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Cyndi Moltz: The Ups And Downs Drive Her `Crazy'

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`My mother used to say I could take a nickel and make a dime out of it without even trying," says Cyndi B. Moltz, 29, who owns her own graphic-art studio in Denver. These days, Moltz, who was first given mutual-fund shares when she was a baby, is concentrating that talent on the stock market, signing on with an aggressive financial planner and investing on her own in mutual funds.

Last August, Moltz moved her $100,000 portfolio from Merrill Lynch & Co., where it had been invested in money-market funds and some money-losing stocks that Moltz had chosen because the companies were socially conscious. Her new planner sold the "dogs" and moved $20,000 from money-market funds into equities. Moltz is pleased with last quarter's overall 5% return on her portfolio. A good chunk of that gain was generated by increases in Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and U.S. Healthcare.

"BETTER NOT TO LOOK." Recently, Moltz, who reinvests all dividends, took $10,000 she had saved and bought five T. Rowe Price Associates stock funds, including the Science & Technology fund, the Mid-Cap Growth fund, and Spectrum Growth.

Moltz, whose only other investment is her $160,000 house, likes to invest in equities because "I'm not into material objects, and real estate is just not me." She finds stocks less of a hassle: "You don't have to baby-sit your investment." Moltz checks the value of her mutual funds once a week and her portfolio every quarter. But "sometimes, it's better not to look," she says. When the market turns down, "it's like getting a shot."

Short-term ups and downs drive Moltz "crazy," but she believes that they balance out over time. That's fine with her because her goal is long-term growth. "I watched Friends on television last night. One of the main characters put $100 in her first stock, and she lost it all the next day. You can't invest today and become a millionaire tomorrow," she says. "But you can expect a good solid return." And at 29, Moltz has plenty of time to rack up solid returns from the stock market.By Sandra Dallas in Denver

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