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A LOT OF FUNDS REMAIN SOLID BUYS DESPITE BOOST IN INTEREST RATES

SHARE A LOT OF FUNDS REMAIN SOLID BUYS DESPITE BOOST IN INTEREST RATES

Mutual-fund investors may have to work a little harder this year to make money.

But there are still a lot of funds that are solid buys.With the Federal Reserve boosting interest rates, bond yields are much higher than they were a year ago. Don't be scared away from bonds because they had a lousy 1994. It's unlikely this year will be a rerun.

Long-term and intermediate interest rates will probably remain fairly steady in 1995.

That kind of environment makes mortgage-backed securities, such as those in Benham GNMA Income (1-800-472-3389) especially attractive.

Investors in high tax brackets will probably do best in a solid tax-exempt fund such as Vanguard Municipal Intermediate Term (1-800-635-1511).

There are still bargains in stocks, too. Growth stocks - those with steadily growing earnings - lagged the market for much of the past three years and are cheap relative to value stocks.

Funds such as Janus (1-800-525-8983) and Harbor Capital Appreciation (1-800-422-1050) should fare well if growth stocks continue their recent rebound.

Janus is the more conservative of the two funds, because manager Jim Craig often holds lots of cash.

Another sector that should perform well this year is companies that provide technology and materials that boost the productivity of other firms.

Westwood Equity (1-800-937-8909) holds a slew of these manufacturing stocks because manager Susan Byrne believes earnings will "continue to surprise on the upside."

Many European stock markets seem poised to do well this year. Tweedy Browne Global Value

(1-800-432-4789), which scours the globe for undervalued securities, currently has more than 60 percent of its money in Europe.

The closed-end Europe Fund (New York Stock Exchange; symbol EF), available through brokers, offers a more concentrated Europe play, and the fund recently traded at a steep 13 percent discount to its net asset value.

Conservative investors might want to take a look at USAA Mutual Income Stock (1-800-382-8722), which buys high-yielding, out-of-favor blue-chip stocks. The fund is much less volatile than most stock funds.

Aggressive investors could invest in a good emerging-markets fund, such as Montgomery Emerging Markets (1-800-572-3863). The developing nations in which it invests are expected to continue growing rapidly.

And income-oriented investors might want to consider Cohen & Steers Realty Shares (1-800-437-9912). Commercial real estate will probably strengthen this year.