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Money panel

Peter Ryan

Retired building contractor, 57, Belleair Beach

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 23, 2003

Q. How did you get started investing?

I had some extra money when I decided to retire (in 1997) so I decided to try the stock market.

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Q. What is your best investment so far?

Triquint Semiconductor. I bought it in 1998 for about $5. It split three times between then and 2000, when the market was at its high. I've sold some and I still have 10,000 shares. . . . I bought Triquint because they made chips for cell phones. When cell phones were becoming popular, I started out looking for a company that made the chips.

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Q. What have you learned about investing that others should know?

Just own a few stocks and really understand them. I do research on the Internet and I go to the companies' annual meetings, even in Oregon or Georgia. I talk in chat rooms with other investors. I only own four to five stocks at any given time.

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Q. Do you have any goals for your investing?

Within the next 24 months, I would like to have enough money that I am very comfortable in retirement, so I don't have to care whether Social Security fails or not.

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Q. Do you think this is a good time to invest?

This is an exceptional time to invest. I think this market is so overdone on the down side because of all the problems with terrorism and the war and so on. I think those stocks down 80 to 90 percent will recover 40 or more percent. I almost think you could throw a dart at reasonable companies and be up 30 percent in the next 18 months.

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Q. Where do you get your investment tips?

I mostly read the Wall Street Journal. I spend a couple of hours a day on the computer studying the stock market. I watch CNBC all day. I listen to things and I write things down that sound logical. I watch eight or 10 stocks at any one time.

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