2000 tips

The year 2000 may start a new decade, but for investors, it's just another chapter. Some tips from the experts as we near the end of 1999:

*Stocks should continue bringing the highest returns, says investment expert Peggy Farley. And investors have more ways than ever to invest in them - mutual funds, traditional brokerage houses, Internet brokerages, a variety of IRAs, and company retirement plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans.

*Save key records, especially during the last half of the year, in case of record-keeping problems associated with Y2K. Keep account numbers, ownership and beneficiary listings, statements, and quarterly account totals.

*Invest similar amounts of money on a regular basis - dollar-cost averaging. It evens out down and up years.

*Be wary of manias, says mutual-fund expert Tim Schlindwein. In the early 1980s, biotechnology was hot; now it's the Internet. They don't last.

*Think long term. The pros can buy low and sell high, but the rest of us usually wind up doing the opposite.

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