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Subject:  Re: "Viaticals" Date:  10/3/2001  3:09 PM
Author:  posthorn Number:  7378 of 20630

Dear fooldaveonce:

I would echo the advice about checking the company issuing these viaticals--with a very, very fine-toothed comb. The simple fact that they indicate a range of possible returns calls into question the strength of their "guarantee."

There are lots of other ways to get returns in the 10-11% range--with no guarantees, but with reasonable safety. There are REITS, oil/gas/timber royalty trusts (and some other master limited partnerships too--all traded on the major exchanges like stocks), as well as high-yield bonds (not many of which can acccurately be called "junk)." Check them out using a high-yield screen.

I have about 37 percent of my retirement money in these things, and for that reason (and some prudence in choosing equities) I don't have a loss for the past two years...even after taking out about $4000 a month for living expenses. I'm back down to where I started in mid-1998, but no real LOSS (and a lifetimes's worth of tax-loss carryforwards, for what it's worth).

Yrs., posthorn
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