Dear Mr. Berko: I'm a 41-year-old happily married woman with two boys. Before my dad passed away in late 2008, he invested $60,000 and bought 2,300 shares of AT&T at $26 a share for me. He told me to keep it for the rest of my life and said it would be the icing on my retirement cake if I reinvested all the dividends each quarter. That was ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I took your advice on AT&T. I'm holding my nose and reinvesting the dividends on 800 shares. I also bought 500 shares of Edwards Lifesciences at $22 in 2009 and have a huge profit. Is this a buy, sell or hold? -- NL, Wilmington, N.C.
Dear NL: You're a darn smart lady.
Research and development remains among the most ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: My stockbroker had me buy 200 shares of Apple last November at $221. His firm has a bullish report that says Apple will turn back to my purchase price in the coming six months, and he wants me to buy 200 more shares. I'd appreciate your thoughts. -- BG, Akron, Ohio
Dear BG: Your broker may be vaping too much THC. Why did CEO Tim...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I'd like to speculate with about $30,000 and buy six or seven stocks selling for less than $10. Could you recommend some cheap issues that have a chance of doubling in price over the next few years? I won't blame you if they crash. -- KM, Wilmington, N.C.
Dear KM: Here are seven names that were found in Bernie Madoff's back ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I'm looking for higher yields, and my stockbroker is recommending that I buy 500 shares of CenturyLink. It pays a wonderful $2.16 dividend that yields about 17 percent. Sometimes the dividend exceeds the company's net income. For example, last year, CenturyLink earned only $1.10 a share but paid a $2.16 dividend. How can a ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I bought 500 shares of AT&T at $32 in 2012, and I'm losing money. I should have sold the stock in 2016 when it hit $44, but my stockbroker talked me out of it. Now I want to sell it and buy 100 shares of Apple, which is way down from its high price. My broker is adamant that I keep AT&T, and he doesn't care for Apple. I'd ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I just sold 100 shares of Procter & Gamble, which I bought at $91 in 2017. They're still $91 each. I'd like to buy 200 shares of Delta Air Lines because my UBS stockbroker recommends it. -- PR, Kankakee, Ill.
Dear PR: If only you had waited a few weeks. P&G is now $99. And your UBS broker is a bonehead. I'd never own an ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I'm interested in buying stock in Bristol-Myers Squibb because I'm told the company has a weight loss drug that will soon be on the American market. I know there are many weight loss drugs that promise the moon, but this one is supposedly a revolutionary drug with no side effects. It apparently eliminates cravings and is being ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: My stockbroker thinks that the recent viral confrontation between a McDonald's customer and a McDonald's employee will be used as an excuse to cause large strikes at units all over the country, in which employees will demand higher wages, health insurance, retirement programs and better working conditions. He believes that this...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I can't make up my mind whether to buy 500 shares of CVS or 500 shares of Walgreens. -- PW, Wilmington, N.C.
Dear PW: CVS, which stands for Consumer Value Stores, began life in 1963 as a health and beauty aids chain with $863,000 in revenues. Based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, CVS Health (CVS-$67) completed its $69 billion ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: About six years ago, you wrote that medical stocks and defense stocks are not so affected by the changes in our country's economy as mining, beverage, hotel and retail stocks are. So I bought 100 shares of Lockheed Martin at $73 and 200 shares of Invacare a few months later at $28. I have a good profit in Lockheed Martin, which...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I have 28 shares of Science Applications International Corp. in my account and don't know how they got there. If they're mine, should I keep them or sell them? I've changed brokerage firms six times in the past 12 years, and my current stockbroker thinks my old broker accidentally posted those shares to my account when I moved ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: My husband of 34 years is a retired Marine colonel with prostate cancer, and the doctors told him that it is aggressive and could metastasize. I know that you know a lot about prostate cancer because you mentioned at a lecture in Gainesville that Johnson & Johnson had a new drug to treat prostate cancer. You told us your son, ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: In 2008, I was 46. My husband passed away that year, and my 600 shares of United Technologies were selling at $43 each. I own eight stocks, United Technologies, which recently announced a spinoff into three companies. I'm now 56, and my stockbroker for the past 10 years, who was my husband's broker before he passed away, wants ...Read more