Minimize Stock Risks

Physician's Money Digest, January15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 1

As the stock market continues to move higher, physician-investors shouldguard against being zapped by a temporary upturn. There are a variety of battle-testedways to minimize risk and maximize long-term returns on stocks. Makesure that you identify a well-run company with a planned margin for error (ie, anability to withstand unpleasant economic surprises). Some good examples includecompanies that have a low ratio of debt to total capital and/or consistency inearnings or dividend growth. It is important to avoid the trap of momentum andend up overpaying for a stock. Momentum was the siren's song that misledmany investors in 2000. To avoid overpaying for stocks, consider buying onesthat are trading at low multiples of their earnings as opposed to stocks at highmultiples. Finally, if you buy mutual funds or are trying to find a solid investmentadvisor, identify funds that have a record of outperforming the market for10 to 15 years under the same people.