Save money in Jan., so it'll work for you all year


Timely suggestions about your money:

"Contribute to your IRA, 401(k), 403(b) - or any retirement plan - in the early part of January. With interest compounding tax-deferred, every day counts." (Family Money)

"Only one mutual fund manager in 40 can beat the market over time. Don't try to find the needle; buy the haystack. Put your money in an index fund and leave it there." (John Bogle, founder, Vanguard Group)

"December is the time for institutions to do 'window dressing,' which means that they sell losers so their names don't appear on the list of stocks in their annual report." (Moneypaper)

TOP BILLING: These stocks are listed under "Consistent Earnings Gainers We Like; 10 Straight Years of Rising Profits," in S&P; Outlook: Automatic Data Processing Inc., Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., Federal National Mortgage Association, MBNA Corp., Men's [Wearhouse] Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

WALL STREET WATCH: "U.S. Savings Bonds now pay decent rates - about 5.5 percent for the EE bond and 6.5 percent for the newer 'I' bond, which adjusts for inflation." (Dee Lee, author, "Let's Talk Money")

"Last December investors saw little risk in stocks, when in fact it was very risky. Today the reverse is true. The risk is less, creating a buying opportunity." (Robert S. Salomon Jr., research analyst)

"You could have bought Xerox at what you thought was a cheap price anytime in the past five years and you'd be under water. Avoid companies that are struggling with their business strategy." (Susan Byrne, manager, Westwood Funds)

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