Siebert & Company President Muriel Siebert says she has to practice restraint to keep from wading back into the market now.
"Today, I'm seeing companies that practically light up and say, 'buy me,'" Siebert told Steve Forbes in a recent interview. "Right now, my firm is all cash and no debt."
Siebert, who was the first woman to buy a seat on the trading floor, advises buying U.S. global companies that derive 50 percent of their revenues and earnings abroad.
Colgate-Palmolive comes immediately to mind, she says. So does General Electric.
"Some of these companies are selling at nine, 10 or 11 times earnings, so you know that they're going to be a great buy," Siebert says.
"But do not start margin accounts unless you have enough cash or bonds tucked away somewhere that you can make margin calls."
When it comes to equity funds, Siebert worries about the amount of excess leverage in the system.
"I warned about that last year," Siebert recalls. "I was told, 'Oh, it's only you old-timers downtown who worry about those things.'"
"Now we have a credit crunch the likes of which I've never seen before."
Yale economist Robert Shiller is also wary about getting back into the market now too fast.
"If you buy (stocks) now and wake up in 10 years, you'll probably get a return around the historic average. There is a substantial risk that with all this economic turmoil, stocks will fall far lower," he says.
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