tools for teaching kids about money are board games," says Kiplinger's Magazine, June.

Favorites: "The Game of Life," Milton Bradley, $12. ("Includes careers, college loans, mortgages, dividends, taxes, etc.") "The Allowance Game," Lakeshore Learning, 800-421-5354, $18. ("Easy for younger children to understand") "Monopoly Jr.," Parker Bros, $8. ("Welcome alternative to the senior version.")

CHEERING SECTION: "It's tough working alone, no matter how important your goal. You need someone to back you up, to say 'Good Going!' When athletes are asked reasons for their success, most say: hard work and their parents' encouragement.

"Tell your co-workers your goals and how they can help you. You need their support, and they need yours -- in reaching their own goals." (Reader's Digest, May.)

MONTH-ENDERS: "I worry most about losing my job. My firm is downsizing and I was asked to justify my job. It's scary. Jobs aren't a dime a dozen." (Mellyn Wallace, 35, in Ladies Home Journal, June, under, "What Worries Women Most.")

"Best summer job opportunities in Baltimore are in real estate, insurance and finance." (Manpower Inc.)

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"Studies show that stocks that split usually outperform those that don't. Candidates are Merck, Microsoft, NationsBank, Philip Morris." (S&P; Outlook, May 29.)

"Most people spend tax refunds on vacations. Instead, look at your options. You may want to save some of that money." (Black Enterprise, June.)

"Estate planning should take place when both spouses are alive. After one dies, it's hard to escape the tax collector." (Smart Money, May.)

"Between now and year-end, we'll have the first major stock decline since 1990." (Byron Wien, Morgan Stanley, in Fortune, June 10.)

"10-Year Top-Performing Newsletters" in Hulbert Financial Digest, May, are, in order: MPT Review, California Technology Letter, BI Research, Fundline, New Issues.

NON-MONEY NOTE: In June, we'll see a rare blue moon, the second of two full moons in one month. One full moon is tomorrow, the second June 30. This phenomenon led to the expression, "Once in a blue moon."

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Pub Date: 5/31/96


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