The IRS will wait, if you ask

THE BALTIMORE SUN

HERE ARE SOME random suggestions for your money:

"Get an automatic tax extension, even though it's not needed. An extension gives time to collect records and find tax-saving ideas. See your tax person." (Tax Hotline.)

"Reduce impact of a possible 'bear market' by increasing your bonds and lower your stock percentage. As humorist Will Rogers said, 'I'm more interested in the return of my money than the return on my money.'" (Rex Rehfeld of Gruntal & Co.'s Baltimore office.)

CHEERFUL NOTE: "Investors should have it very easy in 1999. There hasn't been a 'down' stock market year in the third year of any presidential term since 1939." ("Stock Trader's Almanac.")

And this month in Wall Street is historically an "up" month. Stocks have gained an average 1 percent in March over 48 years.

BIG NUMBERS: "The best performing stock of the '90s (in the S&P; 500) will be Dell Computer Corp. The stock is up 66,436 percent in this decade to date. The No. 2 stock is EMC Corp., up 31,381 percent." (Fortune, Feb. 15.)

GOOD NEWS: "Fees for using bank ATM machines have topped out for a while. The reason: Customers had cut back on using fee-based ATMs and started withdrawing more money per visit where fees were charged." (Kiplinger Washington Letter.)

"Consider an education IRA, in which you can invest up to $500 a year. Earnings grow tax free and are not taxed when used to pay for college." (Financial Perspectives.)

Instead of buying this or that high-flying Internet stock -- many of which may soar or plunge 40 or 50 points in a day, consider a diversified Internet mutual fund. All brokerage firms offer them.

"Try dollar-cost averaging, whereby you stash a set amount of money at regular intervals, say $100 a month, into stocks or mutual funds. It commits you to invest regularly, regardless of what the market is doing." (Working Woman.)

WALL STREET WATCH: "A bear market is coming. If a suitable excuse does not surface first, the 'year 2000 issue' will take stocks down." (Ripples in the Wave, in this week's Barron's.)

"We face a major historical bear market, the likes of 1973-'74. This is one of the highest-risk markets in a generation." (InvesTech.)

"Earnings recoveries this year may limit serious downside market risk." (Bear Stearns' Investor View.)

Pub Date: 3/03/99

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