No. of Recommendations: 0
On Tue, 27 May 97 07:49:43 -0600, applegate wrote:

<<I currently have HR-10 funds in an annuity. I can transfer some of those monies into the stock market and have the paperwork to do so. After reading, I'm still confused about what stocks to put my money in. I'm 50 years old. I want long term returns better than 6% (annuity rate). I read the Dow averages (Motley Fool) With the Dow at 7300 is now a good time to start? All of it or part of it?>>

Greetings, Applegate, and welcome.

FWIW, as far as I'm concerned there's never a"right" time to get into the stock market......Only a wrong time to be out of it. History shows that the inexorable trend of the stock market is up, even after it has suffered a major decline. Mr. Market has always recovered and has always proceeded to move to a new high in the process. And , at least for all 20 year periods ending on 12/31 since 1941, it has never lost money and has beaten anything else you could have put your money into.

Can you beat the 6% you're getting in your annuity? You betcha! But can you tolerate the ride in the process? That's the key question, and only you can answer that. If a 20% decline in your portfolio in any year will greatly upset you or cause you to cash in your chips, then maybe you shouldn't be in stocks. For sure you shouldn't if you can't ride out the downs to the sure recoveries that will inevitably follow. But if you can tolerate those bumps, then waiting because the "Dow is at 7300" right now doesn't really make sense, does it? Timing doesn't work for the pros, and it certainly won't work for us, either. So if you're ready to do some stock investing, then now is the time to start.

You say you're still confused and unsure, though. To me, that indicates a caution signal. It tells me you're really *not* ready for the plunge yet. Therefore, why not take a bit longer before you start and get some education first? The market will still be there 60 days from now. Take the time now -- not later -- to be sure about what you want to do. To that end, IMHO you will be well-served if you toddle over to your local library, discount bookstore, or even here in the Fool Mart and pick up some esily read, easily understood, inexpensive texts that will soon have you confidently investing in stocks using some simple systems that will take but an hour per year of your time (if you're slow) yet produce returns that put the majority of professional money managers to shame. I suggest and commend the following to you: "Beating the Dow" by O'Higgins; "The Dividend Investor" by Petty and Knowles; "The Motley Fool Investment Guide" by the Gardner brothers; "One Up on Wall Street" by Lynch; and "What Works on Wall Street" by O'Shaughnessey. All are well worth their low cost and the small investment in time it takes to read them. Get them and read them. Be assured you will be glad you did.

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