To The McAlvany Intelligence Adviser ((800) 525-9556), the resurgence of the Japanese stock market is beginning to resemble a shark feeding frenzy. "In an inflationary economy, where an apple can cost $5, the overbuying of equities becomes a speculating stampede. Sometime in the next year or so a crash should begin in the Japanese real estate or stock markets (the latter with 50 percent to 80 percent downside potential), which will spread quickly to the U.S. markets. There's a time bomb ticking in Japan."
- Inexpensive growth stocks are always hard to come by. But buying the future on sale has always been the key to investment profits. Gradison Opportunity Growth Fund uses computers to detect issues with above-average growth and low price-earnings ratios. Its current P.E. is 10-to-l, by far the lowest figure among all small company funds. Gradison also has historically ranked lower in risk and higher in performance than its small-cap brethren. Recent favorites: General Public Utilities, Willcox & Gibbs, Kellwood, Tasty Bakery, Carter-Wallace, Fleet Financial.- "Water utilities are a good hedge against hard economic times," says Edward Newton, writing in Personal Finance. "Even in a depression, people can't stop using water. Moreover, the water industry offers reasonable prospects for growth as the population expands, and is freer from regulation than most utilities. Most water utility stocks yield 5 percent to 7 percent, with long records of uninterrupted payments. Plus they're historically cheap now." Newton's favorite water utility stocks: California Water Service, Consumer's Water, Hydraulic Co., Middlesex Water, Philadelphia Suburban, United Water Resources.
- In deciding which stocks to own in the current market, don't be subtle, Forbes columnist Kenneth Fisher urges his readers. "Buy the big, strong, cheap ones." Fisher reports that he has rarely lost money when he's bought "high relative market share at a cheap price." On that commonsensical basis he's recently recommended: Boeing, Fleetwood Enterprises, General Dynamics, Holly Farms, Sears and Xidex.
- Most stock market investors wish they'd had a sell formula last October. Here's a sound one based on revenues from Henry vander Eb, president of Mathers Fund. "Historically, when a company sells at five times revenues, there isn't much growth left. It doesn't mean the stock can't go higher, but you're probably better off selling before an accident happens."
- In the past six months, commemorative gold coins graded MS-63 have risen 50 percent. "This did my heart good," reports R.N. Bradford of Analysis & Outlook (P.O. Box 1167, Port Townsend, Wash. 98368), "since I've been recommending them for about a year. The MS-60s and 62s, which are slightly lower grades, have only risen marginally. I expect them to catch up with the 63s, and I'm recommending their purchase."
- John Reed, author of "Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors," suggests a "changeables/unchangeables" approach in selecting rental property. "You want a property that has good unchangeables - location, architecture, room size - and bad changeables - paint, landscaping, wall conditions. That way you can purchase the property cheap, fix it up, then sell for 25 percent to 30 percent more than you paid."
Investor's Notebook reflects the opinions of professionals. It does not endorse specific investments, and no endorsement is implied or should be inferred. For more information, contact the individual firms cited.