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Taking Exception to Make-Over Advice

September 14, 1997

Much is said about financial planning. The Money Make-Over of Aug. 19 ("Back on Her Feet") is one of the best examples that I've seen. Here is a lady who can't afford nylons, has $600 in credit card debt at probably 20%-plus interest and $3,800 debt from student loans. Her major financial goal is homeownership in three years, when her son will be 6.

The one recommendation the financial planner makes that makes sense is for the lady to pay off her debt. The balance of the article is a commercial for three mutual funds, none of which seems appropriate.

If she had any money to save, she would be far better off in a mutual fund money market account, which, after management fees deductions in the recommended bond mutual funds, will earn as much and is just the liquid ticket for her goal of a house purchase.

Furthermore, no recommendations regarding the options available for her 403(b) plan at UCLA were mentioned, which is where she could invest aggressively in stocks and build a future and is the only money she has.

Last, I've been to Overland Park, Kan., and those folks can't comprehend California or its real estate.

THOMAS E. KOLANOSKI

Certified financial planner

Costa Mesa

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