Bear or Bull, Some Region 8 Investors Are Not Phased

July 16, 2003 - Posted at: 11:59 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- While many Americans are pulling out of the stock market and putting their loot in less risky places, others are riding out the dips.

"I'm not really heav1ily invested anyway. I've got a 401 plan," said Paragould resident John Spencer.

Spencer hasn't changed his strategy since September 11, 2001.

He said, "No, I'm just invested in sort of a general plan; a 10 to 20 year plan."

Jeff Green, Senior Vice-President of Investments at A. G. Edwards, said after a down market in the 1st quarter of this year, many of his clients that are staying put were rewarded in the 2nd quarter.

"We're seeing, pretty much across the board, good numbers from financials, from pharmaceutical and drug stocks," he said.

Green thinks it will be a while before sectors like the automobile industry will start turning around. The economy has to be great before those numbers start improving.

The Prime Interest Rate currently sits at about 4%. Green believes Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is done lowering interest rates to try to boost the economy; but one situation could change that: deflation.

"Which is what's been plaguing Japan for a number of years," adds Green. "If they see that continuing to be a problem for the U.S. economy, then they could lower interest rates again, but we don't think that's gonna happen."

Jeff Green is currently encouraging his clients to switch to Blue Chip stocks, because of a recent tax break approved by the Bush administration.

"So whereas you might have money in a CD that may be taxed at 30%, you could invest in a good dividend-paying Blue Chip stock, and those dividends that are generated will only be taxed at 15%," said Green.