Wearing a steel-blue three-piece suit, Jeffrey L. Humber Jr. sits in a plush green booth at J.J. Melon's bar, looking as if he were a model in an ad for a fine whiskey. His hair is cropped short, but he has a luxuriant growth of facial fuzz he calls "an extremely fat Fu Manchu."

With the day drawing to a close, he mentions "an exhaustive series of meetings" he attended that day and dismisses the notion of a cocktail. He orders iced tea.

He is 36, but, he says, feels older. "It's the nature of my job," he says.

Though Humber has worked for the District for four years, he has been the city's finance director, a job he calls "the hot seat," for only a year. "It's the most fun I ever had," he says. "Without question, by any reasonable measure, this city has turned around. We were a city operating without an idea how much we had in the bank, and we had no capacity to produce a balanced budget. We went further into a hole every year. The last two years we balanced our budget."

Humber has a law degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Harvard University. He doubts if he will ever get rich, calling himself "too analytical to take the big plunge. I am not of the enterpreneurial spirit. I am a pretty cautious, conservative guy." YURIKO YAMAGUCHI

Frail and thoughtful Yuriko Yamaguchi creates sculpture out of rope, hair, paper pulp, hemp brushes and carved wood.

The shapes are erotic and spiritual at once. Some of her pieces look like knicknacks of a Stone Age tribe; others, resembling lead pipes, are emphatically industrial. In the past two years she took part in four major Washington exhibits, and her work received excellent reviews.

Her objective is "a oneness of the spiritual and physical parts," she says.

"For a couple of months I concentrate on wood, then I go to paper," she says. "I need the break after strenuous work. For me, paper is a good break. But I need the substantiality of wood. Between the two there is an organic rhythm."

Yamaguchi, 35, was born in Japan and came to this country in 1971. Her BA is from the University of California; she has an MFA from the University of Maryland.

She teaches paper-making at the Art League School in Alexandria. Her studio is in a deteriorating office building in downtown Washington, now occupied by artists.

"My art is essentially a soliloquy," she says. "I hope, however, that the image I have found reflected on the mirror of my heart will at some time reflect on the mirror of someone else's heart and evoke a response." JOHN MONTGOMERY

I am the investment ayatollah," is how John Montgomery describes his job at Julia M. Walsh & Sons, a company he calls "an investment boutique." He has been with the firm since it was founded by his mother in 1977, but since last summer has become her undisputed heir apparent.

Walsh says her son's predictions-- a bull market in 1982 and a slowdown this year--were "on the button."

"I'd like to be as successful as my mother," Montgomery says.

He manages a $30 million portfolio and spends half his time visiting companies. "We have only 20 companies on our recommended list," Montgomery says. "It's constantly updated."

A 33-year-old, 6' 3" man with a portfolio of one-liners, he says he is one-third of his way to being a millionaire. "I'd be extremely disappointed if I don't make it before I am 40," he says. His goal is to save 25 percent of his income.

"When everybody wants to buy stocks, I'll sell them," he says. "When nobody wants to hear about stocks that's when I want to buy them." Right now, Montgomery recommends that his clients buy gold, silver, energy stocks and real estate rather than most stocks.

"The superaggressives did well this year," he says. But he calls the people who claim to buy consistently at the bottom and sell at the top "either lucky or liars." SUSAN KIDD

On TV Susan Kidd is stolid, matronly. In real life, she looks younger than her age of 32, with an undergrad freshness and a blue-jeans-and-T-shirt informality.

Since June, Kidd has been a reporter and weekend anchor with Channel 4, the local NBC affiliate. Her career consists of seven years with a CBS affiliate in Greensboro, N.C., and three years with an ABC station in St. Louis.

"I have had a privileged life," she says. Her diction is as precise as it is on the air. Her father was dean of a business school, and her mother, now retired, a librarian. "They were diligent in exposing me to Shakespearean theater," she says. "They corrected my grammar. The street where I grew up, everybody had a PhD."

She's an admirer of Malcolm X, whose autobiography is her favorite book. "I admire his courage, and his ability to admit he was wrong," she says. But unlike Malcolm X, Kidd had everything coming to her: schools of her choice, a good job, more income every year. "A lot of people struggle, trying to climb up the ladder," she says. "I just haven't found this to be necessary. And as long as I work hard --and I work damned hard--I find fulfillment in my work."

She doesn't expect to be a TV anchor for long. "Who knows what I'll do next," she says, and her throaty laughter rings with confidence.