Risky Business

Under which President did investors endure the riskiest stock markets? Manhattan-based RiskMetrics Group measured the average volatility in the Dow Jones industrial average over 19 administrations, back to William McKinley's, and assigned "RiskGrades." A grade of 100 is equivalent to annual market volatility ranging up or down 20%. By this measure, Herbert Hoover, at 197, presided over the riskiest stock market, while Lyndon B. Johnson presided over the least volatile one. If you've dreamed of a getaway to a leading golf resort but didn't think you could, ahem, swing it, look again. The soft economy and weak travel market are prompting many resorts that rarely discount to do so. From Pinehurst to Pebble Beach, the deals "are as good as I've ever seen," says Larry Olmstead, editor of The Golf Insider newsletter (

Some resorts are using free nights as the lure. In North Carolina, Pinehurst is offering golfers who pay for two nights (beginning at $972 per couple, including breakfast and three rounds each) a third night and extra day's golf.

That's not all. The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colo., is promoting four nights and four rounds of golf (starting at a discounted $999 per person with breakfast, from July 1-Sept. 27). At Pebble Beach, Calif., guests staying two nights at the Inn at Spanish Bay before July 31 (beginning at $920 per couple) receive two free rounds at the Spanish Bay course. Playing the legendary Pebble Beach course, however, will still cost $380 per round. Hey, there are limits to everything. You needn't be a design aficionado to enjoy the works of 80 designers on exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum's Inside Design Show in New York through Jan. 25, 2004 ( Check out the plastic coffee table that looks like a Chinese takeout box; a comfortable, foam chaise that folds into an egg shape; and a model for a floating electric power plant that's also a water park. It looks like a conventional backpack, with plenty of room for all your travel gear. But Deuter's Kangaroo has an extra zippered compartment that also carries a child. The padded seat and adjustable safety harness work for most kids 9 months to 3 years old. It's $120 at outdoor retailers (303 652-3102).

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