Investing boils down to style, not gender

Q Do women investors (I'm one) invest differently than from men? I don't mean specific companies, but in terms of style.

M.C., New York

A Some studies suggest that women investors tend to be more cautious or conservative than male investors. But "a good investor is a good investor," irrespective of gender, says Paula Hogan, who heads up Hogan Financial Group, in Milwaukee.

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

Ms. Hogan doesn't believe that there should be major differences between male and female investors.

"Know thyself, and you'll be a better investor," says Hogan. "You'll know why you want to invest and what to invest in."

Also, know the fundamentals of investing. Read widely about the subject, she says.

Q I plan to sell two mutual funds. I already paid the taxes each year on dividends and capital gains. And I reinvested all dividends. Do I have to pay taxes again on dividends when I sell the two funds?

R.O., Huntington Beach, Calif.

A "Go surfing, don't pay taxes twice," says Ed Slott, a CPA in Rockville Centre N.Y., and editor of "Ed Slott's IRA Advisor" (800-663-1340).

Add all the reinvested dividends into your original cost, to step up your cost-basis, says Slott.

Any tax that you have to pay would be on the capital gain, minus your stepped-up cost basis, he says.

Your mutual-fund company should be able to send you a statement of your purchases and your final cost basis.

Q I'm in the military and want to start investing in a mutual fund. Are there any agencies that are worthwhile that support military personnel?

Name withheld, via e-mail

A If by "agencies" you mean mutual funds, all major fund companies could provide services to you wherever you are based.

One fund company, however, was specifically created to serve military personnel: USAA, at 800-531-8777.

Its insurance division is still targeted at military families and dependents. But its investment arm, including mutual funds, "is now open to the general public," says a USAA field representative.

Questions about finances? Write:

Guy Halverson

The Christian Science Monitor

500 Fifth Ave., Suite 1845

New York, NY 10110


(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.