Dear Mr. Berko: My stockbroker is recommending that I buy 1,000 shares of Patterson Companies Inc. The stock yields 4.6 percent and has increased the dividend every year since it began paying dividends. He says the stock has hit bottom at $23, and he believes that this would be a good long-term investment because management is turning the ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: What do you think of Enterprise Products Partners? I want to buy a good income stock (at least 6 percent) with a safe dividend that should increase each year. A stockbroker suggested this stock, and I'd appreciate your opinion. Also, I am on an anti-plastic bag campaign and would like to sell a stock short that makes these ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I want to own a bank stock. I am very conservative and don't care for risk, so I'm thinking of buying 200 shares of Bank of America, which has been doing business for over 50 years, as a safe investment. What do you think? -- PR, Erie, Pa.
Dear PR: Thanks to founder A.P. Giannini, the Bank of Italy was San Francisco-born in ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I bought Rite Aid stock at $6 in 2015, thinking the rumored buyout by Walgreens would give me a nice short-term profit. Could you explain to me what happened to the stock? Does Albertsons or Walgreens own Rite Aid? Do you think I will ever break even? -- HL, Oklahoma City
Dear HL: Albertsons, a large nonpublic grocery chain, ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I have a large portfolio of conservative issues that pay good dividends. Now I'd like to be more aggressive and own some issues that could improve my portfolio's growth better than the dividend stocks I own. I just want some more upside in my portfolio.
The economy is improving, and that's good for the airline industry, so I ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: My husband and I are both 73 years old and in excellent health. Both of us retired 10 years ago from Monsanto, and we get a nice pension. We discovered your column about nine months ago. You don't write like other stock advisers. Your common sense and humor appeal to us. We don't own any stocks. All our cash ($535,000) is in ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: We have a $17,000 certificate of deposit coming due and are thinking of buying 300 shares of Southern Co. because of the 5.3 percent yield. We found that the stock has fallen by 9 points in the past three months. What do you think? -- LW, Kankakee, Ill.
Dear LW: Southern Co. (SO-$43.82) dominates the power business across the ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: You've never expressed your political opinions. Some of us had hoped you'd comment on Donald Trump's presidency. You've made many pointed comments about the House and Senate, but you have never commented about our country's political direction. I and others in my area would like to read your comments.
Next question. My ...Read more
Creator's Children: The Rise of AstwihadValerie Welsh
Having decimated the peaceful Trident race in the Deneb Star System, Astwihad and his clones are now targeting their next conquest; Earth!
Galaxie, Guardian of the Milky Way, must use all her cunning and knowledge to safeguard Earth and all those under her ...
Dear Mr. Berko: My 84-year-old dad is not well and was a very avid reader of your column until he got sick. He would send your columns to me every week with comments. Two years ago, he had a stroke. According to his brokerage statement, he owns two stocks: 400 shares of Citigroup and 3,000 shares of MGIC Investment Corp. In January 2009, he ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: Could you comment on the changes in tax law that affect alimony payments? As a soon-to-be-divorced 52-year-old man, how do they affect me? I will take a huge hit after we sign our divorce papers, though fortunately, it's a friendly divorce after 26 years and three kids. I have taken a powder in the market and need to be more ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: My spouse and I are both in our early 60s, and we have $10,000, with the hope of being able to get an 8 to 9 percent return. I know this may be a high reach because we don't want to own any volatile issues. If there is such an animal that could give us this return, with moderate risks, we'd be very appreciative. -- PC, Akron, ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: In 2009, when I was 78, I had $70,000 in cash to invest long term for my grandchildren. I wrote to you for advice after my stockbroker had me invest $10,000 in each of the following stocks: Signet Jewelers at $6, Costco at $44, Macy's at $12, Sears at $69, Bed Bath & Beyond at $23, Fossil Group at $14 and Hibbett Sports at $15....Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: What happened to Newell? I bought 500 shares at $43 in September of 2017. My broker tells me to sell the stock and take a loss and wants me to put the proceeds in American Funds New Perspective. Your advice would be appreciated. -- JM, Moline, Ill.
Dear JM: New Perspective (ANWPX) is a good fund with a good record and a sweet ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I got a $10,000 bonus from my employer in January and put it with a broker in early February. He has made four trades, including a biotech stock with a funny name I've never heard of. My account is now worth $12,200. He said if he had my account on margin, then he could have made twice as much money. Is that true? I asked how ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: What can you tell me about a company called Uniti Group, which has a 15.49 percent dividend yield? Do you think the dividend is safe, and would you buy the stock for long-term growth and income? My stockbroker -- who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, where the company is based -- is aggressively recommending the stock, and his ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: My brother, who does well in the stock market, told me to buy 100 shares of MasterCard. He thinks that President Donald Trump's economic policies and infrastructure spending will grow corporate earnings and give more people jobs and many people higher-paying jobs. He says that these people will spend their money rather than ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I saw in a recent edition of USA Today that the federal Mint is offering (to use your word) a Golconda -- selling individual state $100 bills at only $99. These are beautiful productions that look exactly like $100 bills, except the symbol of your state is embossed on the front. Each is made of 1 ounce of silver, and these 100s...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I have $362,000 in my 401(k) account. It took me 22 years to accumulate that amount. Now I'm told that Washington is considering a tax on the current value of everybody's retirement accounts to help pay for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Is this true?
My wife and I recently moved back to Fort Lauderdale and discovered you're no ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: My mother-in-law suffered with a bad back for over 20 years, resisting spine surgery because many of her contemporaries had rotten luck with it. However, one of her friends had a spine procedure six months ago and is still bragging about the good surgeon who performed it. The surgeon used a surgical platform developed by a ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: Do you have a Facebook page? If so, our investment club can't find it. We think it would be very interesting for the public to view your personal thoughts and get to know more about the man who has been writing for our newspaper for over 35 years.
Also, what do you think about Rite Aid? Do you think it has a chance of coming ...Read more