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Informed Investors Can Avoid Pitfalls

November 03, 1985

Regarding John F. Lawrence's column, "Utility Stocks: Hard Lesson in Complacency" (Oct. 13), I agree that complacency about investments is indeed a major problem for retired investors. Many seem to believe they can assemble a portfolio of investments and then forget about them, blissfully collecting dividends without a second thought.

As a former stockbroker and now editor of a monthly newsletter about California municipal bonds, I can tell you that such apathy can cost investors dearly, especially in light of today's rapidly changing economy, deregulation and mounting financial failures.

Plus, the emphasis now on obtaining very high interest from investments makes unwitting speculators out of otherwise conservative savers.

Those investors who rely on their brokers to "watch over things" are shortsighted, as brokers all too frequently are the last to call when trouble surfaces. Many utility stock buyers can attest to that.

Mr. Lawrence's column astutely points out the major problem: "the shortage of good, continuing advice readily available on financial matters for the growing elderly population."

Many retired investors in the burgeoning municipal bond market of recent years also are naively complacent, stashing their bonds in a safe deposit box and basically forgetting about them.

With a reliable source of understandable, independent advice and information, an investor can stay on top of his portfolio and avoid being financially broadsided as many utility stock buyers have been in recent years.


Palm Springs

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