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A little prudence may help you avoid any year 2000 glitches


HERE ARE some suggestions for making and saving money:

After Jan. 1, 2000, is your money safe at your bank? "Yes," says Kiplinger's Advisor, "but that doesn't mean quick access to your cash. Over 500 small banks, thrifts and other financial institutions lag in fixing computers to recognize Year 2000. If you're not sure your bank will be ready, consider switching to a larger bank which invested more resources to correct the problem."

Also, carefully study your bank, brokerage, credit union and credit-card statements starting around mid-year 1999 and the first months of 2000.

Compare each item with those of the previous month to make sure no stocks, bonds or cash have disappeared. Start now to practice.

What is the best way to meet college costs? "Consider an Education IRA in which you can invest up to $500 a year," says Financial Perspectives. "Contributions are not tax deductible, but earnings grow tax-free and are not taxed when used to pay for college."

Proven winners in Wall Street: The most widely held stocks among 10-year market-beating newsletters in November were Dell Computer Corp., EMC Corp. and Tarrant Apparel Group. (Data from Hulbert Financial Digest.)

Are you loading up on Internet stocks? Value Investor says, "Most investors learned nothing from this summer's blackout. They pile money back into nearly worthless Internet companies at a speed showing they don't care what they own."

TAX TIP: Even if you have no capital gains this year, you may deduct losses from stocks, bonds, bond funds and real estate, up to $3,000 of ordinary income.

CNBC-TV says there will be plenty of job openings next spring, especially for college graduates in the computer software and data processing fields.

MONEY-SAVER: Charge your charitable gift to a credit card before Dec. 31 and take a 1998 deduction. You can pay the bill next year.

QUICKIES: "It's pretty late for fresh stock buying." (Gerald Appel's Forecasts.)

"Now that the market recovered its recent loss, you want to buy aggressively? That's not very brave or very bright." (Positive Patterns.)

Pub Date: 12/11/98

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