From investment guru Brendan Boyd comes "Investor's
Notebook," a digest of investment opinion from the
country's leading financial advisers. From stock tips
to trade advice, twice a week "Investor's Notebook"
gives advice for the homeowner, investor and everyone
interested in knowing how to manage their assets and investments
to their fullest advantage.
INVESTOR'S NOTEBOOK by Brendan Boyd
digest of investment opinion from the world's leading
corporate earnings environment remains ideal, with
the average stock posting 22 percent annual earnings
growth," observes MPT Review (1 East Liberty,
Reno, NV 89501). "And the mutual fund industry
is now experiencing record inflows in excess of $40
billion per month. These two factors should keep the
stock market moving higher and broaden the number
of rising issues."
Pilgrim International Smallcap Growth Fund has produced
the highest average annual return among all international
stock funds over the past three years, a lofty 54.6
percent annually. Pilgrim focuses on non-U.S. companies
with average market capitalizations of $1.5 billion,
particularly those that are growing faster than average
due to some sustainable improvement the market hasn't
yet recognized. Recent favorites: Trans Cosmos, Jafco,
Fast Retailing, Metropole Television, Ricardo Group,
financial-service legislation has opened the floodgates
to a potential merger boom. Banks, insurers and brokers
are no longer barred from entering each other's markets,
and acquisitions are the fastest way to gain entry.
Dow Theory Forecasts newsletter (7412 Calumet Ave.,
Hammond, IN 46324) recently used its complicated Quadrix
rating system to determine which bank stocks seem
the most attractive takeover candidates based on four
factors: value, quality, momentum and financial strength.
The highest scorers: Columbia Banking, Dime Community
Bancshares, Bank of the Ozarks, Texas Regional Bancshares,
Tax reform has killed the preferred dividend loophole
for corporations. So issuing companies now tailor
preferred stocks to individual investors in the form
of "capital preferred securities." Whether
you're an aggressive investor who wants growth with
a yield, or a conservative yield seeker who values
safety of principal, there's a capital preferred for
you, says www.utilityforecaster.com.
UF recently recommended three CPSs trading on the
New York Stock Exchange and yielding more than 8 percent:
Enron Capital 8 Percent MIPS, Mission Capital 8.5
Percent MIPS, and Texaco Capital ARPS.
Long-term A-rated industrial bonds recently yielded
a full percentage point more than 30-year Treasuries.
But if you add up taxes and transaction costs, notes
SG Capital Management in New York City, the corporate
may end up yielding just one-third point more than
the Treasury. "And even that advantage can vanish
if the bond is called."
All the gold that is aboveground now is worth
$1.3 trillion, observes Marc Faber Ltd. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
"Compare that to the $1.6 trillion market
value of the six largest U.S. technology companies:
Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Cisco, Lucent and Dell.
Or to the global bond market's $30 trillion
value. There's a strong argument to be made
that sooner or later this valuation discrepancy,
and rising inflation, will spark a new bull
market in gold."
OF THE WEEK: Most over-the-counter Web
sites are short on hard information and
long on advertising. Not the OTC News
Focused exclusively on OTC Bulletin Board
stocks (any equity not listed or traded
on a national exchange), the site provides
breaking news reports of OTC companies
as well as company press releases. The
easy-to-use site allows investors to point
and click on the headline or links to
complete articles. It also features a
daily list of the day's five most-active
(Investor's Notebook reflects the opinions of professionals.
It does not recommend any specific investments, and
no endorsement is implied or should be inferred. For
more information, contact the individual firms cited.)