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Library’s investments “off to a good start”

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Ogdensburg Public Library is a cautious, conservative investor and, so far this year that strategy has paid off.

Meeting Thursday, the library Board of Trustees was told by its financial adviser that the library’s pair of portfolios were strong performers in the Jan. 1 to March 31 fiscal first quarter for this year.

“That’s the good news,” said Robert T. Hennes, managing director of Hugh Johnson Advisors, Albany. “Off to a good start.”

The library has two investment portfolios. One is general and as of March 31 was valued at $490,333.32. That’s up $41,599.95 from $448,733.37 on Jan. 24.

The other is the Mahoney Fund endowment. Its March 31 value was $170,831.31, rising by $15,345.11 from $155,486.20 on Dec. 31. Mr. Hennes pegged the increase trend that is still active on Wall Street.

“The bull market isn’t over,” he said.

Yet the market is nothing if not volatile. the Mahoney endowment’s year-end balance was a drop of about $21,000 from the end of 2010. Mr. Hennes said the market started 2011 bubbling and ended with “a thud.”

As the year goes on, Mr. Hennes predicted, investors who have always been savvy will be more careful.

“Investors are becoming more risk-averse,” he said.

That goes for the library. Director Wayne L. Miller is no Gordon Gekko.

“The primary use of our investments is the preservation of capital,” he said. “We’re not gambling with it.”

The library’s portfolios include such blue chip platers as Oracle, General Electric, Texas Instruments and PepsiCo.

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