Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Will 1990s Bring Good News for US?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Will 1990s Bring Good News for US?

Article excerpt

HERE'S something to cheer about - if it proves true: The 1990s looks like a decade of relatively low inflation and modest but sustained economic growth. Moreover, the United States could be to the '90s what Japan was to the 1980s - the primary source of international investment capital, high productivity, and corporate creativity.

Sound too good to be true? Not at all, says Graham Tanaka, manager of the Retirement Planning Fund Equity for Venture Advisers and president of Tanaka Capital Management, Inc.

Mr. Tanaka believes that such a scenario is not only possible, but probable, in large part because of the changing demographic structure of the US. And, adds Tanaka, the segment of the investment world that will most benefit will be growth stocks.

Tanaka, as he admits, would be among those likely to gain in such a scenario. He has already been scooping up a host of growth stocks. Tanaka says he is looking for stocks that are selling at reasonable prices, fill a demonstrated product niche, and most of all, offer the possibility of a turnaround. Oh yes: The companies must also have the potential to grow 15 percent to 20 percent or more a year.

Tanaka Capital was rated the No. 3 adviser in terms of investment performance in the US during 1989 by CDA Investment Technologies. Moreover, the retirement fund registered a gain of 40 percent last year, placing it within the top 20 of some 1,700 US mutual funds.

Tanaka looks at the world of investing through the perceptions of both an engineer and financial analyst; he holds degrees in engineering and urban studies from Brown University - and worked as a civil engineer in Honolulu and Los Angeles. He also picked up an MBA from Stanford.

The high US inflation rate of the past few decades, Tanaka believes, is related to the "politics of need," when women, and young people from the baby boom generation, poured into the work force. But the huge movement into the labor force has slowed. Companies are increasingly finding a scarcity of workers. …

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