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MONEY SMALL INVESTOR INDEX: SMALL INVESTORS PILE INTO JAPANESE FUNDS

 /ADVANCE/ NEW YORK, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- With Japanese stocks soaring and the dollar diving, in the past month U.S. investors have nearly doubled their purchases of mutual funds that hold Japanese shares, according to data gathered for Money magazine's Small Investor Index.
 Since Jan. 1, the Japanese stock market has shot up 15.7 percent, while the dollar has dipped 12 percent against the yen, giving U.S. investors a return of 28 percent in dollar terms.
 One major reason for the boom in Tokyo shares has been the Japanese government's $100 billion economic stimulus package, which was announced in mid-March.
 In total, American small investors have added $351 million to Japanese and Pacific Basin mutual funds over the past four weeks, almost twice as much as in the previous four weeks, according to AMG Data Services of Arcata, Calif. For example, the $110 million Fidelity Japan fund has attracted $68 million of fresh cash so far in April, vs. only $9 million for all of March.
 Although global market strategists think Japanese equities will score further gains, they warn that a temporary drop in prices is also possible. "Shares could rise 20 percent by year-end as Japanese investors move money from low-yielding bank accounts into stocks," says Peter Grant, co-manager of the Putnam Global Growth Fund in Boston. However, David Kenerson, manager of the Van Eck International Growth Fund in New York City, cautions that if the Japanese economy, lately growing at a subpar one percent, is slow to respond to the government's program, stocks could slip back by 10 percent or more.
 Last week, the Money Index, which tracks the typical small investor's holdings, fell $294, to $47,182. Stocks were down $291, while bonds lost $21. CDs and money funds contributed $10, and gold was up $9.
 This Last Year % Change from a
 Week Week Ago Week Ago Year Ago
 102.04 102.67 94.10 -0.62% +8.43%
 Latest Changes for Each Asset
 % Change from a
 Category Index Week Ago Year Ago
 Stocks:
 NYSE 101.64 -1.98% +9.95%
 ASE/OTC 98.01 -1.02 +15.18
 Equity funds 101.97 -1.11 +9.89
 Bonds:
 Taxable bonds 105.21 +0.13 +13.41
 Municipals 104.57 -0.85 +12.87
 Bond funds 104.82 +0.09 +11.41
 Cash:
 CDs 101.11 +0.07 +3.88
 Money funds 100.78 +0.05 +2.83
 Other:
 Real estate 102.80 -0.33 -1.46
 Gold 120.13 +3.53 +11.09
 Jan. 1, 1993 equals 100
 Where Average Small Investors Have Their Money Now
 Current Year Ago Current Year Ago
 NYSE 23.37% 22.51% Bond funds 6.82% 5.63%
 ASE/OTC 7.38 7.11 CDs 13.50 16.71
 Equity funds 6.69 5.45 Money funds 24.17 23.79
 Taxable bonds 9.47 10.09 Real estate 0.80 0.78
 Municipals 7.27 7.43 Gold 0.54 0.51
 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- 4/25/93
 /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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GK -- NY076 -- 0136 04/23/93 14:06 EDT
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Date:Apr 23, 1993
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