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Money panel

BILL ASKWYTH: 74, retired, North Redington Beach

By Times Staff Writer
Published October 31, 2004

Q. How did you get started in investing?

Way back when I was in college, I was selling mutual funds when nobody knew what they were. It was a part-time job in the '50s while I was in college.

Q. What is your best investment so far?

Probably a number of banks and real estate investment trusts.

Q. What is your worst investment so far?

Probably Lucent and Hewlett Packard.

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

Buy quality. Buy stocks with dividends. Don't buy high P/E (price-earnings ratio) stocks. Never buy a stock with a P/E over 30. Every time I do, I lose money. My most important rule: Whatever your guiding principals are, stick to them. Don't deviate from them.

Q. How would you describe your approach to investing?

Value, high-quality companies. Conservative, overall. If you lose money, it takes too long to earn it back.

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

It's more of a hobby for me. I spend a lot of time looking at things I wouldn't buy anyway.

Q. How are you invested now?

A little over 50 percent in stocks, 10 percent in high-dividend-paying equities (REITs, energy trusts), and the rest is bonds and cash equivalent.

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

I've put more of my high-dividend payers into my taxable account just for cash flow.

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

Basically, one of my guiding principles is it's not a stock market; it's a market of stocks. Right now I'm having trouble finding bargains, but there's always a good buy around. Basically, I look at individual stocks.

Q. What is your goal for investing?

Just to get by without eroding my capital.

Q. What is your biggest money concern right now?

Probably, long-term care insurance, which I don't have.

Q. Where do you get your investment tips?

Mostly (from) Valueline and Standard & Poor's Outlook and the Wall Street Journal.

[Last modified October 31, 2004, 00:55:19]

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