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LOW RATES MAY KEEP FUNDS OUT OF MARKET

SHARE LOW RATES MAY KEEP FUNDS OUT OF MARKET

If short-term interest rates stay at current levels, the amount of money leaving short-term instruments to fuel this continuing stock rally could decline, says Market Logic (3471 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33306). "Most CDs mature in six months or less. Someone who accepted a 4 percent CD yield six months ago is more likely to renew at 3.7 percent than someone who was getting 6 percent a year ago and refused to renew at 4 percent."

- The 143 percent gain achieved by Cheswick Investment of Greenwich, Conn., over the past five years was twice the appreciation of the Standard & Poor's 500. It was also enough to put Cheswick in the No. 1 position among all 316 investment advisers tracked by CDA Investment Technologies. Cheswick, which manages $500 million for 80 very wealthy clients, is unwaveringly devoted to quality growth stocks that increase their profits at least 15 percent annually, such as: Alza, Coca-Cola, Health Care Compare, Merck, Philip Morris, Tokos Medical, United States Surgical.- This recession has been particularly hard on waste industry stocks, admits Dow Theory Forecasts (7412 Calumet Ave., Hammond, Ind. 46324). "But growing environmental awareness, tougher pollution laws and global expansion opportunities make them great turnaround plays." D.T.F. recently recommended four depressed pollution-control stocks with strong market niches and particularly promising rebound prospects: EG&G, Nalco Chemical, Waste Management, Zurn.

- Searching for stocks that could resist a general market correction, Forbes' Gilbert Studley recently identified 10 whose already generous dividends might be in for a boost. All have above-market yields, high ratios of earnings to capital expenditures and Value Line financial ratings of B-plus-plus or better, and currently pay out less than 55 percent of net earnings as dividends. The 10: Aetna, American General, California Water, Cigna, Montana Power, National Fuel Gas, San Diego G&E, Southern New England Telecom, Washington Gas Light, Wisconsin Public Service.

- Expecting absolute stability in the net asset values of the newly popular adjustable-rate-mortgage funds (ARMs) is foolish, says Financial World magazine. That's because interest rate shifts on the underlying mortgages always lag behind changes in market rates. "Rather than moving continuously in line with interest rates, ARMs rates move more like the second hand on an antiquated clock, jumping only at marked intervals called resets. Resets can occur as often as monthly or as seldom as every five years."

- Some prominent mutual fund analysts believe that turnover ratios, the amount of buying or selling funds do, are useful guides to future performance, observes Donoghue's Moneyletter (290 Eliot St., Box 91004, Ashland, Mass. 01721). "But we've found that turnover ratio is a useless, if not misleading, guide. While fund net asset values change daily, each fund still has an overall performance record, and that's all you need in picking an investment."

- The newest hot product from the brokerage houses is the so-called "wrap account," which consolidates all an individual's investments in one package. This package is then managed for one fee, generally 3 percent of assets. Wrap accounts free people from having to make their own investment decisions, says San Diego-based financial consultant Michael Stolper. "But they're really little more than mutual funds in prettier clothing."