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Money panel

Irving Bernheim: 45, CPA, St. Petersburg

By FRED W. WRIGHT JR.
Published May 2, 2004

Q. How did you get started in investing?

When I started work, with an IRA, about 20-something years ago.

Q. What is your best investment so far?

My house. No question. An accidental investment.

Q. What is your worst investment so far?

I invested in some penny stocks a few years ago. Those were a bomb. I took the hit and moved on.

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

I think you should pay attention to company earnings, make sure that it's a credible company, that it has a good future. I wouldn't place faith on analysts' reports blindly. Look at them and do some of your own thinking as well.

Q. How would you describe your approach to investing?

I'm a conservative investor. Right now I'm conservative based on having lost money in the past in bad investments. What I try to do is look at overall - does this investment seem to make sense? Look at price-earnings ratios.

Q. Have you made any changes in your holdings in the past year?

I sold all my tech stocks. After looking at the fundamentals of the companies, it seems like no tangible value there when I see price-earnings ratios that are astronomical. It seems like the price of a lot of tech stocks have been bid up way more than the company's worth.

Q. How are you invested now?

About 30 percent in cash, 55 percent in real estate, 15 percent in stocks.

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

I think it's a good time if you choose the right investment. I think it's always a good time to invest as long as you do your homework first.

Q. Do you have a goal for your investing?

I'd like to have a couple of million dollars by the time I'm 65, not including my personal assets.

Q. What is your biggest money concern right now?

I work for myself so my biggest concern is for my business . . . and keeping it going with new clients.

[Last modified May 2, 2004, 01:05:38]

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