I started investigating Franklin Resources this lastsummer because I rolled over the major portion ofmy IRA funds into their "family of funds." I found that they were growing by leaps and bounds. Manyacquisitions were being completed and they had launched some very aggresive marketing campaigns. Youcannot read the financial section of any newspaper without seeing their adds. Michael Price, their starmoney manager has gotten a lot of attention also. What you may not be aware of is that they aggresivelymarket their U.S. funds to asian customers-- you canimagine how attractive this must be given the poor investments in Asia now.I am a member of the UAIC (united association of investments clubs) and I receive the Better InvestingMagazine. I have read several articles which recommend "Templeton" (Franklin Templeton) foreign funds. I have found that they truly experts in foreign investing. People who fully research theirperformance (5 Star by Morning Star on most funds) realize that the modest load is worth the value received. The capital gains received on their TEMFXfund recently nicely offset the losses from the recentdownturn over the last few months. (no capital gains tax problem with in IRA)I ran a full analysis using the Stock Selection Guidesoftware, while applying my conservative judgement, and came to the conclusion that the stock was a goodbuy at recent prices. So I bought a small amount in order to venture into financials (I hold Jefferies also and it has performed well). This is a good diversification move I feel, as I am heavy on the computer technology side.In comparison to some of the its competitors, I findBEN to be quite promising while being of medium risk(I checked out AC, STT, LEH, and others). I recommendBEN, check out the financials carefully, and I thinkyou will see an oportunity here.
I have been look for a financial services stock selection for my investment club for a couple of months now. Using the Stock Selection Guide, I have not had much luck until now with Franklin Resources. I have not done all the home work on it yet, i.e., haven't checked out their 10k or 10Q, there is no company homepage for more recent earnings reports, etc., but it looks promising at this point. Value Line ranks a 1 for timeliness in the December 5 publication. (I have not gotten back to the library for the update yet but I will now.) I have to present to my partners in two weeks, so I will complete my analysis soon and I will let you know what I concluded. I came to the board to see if there were any others with ideas on this company.
I purchased shares of BEN on 1-7-98. I also usethe Stock Selection Guide, for my own individualinvestments as well as for the club I joined. BENhas given me a (unrealized) gain of 25.73 or this 3 1/2-month period (includes $12 broker fee). If you use the Tool Kit or Stock Analyst software,remember to look at the "Relative Value" figure.NAIC recommends that it be under 110%. But aswith all the data provided by the SSG, you canjustify any aberation by additional information.If the Upside-Downside ratio is under 3 to 1, andeverything else is favorable, I enter a higher priceas the current price, then hold this completedStock Selection Guide in anticipation of a favorableprice change. But of course, if the price dropssignificantly I would check out any news before makingmy move. Some of this is difficult to do in aninvestment club, because of meetings, communication,and time involved. I don't think you will go wrong with BEN. Another financial stock you might want to check out is JEF,Jefferies group Incorporated. Be aware that Jefferiesis planning to spin off into two separate companiessoon. I own shares of JEF, but the last SSG I didindicated that it may have become slightly overpriced.So I did not purchase more shares. Since my purchase on 10-29-97 of JEF, I have seen a (unrealized) gain of 60%.
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