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MONEY SMALL INVESTOR INDEX: SMALL INVESTORS MAKE ONLY 7.9% IN 1992

 /ADVANCE/ NEW YORK, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Dragged down by low yields on certificates of deposit and money funds, the average individual investor earned a disappointing 7.9 percent last year, according to Money magazine's Small Investor Index. That's more than a percentage point less than the 9 percent annual return that small investors have averaged since 1970.
 The Index, which tracks the average individual's investment performance, rose by $3,492 overall in 1992, bringing the total value of the typical individual's portfolio to a record $47,562 (after adjusting for the most recent Federal Reserve data).
 Stocks (which currently make up 37 percent of the portfolio) were the year's biggest winners, gaining $2,110, or 13.2 percent. More specifically, of the 10 investment categories that make up the Index, small-company stocks turned in the best performance, rising 20.1 percent. That was about eight percentage points higher than the 11.7 percent return on blue-chip stocks.
 Bonds (23 percent of the portfolio) added $799, or 8 percent, as falling interest rates boosted prices. Municipal bonds outperformed taxable bonds for the first time in four years, returning 9.2 percent vs. 7.7 percent, as individuals fearing possible Clinton Administration tax increases poured money into tax-exempt issues.
 The big drag was cash investments, such as CDs and money funds (39 percent of the portfolio), which earned only $653, or 3.7 percent. Yields on money funds now average 2.9 percent, down from 4.6 percent at the beginning of 1992.
 In addition, gold and real estate (excluding investors' own homes) actually lost money for the year. Gold was down 16.4 percent and real estate dropped 7.9 percent. However, because individuals keep less than 2 percent of their money in these choices, the declines cost them a mere $70.
 This Last Year % Change from a
 Week Week Ago Week Ago Year Ago
 107.93 107.84 100.00 +0.08% +7.93%
 Latest Changes for Each Asset
 % Change from a
 Category Index Week Ago Year Ago
 Stocks:
 NYSE 111.69 -0.20% +11.69%
 ASE/OTC 120.12 +0.90 +20.12
 Equity funds 110.53 +0.06 +10.53
 Bonds:
 Taxable bonds 107.72 +0.15 +7.72
 Municipals 109.15 +0.17 +9.15
 Bond funds 106.99 +0.16 +6.99
 Cash:
 CDs 104.21 +0.07 +4.21
 Money funds 103.30 +0.05 +3.30
 Other:
 Real estate 92.07 +0.06 -7.93
 Gold 83.65 0.00 -16.35
 Dec. 27, 1991 equals 100
 Where Average Small Investors Have Their Money Now
 Current Year Ago Current Year Ago
 NYSE 23.06% 23.49% Bond funds 6.53% 5.22%
 ASE/OTC 7.28 7.42 CDs 14.73 17.57
 Equity funds 6.29 5.08 Money funds 24.68 22.73
 Taxable bonds 8.81 9.86 Real estate 0.61 0.77
 Municipals 7.54 7.30 Gold 0.47 0.56
 Sources: Bank Rate Monitor, the Federal Reserve, IBC/Donoghue's Money Fund Report, Investment Company Institute, Lehman Bros., Lipper Analytical Services, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Capital International, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Prudential Asset Management, Standard & Poor's, Robert Stanger & Co., World Gold Council.
 -0- 1/4/93
 /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:Dec 31, 1992
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