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MUTUAL FUNDS / RUSS WILES

A Hazardous Time to Invest in Mutuals Funds

October 15, 1995|RUSS WILES | RUSS WILES, a financial writer for the Arizona Republic, specializes in mutual funds.

The fund follows the unusual approach of mixing roughly 10 favored stock picks from each of five analyst teams at Montgomery Asset Management of San Francisco. The five teams concentrate on small stocks, growth stocks, income shares, foreign stocks and emerging foreign markets.

There are no sales charges on Montgomery Select 50 ([800] 572-3863), for which the minimum investment is $1,000.

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Liberty Financial Cos. of Boston is offering a free interactive computer game to teach youngsters about money and investing. Players earn points by correctly answering questions while moving around an electronic game board. Topics include risk, taxes, mutual funds, financial planning and the economy.

Call (800) 403-KIDS for a copy of the "Young Investor Game," which runs on IBM-compatible machines with DOS 3.3 or higher, or Windows 3.1 or higher.

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The Salomon Bros. Fund, a closed-end portfolio that trades on the New York Stock Exchange, says it will repurchase up to 1 million of its shares in the open market to help reduce a discount that has been running around 19% lately. As another means to cut the discount, management will make dividend payments in shares rather than cash to investors enrolled in the fund's automatic dividend-reinvestment plan.

The fund, headquartered in New York and operating since 1929, primarily owns large U.S. stocks.

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The Teachers Insurance & Annuity Assn. of New York, part of the world's largest pension system, has unveiled a real-estate variable-annuity account for members.

"Real estate is an important basic asset class in a retirement investment portfolio and a valuable diversification tool," said John H. Biggs, chairman and chief executive of TIAA-CREF, which manages $150 billion for employees at education and research institutions. Most of the real estate holdings will be direct investments in commercial properties, supplemented by high-quality bonds and other debt securities.

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