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At $10 a share, it’s a plunge into the risk pool (access required)

The stock market has had a phenomenal rise of more than 40 percent in the past 30 months. Unfortunately, none of my annuities or mutual funds or my good stocks – e.g., Microsoft, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Emerson Electric, General Electric, General Dynamics, Cisco and Procter & Gamble – has done as well, though my dividend income has increased. How much longer do you think the market will continue upward? Last year, you recommended some risky dividend stocks, and I bought all of them because they looked good and had nice dividend yield. On average, they are up 45 percent. I have $43,000 of speculative money remaining and want your recommendation of some cheap issues – about $10 a share – that might have some appreciation. I'd like to buy 1,000 shares of each. My broker at UBS recommended several issues, but his cheap-stock recommendations have failed in the past. What would you recommend?

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Seek annuity assurances, or sock cash into stocks (access required)

I'm a 74-year-old widow with an $87,000 certificate of deposit coming due next week. I visited two brokers. Each wants me to buy a variable annuity, and both sounded very good. I've enclosed my notes and the pamphlets and prospectuses in this envelope. What do you think? If you don't care for them, please recommend five or six stocks paying at least 5 percent that a gal like me could comfortably live with. I can afford moderate risks.

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