Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey on February 15, 1970 · Page 45
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Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey · Page 45

Asbury Park, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 15, 1970
Page 45
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Section D BUSINESS, FINANCIAL MOVIE TIMETABLE Pages 1IV7D Pftge 13D RECORD PREVIEWS ART CORNER Page 14D Page 151) Asbury Park Sunday Press ASBURY PARK, N.J., SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1970 10 Holding Firm Planned PRINCETON - Peoples Trust of New Jersey, the People's National Bank of Monmouth County, the Third National Bank & Trust Co. of Camden, Cumberland National Bank of Bridgeton and the Central Home Trust Co. of Elizabeth have signed an agreement to form United Jersey Banks, a multi-bank holding company. The signed agreement will be part of the formal application for the formation of United Jersey Banks. The application is expected to be submitted to regulatory authorities this spring. WITHIN the holding com-panp, each bank will continue to operate under its own name, with its own charter and board of directors. The holding company will supply specialized skills and capital to the banks. As part of the formal agreement, the five member banks have agreed to exchange their present capital stocks for stock of United Jersey Banks on the following basis: Shareholders of Peoples Trust of New Jersey will receive shares of common stock ot United Jersey Banks on the basis of one share of United Jersey Banks for each one share of Peoples Trust '. . SHAREHOLDERS of the Peoples National Bank of Monmouth County will receive shares of common stock of United Jersey Banks on the basis of one share of United Jersey Banks for each 2.1645 shares of Peoples National Bank. Shareholders of the Third National Bank & Trust Co. of Camden will receive shares of common stock of United Jersey Banks on the basis of .69 shares of United Jersey Banks for each one share of Third National Bank. Shareholders of the Cumberland National Bank of Bridge-ton will receive shares of common stock of United Jersey Banks on the basis of 34 shares of United Jersey Banks for each one share of Cumberland National Bank. Shareholders of the Central Home Trust Co. will receive shares of common stock of United Jersey Banks on the basis of one and one third shares of United Jersey Banks for each one share of Central . Home Trust Co. Because of varying factors such as market areas and growth potential for each of the banks, there is no uniform basis for exchange of stock. The various ratios are based on these factors together with capital structure and the book and market value of stock for each of the individual banks. BASED on Dec. 31, 1969, figures, total assets for the five banks are over, $750 million, with capital funds aggregating over $50 million. Peoples Trust of New Jersey has received approval for a merger with the Fort Lee Trust Co., which will add $32 million in assets. The combined lending limits of the holding company banks will be approximately $5 million to any one customer. United Jersey Banks will operate In each of the three banking districts of the state of New Jersey. It is anticipated that the stock of the holding company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Tax Exempt Bonds Edge Up in Price NEW YORK Ut) - Tax exempt bonds went up in price last week as shown by the Dow Jones Municipal bond yield index. The index fell .12 to 6.45. showing that higher prices added about $15 to a good grade bond with 20-year maturity. The price appreciation has ranged 5 per cent to 7 per cent over the last two months on the bond market, according to Salomon Brothers & Hutzler, investment house. Key long term rates over the period are down 40 to 55 basis points, the firm said. The largest yield declines so far have been in new utilities, where yields are about 55 basis points lower than in December. Salomon Brothers said. The yield declines in long-term prime municipals and governments have been less spectacular, Salomon Brothers said. 'iff f I V Ken Sausser, a general distributor for BestLin. Products, gives a demonstration of the soap and cleanser line at an "opportunity" meeting, conducted weekly at the Holiday Inn, West Long Branch. The purpose of the meeting is to recruit personnel. (Press Photo) FTC, Several States Probe Sales Methods of BestLine By MYRNA GRAY Press Special Report WEST LONG BRANCH - The meeting room was filled with people of all ages, their faces wearing expressions of anticipation as they waited eagerly for the moment when the speaker would tell them what they had come to hear. That moment came after viewing two films on the history of BestLine Corp., a California-based firm manufacturing and selling soap products. "And now for the exciting part of the evening," announced Ken Sausser of Port-au-Peck, Oceanport, a mechanical-technical assistant at Bell Laboratories In the daytime and a general distributor for BestLine in the evening. "You will now find out bow to earn $100, $200, or $500 a month on a part-time basis. Or, if you're more serious, $1,000, $2,000 plus a month," he said writing those figures on a blackboard. With the assistance of Ev Sneed, a general distributor from Tennessee who recalled Hie days when his grandmother made soap in the back yard, Mr. Sausser explained to the audience of about 50 how they can become members of this 38-month-old organization which says it is grossing $60 million a year. THIS WAS an "opportunity" meeting, conducted for a new audience each week at the Holiday Inn here. Sessions are also held regularly in East Brunswick, Bordentown, Cran-ford, Saddle Brook, Cherry Hill, and Morris-town, and some have drawn as many as 400 opportunity seekers. BestLine is incorporated in California as BestLine Products Inc. and a subsidiary, BestLine Corp., both headed by William E. Bailey, president. The company, now operating internationally, has been under investigation in the attorney general's offices of California, Illinois. Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington. The Bureau of Deceptive Practices of the Federal Trade Commission has a file on its operation, too. Investigations began in these states to determine if there was a violation of their "endless chain," anti-trust, or lottery laws. Rolf T. Kaiser of Point Pleasant Beach, a . BestLine corporate team representative, said he came from California 14 months ago to start BestLine in New Jersey. There are now about 200 direct and general distributors in the state, according to Miss Mary Marr of the home office in San Jose, Calif. If as cited in an example by the speaker each subwholesaler has six retailers, each direct distributor six subwholesalers, and each general distributor six direct distributors, it is conceivable there could be more than 40,000 persons in New Jersey now selling Bestline products. And the company has only been operating in the state little more than a year. IT IS the endless chain of recruitment which has brought BestLine and similar multiple-level operations to the attention of state and federal officials. "Potentially, you have a whirlpool of distributors," said an attorney in Washington. "It is conceivable that everybody in Asbury Park, N.J., could be a distributor." Donald Tenny, attorney with the FTC's Bureau of Deceptive Practices, added that the commission is investigating the principal companies to determine if there is a violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. The section prohibits unfair methods of competition or deceptive practices in commerce. The question being explored by the FTC is whether a person can actually earn what the company says he can with a seemingly unlimited number of retailers, subwholesalers, and distributors around. If the FTC finds its laws are being violated, it has authority to issue a cease and desist order to slop the practice. Paul Krebs, executive director of New Jersey's Office of Consumer Protection, says he has had inquiries, but no complaints about the company. New Jersey's consumer protection laws are sufficient to cope with it if a complaint were filed, he believes. A pyramid type method Is used to market BestLine products which are Zif, an all purpose cleaner; Ph-7, a hair shampoo; Hi Lustre, a self-polishing wax; Car Lustre, a liquid concentrate detergent; B-15, a rug cleaner; a dry laundry compound; a furniture polish, and a toilet bowl cleaner. Best-Line manufactures all but the last three. THE PRODUCTS are "biodegradable," that is, soluble in water to help prevent pollution, Mr. Sausser emphasized. (Because of the pollution menace, more and more detergents are being made bio-degradable nowadays.) BestLine products are highly concentrated, according to the representatives. Zif, for example, costs $2.60 a quart, but it is diluted with water on a 10-to-l ratio. Mr. Kaiser said this brings the cost per quart far below other such products. The merchandise cannot be purchased in retail stores. It is sold exclusively on a door-to-door or personal contact basis. Unlike Avon and. Tupperware, which use this marketing method, BestLine sells positions in the organization not just the products and that's where the question of a pyramid operation comes in. The foundation of the pyramid, according to the speakers, is the retailer who becomes eUigible upon payment of a $3 registration fee. The next plateau is the subwholesaler who sells the products to retailers. To qualify as a subwholesaler, one must purchase a case of each product for about $150. The third position is the direct distributor, who has a network of subwholesalers. "You can become a direct distributor if, as a subwholesaler, you create $6,000 in volume sales in a month," Mr. Sausser explained. "Or, you can put up $3,500, and you will be sent $6,700 worth of products, including sales aids." Mr. Sausser noted that the direct distributor also receives $25 for every subwholesaler he enrolls. - AT THE PEAK of the pyramid is the general distributor, "who works on a 60 per cent profit margin and gets an 8 per cent override on the direct distributor," Mr. Sausser said. To become a general distributor, the direct distributor must replace himself with a direct distributor and pay a release fee of $2,750. Of that amount, $2,250 goes to his general distributor and $500 to the company. Recruiting expenses are met by a cooperative fund created by monthly contributions from direct and general distributors. The direct distributor pays $300 a year and the general distributor $600 a year. The funds are used to rent facilities and show films aimed at recruiting more personnel into all levels of the pyramid. "BestLine may be a multiple-level company where the basic scheme is an endless chain of distributorships without limitation," Mr. Tenny