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The price-earnings ratio, using projected 2003 earnings, for Internet stocks. That's more than triple the p-e ratio of 19 for the Standard & Poor's 500.
Data: Bridgewater Associates The brokerage arm of E*Trade Group recently announced a startling policy: It's giving its clients money back. The refunds will come from the annual 12-(b)1 and shareholder service fees E*Trade collects from fund companies in its mutual fund supermarket. Now an E*Trade client who has invested $500,000 in a fund with a 0.40% service fee will receive $1,000 each year, half the fee collected from the fund. E*Trade says its cost of offering funds has dropped, so it's passing those savings on to clients. Now maybe other brokers will follow suit. You may be convinced your toddler is Ivy League material. But how will you pay the $250,000 four-year tuition tab for college? It may be easier than it sounds. The Independent 529 Plan -- set to debut on Sept. 3 -- lets parents (and others) lock in today's tuition rates at more than 200 private colleges, including Princeton, Notre Dame, and Syracuse. It works like this: Suppose you contribute $10,000. Today, that covers 35% of one year's current tuition bill at Princeton or 40% at Syracuse. When your child enrolls, you've got 35% or 40% of one year's tuition paid at those schools. You can make further contributions -- the maximum is about $135,000. As a bonus, the plan offers discounts of at least half a percentage point off current tuition; the deals vary by college. Like other 529s, the money invested grows taxfree as long as it's used for tuition.
What if your child isn't admitted? You'll get a refund, plus or minus two percentage points each year, depending on how the plan's investments fared. To enroll: www.independent529plan.org or 888 718-7878. Tote those tunes, 24 CD's worth, with I'm A Speaker from TDK (TDK
) It looks like a CD case but has battery-operated stereo speakers built in to one side. Plug it into the headphone jack of your audio player or laptop computer, and you've got a boom box. It's $30 at Amazon.com (AMZN
). Expense ratios for equity mutual funds take an average of 1.56% of assets per year -- but that doesn't include trading costs. A study by Savant Capital Management, a Rockford (Ill.) financial-planning firm, looked at turnover ratios, the percentage of a fund's portfolio that trades in a year. It found that a 100% turnover will incur 0.15% to 0.72% in trading costs, depending on the market cap of the companies in the fund.