Interesting excerpts from investment newsletters:

"Don't expect much from the stock markets in the next few months, [though] I'm actually optimistic about the markets and the economy over the next few years. Investors have become more rational and reasonable in their investment expectations. The worst effects of the technology overspending are behind us, and most of the corporate malfeasance has been revealed. Many assets have gotten extraordinarily cheap. Liquidity will come back into the markets and restore growth, [but] first, the big uncertainty of Iraq must be resolved. . . . Consider the next crisis to be a sign of a bottom instead of worse things to come."

-- Bob Carlson's Retirement Watch,

Annandale

"Same story: a volatile yet expensive stock market. Hopefully, our portfolio will report a modest gain in 2002. Today we see three years in a row for a down market, something not witnessed in 60 years. We're holding 79 percent in cash, with no plans to dip in another toe. Four of our portfolio companies -- Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Genuine Parts (GPC), New Plan Excel Realty (NXL) and Phillip Morris Cos. (MO) -- pay excellent cash dividends, yielding 5.8 percent, a respectable return in this day of 1.25 percent Fed Funds."

-- Charles Allmon,

Growth Stock Outlook,

Chevy Chase

"Many of our long-suffering stocks have rebounded considerably, with the heavily leveraged TPS Portfolio soaring more than 50 percent since Oct. 9. Although we are certainly overdue for a bit of a pullback, we are optimistic for a continuation of the rally as we are ensconced in the seasonally favorable time for year, valuations of many battered stocks are extremely inexpensive and alternative investments are not very attractive."

-- John Buckingham,

The Prudent Speculator,

Laguna Beach, Calif.

"The [recent] action in the market can represent a bear market rally or the first leg in a new bull market. The bearish camp can point out that the market has not shown a successful test of the lows, which would translate into moving above the August highs. The bullish camp can point out that out that the market in October only fell slightly below the July lows and then rallied sharply."

-- Richard L. Evans,

The Renaissance Report,

Flossmoor, Ill.