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Money Panel

Perry Parapon, insurance sales, Largo

By FRED W. WRIGHT JR.
Published February 15, 2004

Q. How did you started in investing?

I had some surplus cash from commissions, so I started five to six years ago. My sister and I pooled together on some ideas on mutual funds, and then I took some money and bought some individual shares.

Q. What is your best investment so far?

It was a few years ago, Cisco Systems and then Disney. They both did well for me.

Q. What is your worst investment so far?

It was Outback Steakhouse. It didn't do too well. It wasn't performing fast enough so I got rid of it.

Q. What have you learned about investing that you think all investors should know?

The market has been, and always is, over-inflated and over-performing. I stay with one or two things that look good. I track the stocks. I just stay with what I feel looks good.

Q. How would you describe your approach to investing?

I'm conservative as far as what I look at. It's my retirement money. I still do about 8 to 10 percent growth across the board.

Q. What do you find the most difficult about investing?

There's no guarantee. You're taking a shot. That's the way the market is.

Q. How are you invested now?

Probably I have close to 50 percent in mutual funds and the other 50 percent spread out over stocks, bonds, savings and other investments.

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

Any time is a good time to invest - if you have the right strategy.

Q. What is your goal for your investments?

I wanted to retire at 55 and that didn't happen. I have one kid in college and one next year. I'd say in 10 years, on the low end, if I can have $200,000 to $300,000, that will be a good start toward retirement.

Q. What is you greatest money worry right now?

Taking care of my kids' college.

Q. Where do you get your investment tips?

I look on the Internet and check on MSN and CNBC and look at what those guys are saying. Then I track the stock, evaluate it from there on and see if it looks good.

[Last modified February 15, 2004, 01:15:45]

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