Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Monday, April 17, 2000

Calm prevails at
Hawaii brokerages

Investors displayed their cool
today and many held onto their
positions in the aftermath of last
week's market meltdown

By Russ Lynch


Telephones were ringing today at Honolulu stock brokerages, but not as much as many brokers anticipated on the first day of trading after Friday's record fall.

Local brokers said that Hawaii investors mostly didn't have to jump in today and try to recoup losses from last week because cool heads prevailed Thursday and Friday, with little panic selling.

"Over here, we're not as panicky as mainland people," said Kelii Kiakona, a financial adviser at the Prudential Securities Inc. office at Two Waterfront Plaza.

"I think we prepped our clients a little better. They're not really doing the in-and-out thing. I think we're more planning oriented," Kiakona said.

"Most people were pretty smart about it. They kind of sat tight" last week, said Ted Jung, senior vice president and Honolulu head of Salomon Smith Barney Inc.

"There wasn't a lot of rushing in to sell," he said, so there wasn't a need to rush back into the market today.

"The old-time brokers have seen something similar to this before and they kept cool and told clients to hold off and let's see what happens," he said.

There were many phone calls today from customers wanting to know what's going on, Jung said, but he echoed the opinion of other local brokers that fewer people need to call their broker nowadays to find out what's happening. They can get their information on the computer at home or on television.

His company's customers can use their computers to see instantly every trade made in their accounts and every tick in their stocks, he said.

Brian Kearns, manager of the Wedbush Morgan Securities Inc. office at 1001 Bishop St., said it was relatively quiet this morning. "We had some folks that wanted to buy early. There was some activity here over the weekend," he said.

Perhaps people have other things on their minds, such as today's federal income tax filing deadline, he said.

"Most of the action is people contributing to IRAs at the last minute," putting money aside so they don't have to pay taxes on it, Kearns said.

The old days of investors hanging around downtown brokerages watching the streaming stock ticker in volatile times are clearly gone.

At the StockCross office in the ground floor at 745 Fort Street Mall, which doesn't display a ticker, there was nobody around early this morning except brokerage workers. One of them, Kathy Hacker, said the business has discouraged people from coming to the office to watch the action.

Behind the scenes, the office was busy on the telephone but not as busy as had been anticipated, she said.

E-mail to Business Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin