Where Would You Put $1,000 Now? Savings bonds and certificates of deposit and bright charitable donations: those were just a few of the favorite things mentioned when MONEY asked 16 luminaries -- from corporate CEOs to Nancy Reagan's astrologer -- to respond to the query . . .
(MONEY Magazine) – Gad! It's that question again! You get it at the water-cooler. It blindsides you at parties. It teases you at night after you've heard on the late news that stocks are sizzling again. Where would you put $1,000 right now? The question is so vexing, so exquisitely perplexing largely because the sum, even if not immediately available, is so squarely within the grasp of our imagination. Then too, the time stipulation is so unforgiving. NOW! Not a week from now. TODAY! Yet there's another reason why so seemingly straightforward a question can be so disconcerting. It's because most of us figure that only the other guy -- wise men like Warren Buffett or your shrewd Uncle Max, say -- has the right answer. Well, MONEY recently posed the potentially paralyzing query to 16 ''other guys'' -- trend-setters and opinionmakers in business, finance, investing and even entertainment and astrology. What follows are their answers. Are they the right ones? Only time will tell.
A. Michael Lipper President, Lipper Analytical Services, the mutual fund record keepers ''If I were swinging for the fences over a 10-year period, I'd put my $1,000 in a mutual fund that invests in developing economies. If I were going for a base hit, I'd hunt for a Treasury bond fund with the longest average-weighted maturity I could find.''
Lou Dobbs Vice president of Cable News Network and anchor of CNN's Moneyline ''I'd buy two $500 Series EE Savings Bonds -- one for each of my twin 14- month-old daughters. That would make me feel patriotic and at least give me the illusion of being a little closer to affording their college educations.''
Alexandra Armstrong Washington, D.C. certified financial planner ''I'd invest the entire sum in Washington Mutual Investors, a blue-chip common-stock fund (5.75% load; 800-421-9900) that has done well in good markets and bad.''
Venita Van Caspel Houston financial planner and author of Money Dynamics for the 1990s (Simon & Schuster, $22.95) ''My money would go into a growth mutual fund like Growth Fund of America (5.75% load; 800-421-9900). Growth funds give me liquidity, diversification, professional management and a chance to participate in what I < feel will be the increasing earning power of American corporations over the next three years.''
Beryl W. Sprinkel Chicago economist and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan ''Normally, I would prefer to invest in equities, but not now. Monetary policy has been too tight too long. Consequently, I would put the $1,000 in liquid investments -- a six-month CD or a short-term money-market fund. This is no time for speculation.''
Robert Krulwich CBS economics correspondent ''I'd buy mint condition copies of Sesame Street magazine, because in 35 years or so they will be very rare (kids cut them up), and by 2025 everyone will long for Big Bird.''
Arthur Rosenberg Jenkintown, Pa. financial manager whose clients include the recently retired baseball slugger Mike Schmidt (1988 salary: $2.25 million) and catcher Bob Boone ($883,000) ''I would give $200 to the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic and another $200 to the ALS Association (for Lou Gehrig's disease). I'd invest in $90 worth of baseball cards, and, for $10, I'd join a really good dating service. With the remaining $500, I'd go away for a long weekend and think about what I'd do if I had some real money.''
Andrew Tobias Author of The Only Other Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Bantam, $8.95) ''I wouldn't invest or speculate with the $1,000 because I'd either lose it or feel terrible having quintupled it -- 'Oh, no,' I'd agonize. 'Why did I bet only $1,000?' Since I already have all the toys I need, I'd donate the money to the Foster Parents Plan (155 Plan Way, Warwick, R.I. 02886), knowing that it would improve the lot of four families for a year.''
Victor K. Kiam CEO of Remington Products and owner of the New England Patriots football team ''I wouldn't worry too much about a sum like that. I'd put it somewhere safe, like Treasuries, and use it to buy gifts for my family. Knowing it was there might help me remember important holidays and birthdays.''
Betty M. Rubin Philadelphia homemaker and holder of one of 14 winning tickets in the April 26, $116 million Pennsylvania lottery drawing, the largest such prize in U.S. history ''I would invest the money in U.S. Government bonds. I feel safe with that choice because if the government goes, I go too.''
Robert K. Heady ) Publisher of the respected consumer-oriented banking newsletter 100 Highest Yields, North Palm Beach, Fla. ($89, 52 issues a year; 800-327-7717) ''Because interest rates may ease or waffle over the next year, I'd lock into the highest-paying federally insured one-year certificate of deposit I could find. Recently that was a 10.52% yield at Seasons Savings Bank in Richmond, Va. That outpays the average money-market fund, which has no federal insurance and offers no guarantee that yields won't decline over the next year.''
Joan Quigley San Francisco astrologer and former scheduling consultant to Nancy Reagan ''I'd invest in something I'd really enjoy, like art. Since a painting by a famous artist would be out of my price range, I'd look about for an unrecognized artist who'd produced a work I'd want to live with. I'd buy it for its beauty, but it certainly wouldn't hurt my feelings if the painting's value appreciated.''
Ravi Batra Professor of economics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and author of the business bestseller Surviving the Great Depression of 1990 (Simon & Schuster, $18.95) ''I'd put the money in a high-interest-paying account in a 'safe' bank, meaning a bank that does not have heavy loans in real estate, energy companies or Latin American nations. The bank should also have assets of at least $200 million. I believe the stock market is currently unsafe since all stock markets are linked to the Japanese market, which is overbought and will crash before the end of the year. After that, the U.S. market will also sharply fall.''
Richard C. Young Newport, R.I. editor and publisher of Young's World Money Forecast ($425, 24 issues a year; 800-843-7273) ''I'd put the money in the no-load Benham Capital Preservation Fund (800-472-3389). It invests exclusively in short-term U.S. Treasuries and is basically a hedge for my No. 1 candidate: long-term zero-coupon bonds. There's a 75% likelihood that a recession will start within a year. That will force rates down, and zeros offer the best bang for your buck when rates drop. From now until 1993, many fortunes will be made in zero-coupon bonds.''
Tiffany Southern California pop singer ''I'd invest in CDs (the kind you listen to).''
James Grant Chronically bearish New York City editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer ($375, 25 issues a year; 212-608-7994) ''Count the money. Is it all there? If it is in cash, are the bills green? Do they have a familiar shape? If it is a check, is it drawn on a solvent bank? Has the IRS been notified of your windfall? Must you report it? Are you certain that your 'windfall' is not a cruel practical joke? Invest the money in a conservative money-market fund. Say nothing to anyone.''