Technology tips

1. Look for all-around technology funds, rather than funds in any one sector, such as computers, suggests information firm Value Line in New York. All-around technology funds, according to Value Line, include T. Rowe Price Science & Technology, Alliance Technology, Fidelity Select Technology, and United Science and Technology.

2. If you are seeking an "aggressive" stance in high-tech, consider sector funds, such as Fidelity Select Computers or Fidelity Select Electronics. But remember, such funds are not "diversified" in terms of broad market exposure. That means they're inherently riskier.

3. If you are a conservative investor, consider a telecommunication fund that may have some Internet/computer exposure, or a "science-oriented" technology fund. The Franklin Templeton DynaTech Fund A, for example, often buys companies only marginally linked to technology, including pharmaceutical firms, telecommunication firms, and even toy companies (Toys 'R' Us). But each company has some link to scientific breakthroughs. Thus, while the fund has only so-so performance returns by high-tech gauges, (currently up around 9 to 10 percent for the year), the fund consistently has a high rating for safety - that is, risk aversion.

4. Many utility funds are in fact telecommunication funds that also carry traditional utilities, such as electric company stocks. Thus, they have potential for growth, but are also somewhat conservative in terms of style. One example: Fidelity Utilities Fund.

5. Finally, the biggest market gains come from the scorching Internet funds. But remember, the Internet is only a subsector of technology. If the Internet sector collapsed, there would be little diversification within such funds to prevent a rapid downdraft, most fund experts caution.

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