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Small Investors Found Some Big Bargains

Wed., Oct. 29, 1997

Undeterred by the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 554-point market tumble Monday, bargain-seeking investors fueled a rebound Tuesday.

Optimistic in the overall health of the economy, many small investors said they were focusing on the long term, planning either to hang on to their investments or augment their portfolios with shares of the Dow’s biggest companies that were relatively inexpensive this morning.

“People were getting panicky, but they had no right to do so,” said Ben Moss, a 76-year-old retired merchandiser. “The market is still ahead for the year.”

Weathering the October cold in his dusty-beige barn-jacket, Moss said, “It’s a good opportunity for a trade if you can afford it. I mean goodquality, old-fashioned stocks like telephones, General Motors, General Electric and Exxon,” he said. “Otherwise, hold your stocks until your hair turns gray.”

His view echoed the sentiment of many small investors, who resisted the urge to sell because they consider the market a long-term investment and expect it to rebound quickly.

“I’m in the market for the long pull, not so much for myself at my age, but for my son,” said 85-year-old Ralph Tolleris. “He’s got plenty of time, so I’m not worried about prices now.”

Some investors did better than others.

Seth Glickenhaus, a 54-year market veteran, bought and then sold futures contracts on the S&P; 500 and on Citicorp stock to get trading profits of $465,000 and $90,000, respectively.

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