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Investment counselors

Is there any investment counseling service where a small investor can seek advice with a $50,000 portfolio and not have to pay an uneconomical fee? The small investor has to do his own guessing or pick a good mutual fund that fits his interest. The August issue of Forbes magazine each year reports on mutual funds, and that is a help. J. S.

Investment counselors licensed to advise and not sell tend to be expensive. A common fee is 2 percent of the asset value of the portfolio or $2,000 minimum per year. On a $50,000 portfolio the minimum $2,000 represents a 4 percent fee -- a hefty cut. About the only other alternative is to follow advice in one or several of the advisory newsletters. Two that I have found useful are Personal Finance (Kephart Communications, 901 North Washington Street, Alexandria, Va. 22314, 24 issues a year, $65) and Smart Money (The Hirsch Organization Inc., 6 Deer Trail, Old Tappan, N.J. 07675, 12 issues a year, $88); includes Stock Trader's Almanac, an excellent reference). You may also want to study the fundamentals in one or several of the many books available on financial planning and investing. There's really no substitute for knowing the basics yourself.

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