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N EVER before were so many attractive, tempting investments offered to
I the public. Many of them are as safe as government bonds and offer attractive rates of interest. Others are worthless or questionable. Our readers are constantly writing us asking for disinterested advice in regard to their investments. Accordingly, we have secured the services of an experienced financial editor, who will advise readers of this magazine in regard to any investment in stocks or bonds they may be considering. All inquiries of this nature will be held in strict confidence and answers will be made by mail in every case to those who enclose a stamped addressed envelope for reply. Questions and answers of particular interest will be published in these pages from month to month. 1 ADDRESS: Financial Editor, The New Success, 1133 Broadway, New York, N. Y.
tionately to the more wholesome situation that will exist when this readjustment shall have been completed.
The following bonds illustrate a fairly wide range of choice in respect to both quality and yield: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe general mortgage 4%, due in 1995, selling to yield about 5.25 per cent; Union Pacific first mortgage 4%. due 1947, selling to yield about 5.35 per cent; Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation first refunding 4%, due 1961, selling to yield about 5.90 per cent; Illinois Central collateral trust 4%. due 1953, selling to yield about 6.30 per cent, Wisconsin Central first and refunding 4% due; 1959, selling to yield about 7.30 per cent.
Among the standard well established dividend paying railroad stocks we think the following are representative of the best to buy for investment purposes:
Railroad Bonds and Stocks 1. Q.--As a subscriber to New SUCCESS, I am writing you for information about investments. Of course, we all know, that Government bonds represent the highest grade investments, closely followed by municipal bonds. But, what do you think of railroad bonds and stocks at the present time? Is it not possible to select securities of these two classes which are safe and which at the same time offer opportunities for appreciation in the near future. Kindly let me have your advice with some specific suggestions.
A.-We are glad to note your discrimination as to Government and municipal bonds, assuming of course that you have reference to United States Government, and domestic municipal issues. It is, indeed, among these two classes that the most conservative investments are to be found investments which not only return good yields of income at current prices (from 5 to 6 per cent) but also possess special advantages in respect of tax-exemption.
But on the other hand, there are undoubtedly a good many safe, conservative investments in the category of railroad bonds and stocks. It is our judgment, moreover, that the present is a good time to buy such securities in the expectation that they will eventually show a good deal of growth in underlying strength and value. Fundamentally, their positions, as compared with the last few years, were fortified substantially by the new schedule of railroad rates and changed operating conditions provided under the Transportation Act passed by the last session of Congress (the so-called Cummins-Esch Bill), although relatively few of the benefits that are expected confidently to secure from this constructive legislation, have yet begun to be reflected in net earnings.
Market prices of railroad securities have declined considerably of late as an incident to the general economic readjustment which has been in progress. They will probably react propor
Safe Bond and Stock Investments 2. Q-May I please have your advice in regard to safe and profitable stock and bond investments?
A.-It is extremely difficult for us to give intelligent advice in matters of this kind to correspondents who fail to tell us more specifically what they have in mind, and what their circumstances are. One of the most important things we have to consider in connection with investments is their adaptability. They vary widely in quality and in fundamental characteristicsin what might, in fact, be called structural de
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sign. They are in some respects like clothes in As the term "debenture” implies, the New that they ought always to be selected with a Haven 4's of 1922 are not secured by mortgage. view to their fitness for the purchaser. Stocks They are a direct credit obligation of the comor bonds that may quite properly be recom- pany, however, and the indenture under which mended for one person are very often entirely they are issued provides that in the event of any unsuited to another.
mortgage being placed on the New Haven propIn a very general way, however, we might say erty these bonds must be equally and ratably that we feel the present is a time when a more secured by such mortgage, or less cautious attitude ought to be taken The New York, New Haven and Hartford is a towards industrial stocks. Investments in this fine railroad property. It became involved in class of securities ought at least, to be made financial difficulties a few years ago, however, with great care and discrimi
through what appears to nation. Standard, divi
have been ill-advised policies dend paying railroad stocks
of management, and has been --those having long estab
undergoing reorganization, lished dividend records, can,
without resort to receiverin our opinion, be safely
ship. Its affairs are now in bought for income. There
such shape as to offer a good are also a good many public
deal of encouragement for utility stocks,-preferred is
the future of both the bonds sues in particular, --which you can af
and stock, but they are still appear not only to be well
surrounded by many. uncerassured income producers,
tainties, in view of which we but also to be selling greatly
do not believe the securities out of line with their real
can be recommended for merit.
conservative investment. Bonds might be ranked as follows in order of If you compare the bonds in question with other their relative investment merits:
railroad bonds of even second grade standing, it U. S. Government Bonds,
will become apparent that they would in all probDomestic Municipal Bonds,
ability pot be selling at a price to yield as much as Railroad Bonds,
16 per cent, if there was definite assurance that Public Utility Bonds,
they would be paid off at par upon maturity. Industrial Bonds.
No, we think there is a considerable element There are attractive opportunities for invest- of business risk in these bonds. ment among foreign government and municipal bonds, but such securities are surrounded by
Kingdom of Norway Bonds conditions so different from those surrounding 4. Q.-I will appreciate it very much if you our own domestic issues that we think perhaps will give me information about the Kingdom of they ought to be discussed apart.
Norway 8% bonds lately issued here, and advise
me regarding their safety? New Haven Bonds
A.-These bonds represent a loan of $20,000,3. Q.-I wish to avail myself of the service 000 repayable principal, premium and interest announced in the November issue of The New in United States gold coin, without deduction SUCCESS, and ask for information about New for any Norwegian taxes present or future. They York, New Haven and Hartford 4% debenture are due October 1, 1940, but are subject to the bonds maturing April 1, 1922. These bonds are operation of a sinking fund of $1,000,000 anoffered at a price to yield 16% on the investment. nually, payable in quarterly installments, to be Do you consider them A-1 to hold to maturity? applied as follows:
A.—These bonds represent what was origin- Prior to August 1, 1930, to the purchase of ally a foreign loan made by the New Haven in bonds in the open market, if obtainable, at not 1907. They were first issued, we believe only more than 110. in francs and sterling, but shortly after the out- Commencing April 1, 1921, and semi-annually break of the war they were returned to the thereafter, to the redemption of bonds by lot United States market and converted into dollar at 107 72. bonds. The total issue amounts to approxi- This issue is callable in its entirety on any mately $28,000,000 par value, and the price at interest day at 110 from October 1st, 1925 to which the bonds were originally placed appears October 1, 1930 inclusive and at 1072 from to have been 98
April 1, 1920 to maturity.
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As far as the records show no default has ever occurred on a Norwegian National Government loan. The thrifty character of the Norwegian people, their excellent record for meeting their obligations and the conservative financial policies of their government justifies the high credit standing of the nation and seem to us to entitle these bonds to a good investment rating.
Sinclair Consolidated Notes 5. Q.-Let me know if the five years 7 %per cent convertible gold notes of the Sinclair Consolidated Oil Corporation are a safe investment?
A.-They are in our opinion. Their characteristics, and their status, are such, however, that we do not believe they can properly be recommended for all kinds of investment. They appear to be protected now by a wide margin of assets and earnings, but the nature of the enterprise upon which they are based is such as to subject it to many hazards, which naturally reflect themselves in the company's securities. At the time of writing these notes are selling in the open market at about 91 to yield over 10 per cent to maturity.
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