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Jewish World Review Jan. 20, 2000 /13 Shevat, 5760

Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams
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Is 15-percent growth achievable? -- DEAR BRUCE: In one of your recent columns you said growth and earnings of 10 percent to 15 percent are not difficult to achieve. Is that in long-term bonds? -- E.L., Lexington, Ky.

DEAR E.L.: No. Bonds are not returning anything close to this kind of a percentage.

I am talking about investors in equities. When I measure something in percentages, it is only to make it easy to digest. We are talking more about growth then we are dividends or anything of that nature.

Take a look at the major corporations of this country, and you will find the biggest number of them achieved at least the numbers that we have described and probably more, in many cases.

Certainly you have to be selective and do your homework but 15 percent GROWTH is not an unreasonable expectation.

DEAR BRUCE: Can you tell me what the difference is between a power of attorney and a durable power of attorney? -- B.P. St. Cloud, Fla.

DEAR B.P.: A durable power of attorney is an instrument determining who will look after your affairs in the event that you are no longer capable of making sound decisions.

A general power of attorney, in most cases, terminates if you are unable to look after your own affairs unless it is written clearly to take you through that period.

My suggestion would be if you have someone that you completely trust, have your attorney write up the general power of attorney taking into account that you wish it to be in force if you are not able to make competent decisions.

DEAR BRUCE: We are trying to purchase a house for about $75,000.

In 1994 we filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because our home business failed. A year later our home, which was just in my wife's name in Texas, was surrendered to the mortgage company because we had some legal problems (the house had termites and would not have sold without major repairs). The company never completed foreclosure procedures, but it did accept it on a voluntary basis.

We are rebuilding our credit and have a car loan and a couple of non-secured credit cards. Together we make $75,000 a year, but no one will consider us for a mortgage. Is there anything that you can suggest? -- T.B.

DEAR T.B.: It is very possible that there are mortgage companies that will charge you a little extra to work something out for you.

Alternatively, why not look for motivated home sellers who would like to sell so they could retire to a warmer climate or whatever? They know what their homes are worth, and if you have to pay them an extra percentage point or two with an appropriate down payment, there are still lots of folks that would rather do this than put their money into CDs. They can earn an extra 3 percent to 4 percent, and it is secured by a home that they know has value.

Send your questions to JWR contributor Bruce Williams by clicking here. (Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.) Interested in buying or selling a house? Let Bruce Williams' "House Smart" be your guide. (Sales of the book help fund JWR).


01/19/00: Selling a second home
01/18/00: Running from a time-share
01/14/00: Don't be a spendthrift!
01/13/00: Who gets the house?
01/11/00: It all depends on size of estate
01/06/00: Check references before hiring an advisor
01/04/00: Savings bonds a bad investment
12/31/99: Out of state ain't that great
12/29/99: Warranty rip-offs
12/27/99: Checking up on investment handlers
12/23/99: Options good only when company's strong
12/20/99: Capital gains tax sometimes best
12/17/99: Don't give up your nest egg
12/15/99: Small-claims court no panacea
12/13/99: Termite company not liable for termites?
12/10/99: Services provided must be paid for
12/06/99: How do we minimize house-sale gain?
12/06/99: Maximize your tax shelter!
12/02/99: My neighbor won't maintain even a modicum of civility
12/01/99: Long-distance rentals a bad idea
11/29/99: Mortgage strategy A-OK
11/18/99: Students can work and learn
11/16/99: Value is what will sell
11/11/99: Y2K: No big deal for real estate
11/08/99: Real life is tough luck
11/03/99: The right time to cash a savings bond
11/01/99: Slow road for savings accounts
10/29/99: What do you want from insurance?
10/27/99: You have a right to see your tax forms!
10/25/99: Why own a house at 65?
10/22/99: Online fine, but CDs?
10/20/99: Love, honor -- and separate credit
10/18/99: Find the value of your stocks
10/15/99: Property lien prevents trade
10/13/99: Clear up debt, only then tie the knot
10/11/99: If it ain't broke...
10/04/99: Should I stick with the company IRA?
10/04/99: Get a financial education!
10/01/99: Insurance: Not much one person can do
09/30/99: Lost tickets are lost cash
09/29/99: Trusting only one financial planner
09/27/99: Adult children should help out
09/24/99: Tips for first-time home buyers
09/21/99: Use the rule of 72s!
09/17/99: Legal strategy can be a pain
09/15/99: Teen drivers drive up insurance
09/13/99: Always use an attorney!
09/10/99: Whose taxes are they, anyway?
09/08/99: How do I roll over my 401(k)?
09/03/99: How can I work out my IRS payments?
09/01/99: When your company can't pay you
08/30/99: Beware of shady viatical investments
08/26/99: Landlords vary on security deposits
08/25/99: Educational IRAs must be spent on education
08/23/99: Finding out the value of old stocks
08/20/99: How to get an FHA refund
08/19/99: 100 percent financing is a scam
08/16/99: Will I have to pay a capital gains tax?
08/16/99: Thinking about PMI
08/13/99: Short-term mutual funds a-OK
08/11/99: It's your job to shop around
08/10/99: Sometimes, roots need to be uprooted
08/09/99: 'Pre-approved' doesn't mean a thing
08/06/99: Only you can determine your investments
08/04/99: Bank IRA the lowest-risk option
08/03/99: Reverse mortgages good for the elderly
08/02/99: Get the survey BEFORE you buy the house!
07/28/99: Get a lawyer -- it's worth it!
07/27/99: If it ain't broke...

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