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View Sample Pages : Pacific Stars And Stripes, May 20, 1997

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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, JapanPACIFIC STARS AND STRIFES TUESDAY, HAY 20,1997 The Associated Press Keith ChmieSeski holds a pair of the [email protected] he sells at the Chicago Hoard of Trade. Ths shoes add up to three [email protected] in height so\i raders can see while doing business in the pits. The basic mod®! costs $89, and Chmieleslci charges another $&§ for the last inch and a half of .height. * Everfinch counts when you're fighting in the pits, so platform shoes are a hot item The Associated Press CHICAGO — At 6-foot-2, Guy Radossevich, looks like the kind of guy who couldn't have a bad seat at the movies. But in the hurly-burly of Chi- cago's Board of Trade, he doesn't stand out — even with his garish jacket and frenetic body language. He relies on platform shoes. Brokers, traders and clerks are wearing special black shoes with rubber soles that boost their height by up to 3 inches. The lift helps them see above the flailing arms, flashing hands and bobbing heads on the trading floor, which is big enough to hold a Boeing 747. "I can't see over the brokers in front of me," complained Ra- dossevich, who works in the• ' • >, • ' • frenzied 30-year U.S. Treasury bond pit. "Even wi$i the shoes, I can barely see — especially when it's busy." Board of Trade workers gen- erally arrive in ^dressy shoes and change to more comfort- able ones so they can stand for seven hours a day. They leave their street shoes in the shoeroom, where Keith Chmieleski has been taking care of them since 1987. That's where he also has been seUing the special Mason Shoes, made in Chippewa Falls, Wis., since 1991. He estimates he's sold 1,500 pairs; 250 last year and 270 already this year. He charges $89 for the shoes and up to $65 to add a 1^-inch sole. He says he makes a slight profit but would not be more specific. "They're just trying to catch up to the guy next to them," he said% "Somebody gets' half an inchi and the guy standing nextto him gets an inch or an inch- and-a-half. It doesn't stop." Well, it does, at three. Chmieleski said adding more than IVi inches to the shoes, which already have a IVMnch sole, would make them un- stable. The rules forbid high plat- form shoes or high-heeled shoes, but it is up to fjoor offi- cials to determine how high is too high, a Board of Trade spokesman said. The shoes are^ against the rules at the Chicago ^ercantile Exchange, but -'thift hasn't stopped tworkeis"from ordering them, Chmieleski said. * The Associated Press CHICAGO — Hold'onto your stomachs, folks. Last year's most popular new products in-cluded a self-nsuig pizza crust and baked potato chips, which may have helped ^ost three new indigestion drugs into the topiaiist, "Pizza and chips and antacids — is there0 some connection mere? You telKme," quippedCarol Elitov, a vice president at Chicago-based Information Re- sources Inc., a product-tracking firm. - -. ; ;"'•./"/ •••..." .'•-.LuvsStretch diapers led.the top 10 product introductions, with,$435 million in sales, fol- lowed by Scott lOOtt paper products at $309 million andPepcid AC with $248 million in sales, " . ''v-',;»'.'.'/ ,;;: -'v/v";v •' Many, Americans also -ap- peared to be trying to kick the smoking habit by purchasing Nicorette gum, which took foifrth place by ringing up $189 million in sales. That was followed by Baked Lays potato chips, $167 million; Pampers Premium, $162 mil- lion; and Tagamet HB/2t)0,$155 million. Rounding out the top 10 were Bounty Medleys, $126 million and DiGiorno self-rising pizza, And if all this gives you indi- gestion, there's yet more antac- id, Zantac 75, at $116 million. * Three-quarters of on- line brokerages now allow customers to make trans- actions via the *Net The New York Times Bruce Bennett would rather spend his money on fishing equipment than on commis- sions for Ms stock trades. Tfy^t is why Bennett, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Mississippi, has used three different broker- age firms in the last year. Inter- estingly, those three firms share another trait besides cheap deals: they all offer trad- ing over the Internet. That is no surprise. The In- ternet is the speediest part of the fast-growing area of on-line ing commission has fallen from $35.33 in 1996 to $34.48 this year, and some trades — partic- ularly the Internet onesu — go for as little as $9 or less. "As more and more broker- ages go on line and offer Inter- net trading, the competition for who can offer the lowest fees is heating up immensely," said Kenneth J. Michal, an analyst with the American Association of Individual Investors. Another reason for the low prices is low overhead, said Ju- lio Gomez, an analyst at Forres- ter Research in Cambridge, Mass. "It costs brokerages very lit- tle, if anything, to offer trades via the Internet," he said. But investors must realize that these bargain deals some-! times come with conditions andtrading. Investors can trade on hefty side charges. That is to be line through a company's pro- expected; discount brokers, the prietary software, through com- - biggest presence in on-linemercial on-line services or di- rectly on the Internet. But although only five of the 12 on-line traders, or 42 per- cent, offered Internet access in 1995, 25 of the 33 on-line trad- said, "is that these firms are ers this year, or 76 percent, are simply giving customers what offering Internet service, ac- they want — cheap trades — cording to the American Asso- and extracting their pound of trading so far, often use this ap- proach in their off-line busi- ness, too. "What's happening right now with the price wars," Gomez ciation of In- dividual In- vestors, which conducts this annual survey. "All the growth in on- line investing is over the In- ternet," said Andre Schelu- chin, manag- ing editor at Mercer Inc., which also tracks this data. When financial-services ' jf flesh elsewhere." Scottsdale Online, for ex- ample, charges a fiat fee of $9 a trade. To get that price, however, in- vestors must keep a $10,000count minimum; otherwise, they must pony up $19 a trans- action. firms decide to start offering Investexpress On-Line on-line trading, the Internet is charges $13.95 a trade, but the more and more often their choice. Consider full-service brokers. Memll Lynch recently an- nounced that it would begin of- trade must be for at least 500 shares, with a minimum share price of $3. Some firms charge execution fees'oh each trade. At Computel fering Internet trading to quali- that fe'e is $2.50; Net Investor fying customers in* January charges $2.75. 1998, and in December, Dean "Investors should always call Witter purchased Lombard In- and ask about extra charges — stitutional Brokerage, which processing fees, handling fees, does about half of its trading on sometimes they're called differ- the Internet. • ent things," Scheluchin* said. Mutual funds;;>vhich often of- ''All firms put it in their litera- fer prospectuses and applica- ture, but sometimes it's hard to tlons on the Internet, also are find." edging into trading. The Scud- Optional services can be der,JMdeUtyrStrongand Am0ri- steeply priced, too; Datek On- can Century fund fainih'es now line, for instance, charges $50 allow exchanges, redemptions to mail stock certificates. or both over the Internet. And the last two also allow the pur- chase of additional shares on the Interne^ fund is linked to the customer's bank account. ; It is not surprising mat bar- Largefees for inactive ac- counts -—Net Investor charges $50 — are often levied on inves- tors who fail to generate a mini- mum dollar amount of commis- sions within a certain period. And limit orders, through gain-seekers such as Bennett which investors set a price limit have flocked to this system. The on a stock sale or purchase, can average minimum on-line trad- cost extra., \ „ 'j -t ;