The coming drop in interest rates will produce a significant rise in stock and bond prices, predicts The Wall Street Digest (1 Sarasota Tower, Suite 602, Sarasota, Fla. 34236). "We know the economy can produce continuous economic growth of 3 percent annually, year after year, without significant inflation. This will increase industrial production to 4 percent annually, stimulating corporate profits. It's easy to see a Dow of 5000 well before 1995."

- Stephen Poling of AMEV Capital Fund also believes in compounding. He'll pay 18 times earnings for 25 percent five-year growth rates. "When we're convinced a company can keep growing at those rates and it sells below where it's sold historically, we buy it." Buying such big-cap growth stocks allowed AMEV Capital to appreciate an average 16 percent annually during the '80s, including 38 percent last year. Recent favorites: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Limited, MCI, Motorola, SLMA, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Disney, Waste Management.- One country that could benefit significantly from continuing Mideast turmoil is Australia, observes Dessauer's Journal (P.O. Box 1718, Orleans, Mass. 02653). "That's because the Australian economy is commodity-based. Foreign investors are seeking the safe haven of an energy-rich country." Yet Australian stocks sell only at a 2 percent higher multiple now than they did in 1980, vs. 70 percent for U.S. stocks and 155 percent for Japanese equities. Dessauer's favorite Aussie issues: Broken Hill Proprietary, News Corp., Westpac Bank.

- "If you're worried about the stock market, but don't want to be out of it, buy low-beta stocks," advises Forbes' Eric Hardy. Beta measures the average response of a stock to market move. Low-beta stocks move less in concert with the general market than to their own interior logic. Hardy recently listed nine low-beta stocks with positive five-year earnings growth and below-market price-earnings ratios: Chiquita Brands, Freeport McMoran, Kimberly-Clark, Mapco, Myers Industries, National Presto, Progressive, L.S. Starrett, Universal Foods.

- At present, the market for automobile catalytic converters uses 25 percent to 30 percent of all platinum mined, notes Platinum Guild International. "Since European countries will increasingly demand the fitting of these air-pollution control devices, this market will increase significantly over the next several years. Our latest survey of analysts shows a consensus that 1990 platinum prices will be the lowest of the decade."

- "The U.S. dollar is becoming a commodity in short supply," observes Staton's Stock Market Advisory (300 East Blvd., Charlotte, N.C. 28203). "The Fed's printing presses are barely running. In the 1970s, the Fed pumped money into the economy like an addict. This time around, chairman Alan Greenspan is just saying `no.' He realizes that weak currency is bad for any country. U.S. money growth is less than half that of foreign money growth. The dollar is poised for an advance."

- Not only are insured municipal bond funds safer, they perform better, too, according to Mutual Fund Values (53 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Ill. 60604). "The average annual return of all insured muni funds over the past five years has been 8.79 percent, vs. 4.9 percent for all uninsured funds." The top-yielding funds: Vanguard Municipal Insured Long Term (10.10 percent annually), Van Kampen Merritt Insured T/F Income (9.86 percent), AARP Insured Tax-Free General Bond (9.41 percent).

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.