John J. Edwards III Chats on AOL

<I>TSC's</I> markets editor chats about Steve Ballmer, Disney and more.
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John J. Edwards III chatted on AOL MarketTalk on Monday, Sept. 27. AOL's MarketTalk is hosted by Sage Online (Keyword: PF Live). As with all chats, this transcript is unedited.

Comment:

Welcome to MarketTalk, John!

Jedwards:

Thanks. Great to be here!

Question:

Why did

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

president,

Steve Ballmer

, state that his own company's stock and other techs were overvalued?

Jedwards:

It seems likely that he believes it. Ballmer and other Microsoft officials have a history of offering conservative comments on their company's prospects, and Ballmer extended that in dramatic fashion to the rest of the tech world. He was blunt, but not out of character.

Question:

Now that nobody wants

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

, do you think it's a good time to start buying some?

Jedwards:

While I can't offer direct buy/sell advice, I suggest that you check out the many stories on Disney that

TheStreet.com's

Alex Berenson

has written. They're a great starting point for gaining insight into the company and others in media and entertainment.

Question:

Would you say that, as a mid- to large-cap mutual fund investor, now is not the time to convert large amounts of cash into mutual funds? Should I hold the cash until December or February?

Jedwards:

This can be a pretty nervous time of year, and it's often less because of any fundamentals than just because people are nervous. I think some caution might be in order here, but at the same time, you don't want to miss out on solid investments just because of these kinds of concerns.

Jedwards:

I would suggest a balanced approach. Do some research on the funds you're interested in and consider devoting some, but not all, of your investment capital to them.

Question:

Has equity cash flow into mutual funds significantly declined as compared to last year?

Jedwards:

I believe it has declined somewhat, but I'm afraid I don't have all of the figures in front of me.

Question:

Please comment on the impact the earthquake might have on Japanese companies.

Trend Micro

(TMIC)

dropped 14 points.

Jedwards:

The earthquake could indeed hurt some Japanese companies, as well as others which have production facilities in Taiwan. I would suggest you contact companies directly when possible to get a sense of their exposure.

Question:

There seems to be a lot of interest in the upcoming IPO of alternative mail deliverer

UPS

. What is your opinion of the company?

Jedwards:

Seems like a well-positioned company in the growing delivery market, but as it's private, it hasn't been on my radar screen much. I'd advise considerable due diligence, as with any IPO.

Question:

Have you read today's issue of

The Economist

?

Jedwards:

I've read some of it. Fine magazine, if a little misguided at times.

Question:

Do you expect ongoing tobacco litigation issues to continue to pressure

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Report

and others within that group?

Jedwards:

Yes, I think the domestic picture overall is an embattled one for tobacco companies. The

Los Angeles Times

just joined

The New York Times

in banning tobacco advertising, for example. Those are relatively minor hits to the industry, but they signal a broad trend in the U.S.

Question:

There are zillions of mutuals specializing in Japan, Latin America and Europe. How about Africa -- how do you invest in the African markets?

Jedwards:

That's a good question. I'm not aware offhand of mutual funds that specialize in Africa, but I would imagine the easiest way to invest on the continent is via South Africa.

Jedwards:

Unfortunately, the remainder of sub-Saharan Africa continues to suffer from myriad woes that make investing perilous when it's possible at all. But you've planted the idea in my head, and I'll take a look around. Perhaps you could check back on this chat next week.

Comment:

Thank you for joining us today John! We appreciate your insights!