"This recession will be far worse and cut far deeper into corporate profits than most analysts now believe possible," predicts Lalog-gia's Special Situation Report (P.O. Box 167, Rochester, NY 14601). "We believe Wall Street analysts have seriously overestimated 1991 earnings prospects. As a result, a wave of earnings estimate reductions will put severe downward pressure on stock prices. To believe the market can rally further in the face of current budget deficits is the height of folly."
- Founders Growth is a small ($76 million) mutual fund that concentrates on high-quality growth stocks. Its approach is unusual in two respects. It ignores sector specialization to take its positions "one stock at a time," and it never fights the tape, but rather bails out of down markets and jumps on rising ones. This has allowed Founders Growth to appreciate 406.9 percent over the past decade. Recent favorite stocks: National Medical Enterprises, Bristol-Myers Squibb, H&R Block, Home Depot, General Motors Cl E, Jostens, Federal National Mortgage Association.- Real estate losses, price competition and rate regulation have pounded insurance stocks lately. Yet Forbes' Eric Hardy still found seven insurers that expect higher earnings this year, and have underwriting losses of less than 3 percent of premium income and real estate assets of less than 5 percent of total assets. All increased their reserves last year and sell for far less than the market multiple. The seven: American Bankers, American International Group, W.R. Berkley, Cincinnati Financial, Fremont General, Frontier Insurance Group, Safeco.
- The Fidelity mutual fund organization holds about 1 percent of all the stock in the United States. So its opinion of individual equities is extremely important. According to the independent newsletter Fidelity Insight (20 William St., P.O. Box 9135, Wellesley, MA 02181), here are Fidelity's largest recent individual stock positions: Federal National Mortgage, Philip Morris, Entergy, SmithKline Beecham, Texaco, Royal Dutch Petroleum, Pfizer, G.E., CMS Energy, Southern Co., National Medical Enterprises, Nynex, IBM.
- Speaking of big funds, one of every five funds hasn't been performing up to its size lately. Last year only two of the 10 biggies outperformed the general market's 3.43 percent slide: Investment Company of America (up 0.40 percent) and American Mutual (down 1.89 percent).
- "European interest rates are higher than ours," observes Leslie Nanberg of MFS Worldwide Government Trust. "But their inflation is lower due to the influential tight money policies of Germany. So foreign government bonds offer more appreciation potential than ours as interest rates continue to drop due to slowing economies."
- "Investors can assume that brokers have their best interests at heart in urging them to switch annuities," says Financial World magazine. "But remember that brokers and agents get 3 percent to 5 percent from the insurance company for selling an annuity, as opposed to a 1 percent commission for selling bank certificates of deposit."
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.