A digest of investment opinion from the world's leading financial advisers.
While the stock market rally that began in late January carried the Dow industrials to all-time highs, the broad market came nowhere near those highs, notes Laloggia's Special Situation Report (P.O. Box 167, Rochester, NY 14601). "This is one reason why we believe a major bear market began between August and October 1989 and that the upturn that began in January was just a rally within the context of this major bear market."- "The whole trick to making money in stocks," says William Berger of the Berger 100 Fund, "is to buy companies earning more this year than last on what they have to work with, and buying stocks which the economy is going to be good to." Berger 100 has found enough such stocks over the past five years to earn 21.4 percent annually on its money, including a 48.3 percent run-up last year. Recent favorites: Acuson, Associated Natural Gas, Chambers Development, Euro-Disney, Huntington International, Macina Power, Reuters, Shaw Industries.
- The Dutch stock market recently sold for less than 10 times earnings, vs. an average multiple for European markets of 13-to-1. It also yielded a generous 4.7 percent. All this is enough to make Dutch stocks look like the biggest bargains on the European bourse to Heiko Thieme, a consultant to Deutsche Bank who correctly called the recent downturn in German stocks. Thieme's favorite Dutch stocks now: Elsevier, Nationale-Neder-lander, Royal Dutch Petroleum, Unilever.
- Rapid earnings growth usually commands a stiff premium on the stock market. But not always. Financial World magazine recently went looking for stocks that combined dramatic growth with a low price. It found that six of the fastest growing actually sold for a growth multiple (price-earnings ratio divided by five-year annual earnings growth rate) below 0.06. The cheapest, in order: First Capital Holdings, Stone Container, Union Carbide, Fibreboard, Oriole Homes, Killearn Properties.
- "Junior gold stocks represent the most explosive profit opportunity in any stock market anywhere," says North American Gold Mining Stocks (P.O. Box 871, Woodside, NY 11372). "Here are our current recommendations. From their lows at the bottom of the 1985 gold bear market to their peaks during the 1987 gold bull market, these stocks gained an average 989 percent: Alban Exploration, Cornucopia, Eastmaque, Echo Bay, Equinox, Galactic, Glamis, Granges, LaTiko, MinVen, Mountain West.
- Not many mutual funds that excel in bull markets protect their investors in bear markets. But all seven funds on Forbes' 1990 Mutual Fund Honor Roll that racked up "A" ratings in up markets actually scored "B" or better in down markets. The lucky seven: United Income Fund ("A" in down markets), Dodge & Cox Stock, Fidelity Destiny I, Guardian Park Avenue, Investment Co. of America, Phoenix Growth, Wellington Mutual (all "B" in down markets).
- If you are generating more than $1,000 annually in commissions by trading stocks with a full-service broker, you can probably negotiate a discount, says Perrin Long of Lipper Analytical Services. "Most firms allow their brokers to give discounts up to 30 percent without prior approval. Even if you're only doing one or two big trades a year, you should feel free to ask."
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.