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FIDELITY REPORTS SHARP INCREASE IN USE OF REGULAR SAVINGS SERVICES; AUTOMATIC SAVINGS PLANS SURGE IN JANUARY-JUNE PERIOD

FIDELITY REPORTS SHARP INCREASE IN USE OF REGULAR SAVINGS SERVICES;
 AUTOMATIC SAVINGS PLANS SURGE IN JANUARY-JUNE PERIOD
 BOSTON, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Citing growing consumer interest in saving and investing, mutual fund and discount brokerage firm Fidelity Investments reported a sharp increase in the number of customers using its automatic investing services during the first six months of the year.
 The number of customers using Fidelity Automatic Account Builder and Direct Deposit to invest in mutual funds is up nearly 100 percent over the same period in 1991, and net assets are running about 58 percent ahead of last year. These two regular savings services let investors electronically transfer money from either a bank account, paycheck or government check directly into a mutual fund account.
 "The sharp rise in the number of our customers committed to regular investment plans is indicative of a larger shift in consumer attitudes about savings and spending," said Roger Servison, president of Fidelity Investments Retail Services. "The nation's economic woes and employment concerns are prompting Americans to reduce personal debt and create a financial safety net through saving and investing."
 Recent statistics measuring the personal savings rate of Americans also show a trend toward increased savings. After hitting a low of 4.2 percent in 1987, the savings rate has been making a slow but steady recovery, leveling off at 5.2 percent at the end of 1991, according to the Investment Company Institute, a mutual fund industry trade group.
 Fidelity research shows that investors like the convenience and discipline of regular electronic investing. "A structured savings routine can help investors achieve specific goals such as a down payment for a house, money for college tuition or retirement savings," Servison said. "Since the money is taken directly out of paychecks or existing bank accounts, the investor won't be tempted to spend it. And many of our customers have said that if they don't see the money, they don't miss it."
 The research also indicates that younger investors are more likely to invest through Fidelity's automatic savings plans than older investors. "Younger investors tend to be more comfortable with the use of technology that allows for the electronic transfer of money," he added.
 Automatic savings accounts are particularly popular with investors who practice dollar-cost averaging, a method of investing equal amounts of money in mutual funds at regular intervals, typically monthly or quarterly. This is a good way to invest for those who are concerned about mistiming the stock market. For example, a person planning to invest $3,000 in a mutual fund this year can avoid the pitfall of buying all shares at the market's high by making 12 monthly investments of $250 instead of a single purchase.
 If the market is trending upward, early purchases will have been bought at advantageous prices. If the market is trending downward, the early losses will be minimized by later purchases at lower prices. Over time, the average per-share cost may be lower, which may increase the potential gain when shares are sold.
 Fidelity Investments is the largest privately held mutual fund company in the nation and a leading discount brokerage firm. The company manages more than $160 billion in assets for individual and institutional investors.
 -0- 8/12/92
 /CONTACT: Fidelity Investments Public Relations, 617-570-5900/ CO: Fidelity Investments ST: Massachusetts IN: FIN SU: ECO


LS-KJ -- LA010 -- 6177 08/12/92 12:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 12, 1992
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