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Subject:  Re: Conflicting Info Date:  10/12/1998  6:16 PM
Author:  gapfan Number:  5996 of 88425

I won't argue the specific points about that broker but I tend to think most of what he told you is true. Please consider this, and age plays a big role here. If the broker is 55 years old or more, he is quoting his longer term experience. (I'm 65.) I think that mutual funds may outperform again but am not sure. One point I wish to emphasize is to remain open to all information you get, try to recognize how it applies to you, and try to get the message behide the words.

When sector funds started, I seriously considered getting into them as a compromise between individual stocks and straight mutuals. I liked telecommunications at the time but didn't know which companies. (Look at some of the long term results of some of Fidelity's sector funds. They range from outstanding to very poor.) The S&P has to hold their same mix regardless. They have been very good the last years because the market has been good.

Now that I don't research individual stocks or groups anymore, a balanced or equity income fund suits me. They must be absolutely boring to an active investor.

If you are in your first 5 to 10 years of active investing, I think you are probably an apprentice. You gain a bit of experience when you call your full service broker and give him a list of 20 stocks to sell at market and don't even ask about price on any of them, as I did in '82. I found I had a problem as I paid margin interest at 21.5%, a crashing market, and margin calls far sooner than I expected.

Just that it takes time to learn any field, and asking who is right is a question that I don't think can be answered for you. I personally chose to do my own research better so I could leave the full service for a discount broker who gave no advice.

All of this is just one opinion, mine, and may do nothing for you but trigger a question of "what are you expecting?"

Good luck on your investing! gapfan :-)
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