Authors of two bestsellers and the soon-to-be-released Smart Spending for Big Savings (hyperion), the Beardstown Ladies are an investment club whose members' average age is 69. Their 12-year-old club has consistently yielded higher returns than Wall Street professionals. The club's basic principles: Invest conservatively and regularly in well managed companies, and keep a diversified portfolio. Their picks:
1. Merck & Co. Inc.: This pharmaceutical company is well-managed, has a consistent growth record, and is always putting money into research and development. They produce new drugs in a very timely manner. We feel they know what they're doing. Drugs are something everyone needs at some point in time, and when we're sick and need medications, they have the ones we feel confident in.
2. Coca-Cola Co.: Coke--it's the real thing. The company is known worldwide, is aggressive in positioning itself, and has a long history of continued growth, thanks to good management. And the Minute Maid products (a division of Coke) are top quality in their field as well.
3. Hershey Foods Corp.: We're all chocolate lovers, and we like the fact that the company conducts market research and brings out new products. They are also well-managed, and their products are great for gifts. We're impressed with their pasta products as well (Hershey owns Ronzoni and San Georgio).