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SMALL INVESTORS STUMBLE DESPITE STOCK SURGE

 SMALL INVESTORS STUMBLE DESPITE STOCK SURGE
 /ADVANCE/ NEW YORK, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Although the Dow Jones


industrial average has set 17 record highs this year and is within 20 points of the 3366 peak set in mid-April, small investors are earning the lowest profits since the depths of the 1990 bear market, according to Money magazine's Small Investor Index.
 Over the past 12 months, the Index has posted a 9 percent total return, just about in line with its 20-year average. But for the past 15 weeks, the typical small investor's portfolio has actually lost 0.5 percent.
 If times are so good, why are small investors doing so badly? Mainly because they hold a broad mix of investments, including small stocks, bonds and cash accounts. This defensive diversification, which minimizes overall risk, can work against small investors in times like these when only one type of investment is spurting.
 Fact is, the gains in stocks, which make up 34.5 percent of the average individual's holdings, have been extremely uneven. While the Dow has been hitting new highs, the average New York Stock Exchange issue has dropped 2.5 percent since January. And small-company shares that trade on the American Stock Exchange or over the counter have fallen more than 4 percent.
 Similarly, the prices of long-term bonds have sunk as yields on 30-year Treasuries have risen to 8 percent, up from 7.5 percent on Jan. 1. Even counting interest payouts, the total return from fixed- income investments (24.8 percent of the average portfolio) over the past 15 weeks is barely in the plus column. At the same time, CDs and money-market funds (39.8 percent of the portfolio) now pay only around 4 percent, down from as much as 7 percent last year.
 Last week alone, the Small Investor Index fell $272 to $45,657. Stocks lost $227, while bonds dropped $61. CDs and money funds contributed $14.
 This Last Year % Change from a
 Week Week Ago Week Ago Year Ago
 101.51 102.12 93.12 -0.59% +9.01%
 Latest Changes for Each Asset
 % Change from a
 Category Index Week Ago Year Ago
 Stocks:
 NYSE 102.52 -1.05% +11.96%
 ASE/OTC 102.99 -2.66 +16.13
 Equity funds 102.52 -1.49 +11.55
 Bonds:
 Taxable bonds 99.87 -0.32 +10.55
 Municipals 101.13 -1.00 +9.56
 Bond funds 100.66 -0.43 +11.67
 Short-term assets:
 CDs 101.44 +0.08 +5.42
 Cash 101.27 +0.07 +4.61
 Other:
 Real estate 98.06 -0.22 -5.64
 Gold 90.93 +1.04 -5.10
 Dec. 27, 1991 equals 100
 Where Average Small Investors Have Their Money Now
 Current Year Ago Current Year Ago
 NYSE 22.04% 22.01% Bond funds 5.31% 4.31%
 ASE/OTC 6.96 6.95 CDs 16.25 19.53
 Equity funds 5.18 4.04 Cash 23.50 21.55
 Taxable bonds 12.63 13.20 Real estate 0.76 0.77
 Municipals 6.88 7.12 Gold 0.50 0.53
 Sources: Bank Rate Monitor, IBC/Donoghue's Money Fund Report, the Federal Reserve, 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- 4/27/92
 /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/ CO: ST: IN: SU: ECO


GK -- NY070 -- 2544 04/24/92 14:26 EDT
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Date:Apr 24, 1992
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