They Say Timing Is Everything...

JUST ASK THE 35,000 READERS of Fabians' Investment Resource about the vexing 1994 stock market. The well-known father-and-son newsletter out of Huntington Beach, Calif., which sells for $179 a year, specializes in market timing, shifting money in and out of mutual funds to capture market upswings and dodge downdrafts. This year, it is selling low and buying high--not a winning formula.

Fabians' said to sell on Mar. 31, near the end of a two-month slide that clipped nearly 10% off the Dow. Then, as the market climbed, Douglas Fabian and his dad, Dick, sat in money funds until Aug. 30, when they flashed a buy signal. The Dow topped out two weeks later and has pretty much slumped since. On Nov. 23, the day after the Dow's 91-point bloodbath, the Fabians said sell again. We'll see.

Fabians' has made bad calls before, in 1984, 1988, and 1990. Says Douglas: "The system's not infallible." Still, the letter has batted .700 during its 17-year history. And long-term returns are good, around 16%

yearly.

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