said. "We do know that some states have proceeded against BestLine." In a chain scheme, Mr. Tenny said, "It is impossible for the latecomer to make anything. The pyramid starts with a point on the ground and moves toward the sky. According to the laws' of geometry, it runs out of possibilities." The anti-trust division of the Illinois attorney general's office "is looking over Best-Line's operations," according to a division spokesman. "We have filed suit against Holiday Magic, a pyramid operation with cosmetics. We are looking into BestLine because of the nature of its operation to see if they are violating the same lottery law as Holiday Magic." MR. KAISER reports that the action against BestLine in California "was settled in our favor." Mr. Sausser gives his view of the "trouble." "There have been suits against us but they were thrown out in Oregon and Washington. California wanted to drop it but our president (William Bailey) didn't want to. He wants it settled." An attorney for BestLine said that Washington and Oregon attorneys general "voluntarily dismissed the actions. They were no longer interested. It's still pending in California and Wisconsin." See FTC Page 5D Locals Mostly Down ASBURY PARK - Losses outnumbered gains by almost two to one for Shore stocks traded over the counter last week. There were 15 issues, including three banks, on the minus side and eight, including one bank, that increased in value. Bucking the downward trend was Interdata with a 1 gain to 18. Rowan Industries also showed a good gain, up 7-8 to 7. Others advancing ere King James Extended Care, up Vt; Medic Home Leasing, V; Metallurgical International, ; Monmouth Industries, V; and Walter Reade Organization, . Trust Co. of Ocean County gained L Three of the losses were for a point or more. Buck Engineering slipped VA to 17, Development Corp. of America was down 1 to 15 and International Computer, which also trades on the National Stock Exchange, dropped 1 to Vk. New Jersey National Bank & Trust, Involved in merger plans with First Trenton, was dbwnL U.S. Home To Acquire 2 Builders WEST ORANGE - U.S. Home & Development Corp. (AMEX), a developer of single- and multi-family residential communities, has announced it has signed a definitive contract, subject to board approval, to acquire Brown Homes Inc. and Pennwood Inc. of Clearwater, Fla. Brown Homes and Pennwood, an operating subsidiary, "are engaged in single-family home construction in Clearwater and other areas of Pinnel-las County, Florida. According to a joint announcement made by Robert H. Winnerman, U.S. Home chairman, and Russell A. Brown, president of Brown Homes, the latter will be acquired for an initial payment of approximately $700,000 in U.S. Home common stock and other stock to be based on future earn-out formula. Brown, who has been engaged in single-family home construction for more than 15 years, said that Brown Homes Inc. and Penwood Inc. estimated after-tax earnings of $125,000 on sales of approximately $2,500,000 for the last. 12 months. U.S. Home has building and development divisions in New Jersey and Florida. During the current fiscal year U.S. Home acquired Dee Wood Industries Inc., Linwood, and Clearwater Concrete Industries Inc. of Clearwater, Fla., and signed a definitive contract to acquire Shelley Enterprises of San Juan, Puerto Rico. H 7 V- ri I Wait and See j Mood Checks Stock Market Richard M. Muniz holds a display of U.S. half dollars in his new coin shop on Route 35, Eatontown. One of the coins, dated 1796, has a collector' value of $10,000. (Press Photo) NEW YORK lPI - The stock market, with investors gripped by a wait and-see attitude, went almost nowhere this past week. But small investors got one piece of news last week that is certain to influence their trading. The New York Stock Exchange Friday proposed its first increase in 12 years for comissions brokers charge. The increase centers on trades under 300 shares, while larger trades can get a reduction in commission costs. The averages closed out the week just about where they began. Trading volume slumped. Analysts said heating up of the Middle East situation and impatience over the persisting tight money situation and little progress toward peace in Vietnam kept many investors on the sidelines. On Wall Streeter said definite action would be required in any of these fields to spark Small Change MadeBigCash For Eatontown Coin Dealer By ED REITER Press Staff Writer EATONTOWN Richard M. Muniz is a successful businessman today because he saved his pennies, nickels, and dimes as a boy. He didn't save just any old pennies, nickels, and dimes only collectors' items. The collection he built helped him launch one of the ration's bigger rare coin businesses a business he recently moved from Miami, Fla., to a shop at 264 Rte. 35, just south of Monmouth Shopping Center. : "My father and I started collecting coins about 1941, when I was 6 years old," says Mr. Muniz, who is now 34. "As a child I used to give talks on coins even in grade school." HE PUT ASIDE his collection while attending the University of Miami. But after graduation, in 1957, he found himself in need of money and decided to sell some of his coins. "I didn't realize how much coin prices had appreciated," he recalls. "A dealer gave me $30 apiece for some dimes I had picked right out of circulation." His surprise turned to chagrin when he discovered that the coins he sold 1916 