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MONEY SMALL INVESTOR INDEX: INVESTORS FLOCK TO BANK STOCKS

 /ADVANCE/ NEW YORK, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Attracted by last year's spectacular 30 percent surge in bank stocks, Americans are investing heavily in mutual funds that hold the shares of banks and other financial services companies, according to data gathered for Money magazine's Small Investor Index.
 AMG Data Services in Arcata, Calif. reports that over the past six weeks, financial services funds have taken in $287 million of new money. That's more than any other type of single-industry fund except utilities, the perennial favorite of conservative income investors. Since the beginning of December, for example, investors have poured $121 million into Fidelity's Select Savings and Loan Fund, which led the financial services group last year with a 57.8 percent return. The cash infusion helped to boost the fund's assets 117 percent to $216 million. Similarly, investors have added $8.3 million to $247 million Financial Strategic Financial Services Fund in the first two weeks of January, compared with $9.8 million in all of December and $5 million in November.
 Bank and financial services stocks, which soared in 1992 as low interest rates boosted profits from loans, are likely to be winners again this year, analysts report. The 1993 returns, however, may fall short of last year's. "Because prices are higher now, it will be hard for bank stocks to match their '92 gains in percentage terms," says Charles Clough Jr., chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch. "But the shares will still outperform the market because interest rate conditions are favorable."
 Last week, the typical individual investor's portfolio, as tracked by the Small Investor Index, rose $237 to $44,996. Stocks gained $231, and bonds fell $2. Certificates of deposit and money-market funds contributed $10, while gold lost $4.
 This Last Year % Change from a
 Week Week Ago Week Ago Year ago
 100.27 99.74 94.65 +0.53% +5.93%
 Latest Changes for Each Asset
 % Change from a
 Category Index Week Ago Year Ago
 Stocks:
 NYSE 100.05 +1.14% +7.31%
 ASE/OTC 102.77 +2.58 +10.90
 Equity funds 100.41 +1.04 +5.04
 Bonds:
 Taxable Bonds 100.54 +0.62 +8.94
 Municipals 99.03 -1.10 +7.67
 Bond funds 100.36 +0.38 +7.50
 Cash:
 CDs 100.14 +0.07 +4.09
 MONEY FUNDS 100.10 +0.05 +3.15
 Other:
 Real estate 100.24 +0.29 -9.25
 Gold 96.47 -1.75 -22.23
 Jan.1, 1993 equals 100
 Where Average Small Investors Have Their Money Now
 Current Year Ago Current Year Ago
 NYSE 23.01 23.50% Bond funds 6.52% 5.23%
 ASE/OTC 7.27 7.42 CDs 14.59 17.48
 Equity funds 6.28 5.09 Money funds 24.75 22.77
 Taxable bonds 8.79 9.86 Real estate 0.81 0.78
 Municipals 7.52 7.31 Gold 0.46 0.57
 Sources: Bank Rate Monitor, the Federal Reserve, Investment Company Institute, Lehman Bros., Lipper Analytical Services, Merrill Lynch, Money Fund Report, Morgan Stanley Capital International, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Prudential Asset Management, Standard & Poor's, Robert Stanger & Co., World Gold Council
 -0- 1/18/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: This material is also available in printable form from AP GraphicsNet and Access services for graphics and tables (under the file name MoneyIndex) and from PR Newswire for full text./
 /CONTACT: Jordan Goodman of MONEY, 212-522-3618, or Patti Straus of MONEY public relations, 212-522-2695/


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Date:Jan 15, 1993
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