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Financial Beat


Stocks, Privacy, Travel, Automobiles, College


Financial Beat

By Yvonne Chilik Wollenberg



Why it will eventually pay to sit tight

Dumping stocks in the heat of a bear market could mean forfeiting double-digit gains when the market turns around, says a study by SEI Investments, an asset management firm. Investors who held onto their stocks through the bottom of the 12 major bear markets since 1946 gained an average of 32.5 percent in the first 12 months after the market's recovery. But those who tried to jump back in just one week after a market rebound earned nearly 10 percent less, and returns for those who were one quarter too late were reduced even further.


Investors in the market . . .
Returns after 1 year*
Time to recoup losses incurred in a bear market*
At the very bottom
1.5 years
One week too late
2.5 years
One quarter too late
3.0 years



Don't assume you've been there, done that

Don't toss privacy notices from your bank and other financial institutions without reading them, warns the FDIC. If you told an institution last year that you want to protect certain kinds of information, and the institution hasn't changed what it shares, you don't have to renew your instructions. But you do have to send back instructions if the bank has any new information-sharing plans.

Financial institutions have been required since last year to send out annual privacy notices to give customers a chance to reject some kinds of information sharing, such as providing their name and address to another company or affiliate.


Overpacking will strain your wallet

When you pack for your next flight, don't forget to check your tape measure and scale. Most airlines are now charging for extra, overweight, or oversized bags. Most airlines allow only two checked bags. The usual limit for each bag is 70 pounds, and the combined height, width, and length can't exceed 62 inches.


One way fee for excess, oversized or overweight bags
American Airlines
Continental Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
Depends on destination



Shop around for the best lease

Leasing is becoming less popular, due to low interest rates and financing incentives, says a study by J.D. Power and Associates. You can strike a better deal if you shop around through an independent lease company, instead of just accepting what the dealership offers.

Automobile Consumer Services offers an online lease marketplace (www.leasecompare.com) where shoppers can get quotes from various national lenders. You can also see leasing quotes at www.autoleasedirect.com or www.leaseadvice.com . The National Vehicle Leasing Association offers its own online directory of independent lease companies at www.nvla.org.


Maybe they'll bring home less laundry

Dorm residents will soon be able to automate their laundry. E-Suds.net, a joint venture of IBM and USA Technologies, is coming early next year to schools in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. Students in hooked-up dorms can go online to check if a washer and dryer are available, charge the laundry to a university account via swipe card, and have detergent and fabric softener added automatically for an additional charge. E-Suds will notify the students by e-mail or beeper when the wash is done.

The author is a freelance writer in Teaneck, NJ.


Yvonne Wollenberg. Financial Beat. Medical Economics 2002;20:11.

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