Mercury head dimes with the Denver mint mark were actually worth $100 each. "This really got me started," he says, "because I hate to get taken. It also made me take a closer look at coins, as a business as well as a hobby." "He liked what he saw. "I WAS WORKING at the time as an assistant manager for a national variety store chain in the Miami area. Within a year and a half I was manager of the Miami store. "But before long I was making more part-time with coins, by trading on the side, than I was making full-time at the store. I decided either there was something wrong with this job or something very right with this bobby." Accordingly, in i960, with "guts" and his own coins as assets, he opened a shop in Miami. By last year, his business had mushroomed to an annual gross of $3 million, and ranked among the top 25 coin dealerships in the nation. MR. MUNIZ prides himself on his ability to spot "sleepers" coins whose value as collectors' items has not been fully realized. This, he believes, has been a key factor in his success. "When I feel an Item is a sleeper," he says, "I let the public know. But first I buy up as much as I can myself. "I like to buy when other people are selling, and sell when they're buying. Once an item becomes hot and starts to move, I wait until it's close to its peak and then sell off." In 1961, for example, he advised customers to purchase rolls of uncirculated (mint condition) 1938 pennies made at the San Francisco mint. A ' roll of 50 coins could be purchased at the time for $30; within months the price shot up to $60. AS HIS REPUTATION for shrewd judgment spread, so, too, did the demand for his services. Numismatic News, a nation al coin publication, sought his advice on coin prices for its Tele-Quote section, in which it lists current trends. He still is a contributor to the section. Television and radio hosts in Miami frequently invited him to appear on their shows and discuss his specialty sometimes for hours at a time. One host, Allen Courtney, dubbed him "The Encyclopedia on Coins." And a group of professional men in Houston solicited his services as coin expert for Space City Numismatic Investments Inc., a high class, high finance coin Investment club. He served as executive vice president of the corporation for nine months in 1962-63, temporarily closing his shop to do so. IN ADDITION to all this, Mr. Muniz was a driving force behind the establishment of the first nationwide teletype system for coin dealers, in 1963. He conducts much of his own business by teletype and by mail, rather than over the counter. Long distance transactions, in fact, make up 95 per cent of his total volume. He advertises in all the major coin publications, and has received numerous customer service awards from them. He is a member of all the leading numismatic societies, including the American Numismatic Association and the Professional Numismatic Guild, and is a past president of the South Florida Coin Club. MR. MUNIZ decided to move North following the death of his wife, Marcella, nine months ago. "I felt a change of environment would be best for my children," he explains. "All of See CHANGE Page 2D Unemploymen tat Shore Jumps k M t ..i,-,w4:ijk Inrlsicf m?o tv.l I- By BARBARAJSCnOENEWEIS Press stair writer , Unemployment at the Shore took an unusually high jump in January, following both the national and state trend. In December Monmouth County's unemployment rate was recorded at 5.4 per cent. During January, preliminary figures (final figures will be available next week) show the rate at 6.6 per cent of the total work force of 147,000, or 9.700 persons unemployed. In January 1969, 6.1 per cent of the work force was reported unemployed. Hie same escalation is true for Ocean County, where figures indicate 6.2 per cent unemployed in December and 8.3 per cent of a work force of 51,000 (4,200 persons) jobless last month. The rise generally reflects the economic slowdown being felt across the nation, but the -sharp increase in Shore figures does not necessarily indicate a comparative number of layoffs in businesses here. Robert Fisk, senior labor market area analyst in Asbury Park, explained thnt many residents in Monmouth and Ocean counties commute to Jobs outside the area. When they are laid off they do not renort to emDlovment offices where they work, but to offices where they live. He also explained that while national figures are deseason-alized (account for seasonal layoffs), county figures are not. Since many residents here depend on seasonal employment such as construction, the winter figures for unemployment at the Shore are usually considerably higher than the national and state figures (the national rate was 3.4 in December and 3.9 in January; the state figure for December was 4.3; the preliminary estimate for January is 5.6). MR. FISK said unemployment is traditionally higher across the country during the first quarter of each year. However, February and March usually show an improvement in employment figures concurrent with better weather. With only two weeks of February gone, the state employment office in Asbury Park is carrying 200 fewer claims than it did (luring the last week in January, according to office manager Kenneth Leonard. Initial claims filed in the Asbury Park office during January numbered 1,400 this year as onnosed to last vear's 1.100. In the Toms River state employment office, claims supervisor John A. Mulshine said 2,200 initial claims were filed last month; in January 1969 there were 1,430. "A LOT of this is the result of an increase in population and the construction of senior citizen villages down here," said Mr. Mulshine. Retired said Mr. Mulshine. Retired persons are entitled to unemployment compensation for a brief period after retirement. Mrs. Miriam Harris, claims supervisor in Freehold, said the 715 initial claims filed with her office this past January exceed last year's count by 229. "That's more than the 20 per cent we were told to expect," she commented. The increase represents 45 per cent more Initial claims filed. Mrs. Harris said those filing did not represent hard-core unemployed, however. "The rise partially stems from the government cutback on construction." (President Nixoi ordered a 75 per cent cutback on Federal building in September). Mrs. Harris said, too, that more companies are adopting the automotive industry's poli cy of laying off workers temporarily during slow periods or inventory, allowing them to collect unemployment benefits, and then rehiring them. "A high number of claims filed does not necessarily reflect bad times," said Edward Lyman, claims supervisor, whose Red Bank office received 1,621 intital claims this past January. Last year's figure was 1,120. Here at the Shore construction businesses, government installations and technical industries are feeling the brunt of the easing of government spending on construction and defense. EARLE Ammunition Depot laid off 100 waterfront workers in December and has not rehired, according to a spokesman there. No layoffs, however, have affected career people at the Depot. Ft. Monmouth's policy has been not to rehire for positions left vacant by retirement, but there has been no general laying .off of personnel. Electronics firms, which represent one of the Shore's largest industries next to its See UNEMPLOYMENT Page 3D the market to a sustained advance. The market's sensitivity was illustrated Wednesday when rumors swept Wall Street that the Federal Reserve Board would ease Its money policy and that a ma jor New York bank would cut its prime lending rate. The market surged in late trading to its second biggest gain of the year with the Dow Jones average of 30 industrials spurting 10.70 points. The rumors proved baseless. The market posted a small gain Monday, sank sharply on Tuesday, and dipped Thursday and Friday. The Dow Jones industrials eased .53 to 753.30 for the week. The Associated Prss 60-stock average dropped 2.9 to 262.7. The New York Stock Exchange index of some 1,200 common stocks dipped .65 to 48.89. Standard & Poor's 500-stock index was off .26 to 86.54. Of 1.746 issues traded on the Big Board, 875 advanced and 700 declared. New 1969-70 lows topped new highs by 248 to 29. Volume sank to 54,286,890 shares from 60,132,350 the pre-vious week. Oil company stocks, with some Arab countries threatening to increase pressure, wer. generally weak performers. Among losses were Atlantis Richfield 7 to 59, Gulf l'i to 24, Jersey Standard 3V4 to 52, and Phillips Vk to 20. Among the week's bigger lossers were Polaroid 12 to 94, Parke Davis 4 to 30, Kentucky Fried Chicken of Delaware 5'A to 3914, Computer Sciences 3 to 24, and Beneficial Finance 3 to 43. Biggest gainers among the most active issues was Telex, up 12 to 135. Among the 20 most active issues, 13 fell and 7 rose. The five most active stocks on the New York Stock Exchange this past week were: Occidental Petroleum up to 21 on 766,300 shares; Boeing, off 1 to 20; Atlantic Richfield, off 7 to 59; Raytheon, off 1 to 27, and Texaco, off to 24. Housing Finance Plan Set WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced startofac6n-ditional commitment program that will permit It to finance small subdivision-type , housing developments in the nation's small towns. . Previously, the Depart-ment's Farmers Home Administration could finance the building of the new homes only on a signle-unit-at-a-time basis. In issuing Instructions for the new conditional commitment program, agency Administrator James V. Smith called on housing construe-tors, developers, sellers and other segments of the construction industry to engage in a stepped up program to upgrade low-and moderate cost housing In rural communities. "At long last we can put to work a tool that enables the Farmers Home Administration to deal effectively with the deplorable condition of rural housing," Mr. Smith said. "Instead of building new homes on a single-unit-at a-time basis as in the past, the conditional commitment now makes the building of a dozen modest homes in an area practical," he added. The FHA will issue a commitment on each proposed house, but will hold builders to 15 commitments at any on. time. The commitment will b. effective for 12 months unless extended. Experienced builders, Including individuals, partnerships or corporations, may apply to any of the 1,700 FHA offices which serve every county In the nation, Including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. G&B Advertising Relocates Office LAKEWOOD - O & B Advertising Associates Inc. moved into new offices at 3M 6th St. Tho agency formerly was located at 52 Villanova Drive, Jackson Township. E. Geors. Chandler, president, said th. agency also has added a creative artists' group to its Hut of full-time associates and two account executives. 1

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