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
Dear Mr. Berko: Charles Schwab is forcing all customers out of sweep money market funds and into bank accounts. My current sweep account pays 0.88 percent, and the bank account pays a lousy 0.1 percent. Schwab is giving us no choice in this matter. It claims it has something to do with the Dodd-Frank reforms, which were enacted eight years ago...Read more
Dear Readers: Last week, I gave you some of Ossie Ollum's recommendations for low-priced stocks and promised to give you more this week. But for some reason, he wasn't confident about his other picks. However, many readers are interested in stocks yielding over 10 percent, and Ashley Madison was kind enough to help me out. Ash believes there ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: Please recommend about 10 stocks that are not well-known on Wall Street, are seldom touted by research departments and have, in your opinion, good appreciation potential over the next 18 to 24 months. I'm comfortable with low to moderate risk. -- DB, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Dear DB: My friend Ossie Ollum, an old college ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: Are there stockbrokers who specialize in cheap stocks? My wife and I would like to find a qualified and recognized cheap stock expert who could recommend 10 stocks selling for $10 or less. I would invest $10,000 in each. We've decided to risk up to $100,000, have some fun and shoot for the moon by buying cheap stocks. Some of ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: In January 2015, I invested $200,000 in Chinese stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The Chinese stock market was as hot as a firecracker, and people I know were making big money quickly. Needless to say, it didn't work out for me. I bought 41 stocks, and my original $200,000 investment is now worth $127,000. Could you...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I am very nervous about the stock market and have been selling my weak stocks -- those that have weak financial statements and those I don't think will be able to keep their profit momentum during a big downturn. For example, I'm selling Ford and General Motors, my airline stocks, some of my real estate investment trusts, two ...Read more
How the Mighty FallE.J. Chadwell
The mysterious disappearance of media mogul Connie Ross during a party on her yacht exposes a web of dark and twisted secrets. Jimmy Frail, Chief of Detectives, suspecting foul play and the potential media circus, partners a most unlikely pair of detectives. Gigi ...
Dear Mr. Berko: This year, I plan to put $6,500 in my individual retirement account into the American Funds Global Balanced Fund, which my stockbroker says will outperform the stock market in the coming decade. I am 60 and intend to work till I'm 70. What is your opinion of American Funds?
Also, a friend working for Constellation Brands ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: My stockbroker wants me to buy 400 shares of General Electric. Is he nuts? -- JS, Moline, Ill.
Dear JS: Last June, Jeff "Big Melt" Immelt, who took control of General Electric (GE-$18.47) from the iconic Jack Welch just before 9/11, announced he'd be stepping down as CEO. Good! He's been replaced by John Flannery, a 30-year GE...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: Could you please tell us what you think the stock market will do once this tax bill is in effect? All the people I know say that these tax cuts and changes are bearish and that the country will suffer because of these new rules and regulations. -- GD, Moline, Ill.
Dear GD: You should expand your people horizons.
The recent ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: Brinker International has increased its earnings and dividends every year since 2011 and expects to do even better in 2018, but the stock price went down in 2017, from $55 to $32. How can that be when sales and earnings continue to increase very nicely? Brinker recently raised its dividend to $1.52 and yields 4 percent. I'd ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I pay over $33,000 a year for health insurance for me, my wife and my four children. That's more than we've spent on doctor bills and medicine in the past 10 years for our whole family, including our 9-year-old black Lab. My insurance agent and I are good friends, so I'm reluctant to question his recommendations. So I was ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I've got a bug in my ear telling me to invest in water utility stocks. My parents live in Flint, Michigan, and my brother recently moved to Pensacola, Florida, and had to buy a water purifier. He says Pensacola has the worst water quality in the country. There are horror stories about water quality in Las Vegas, Detroit, ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I recently discovered Dollar Tree, and its prices are awesome. I buy everything there that I can, and I figure we save $65 to $70 a week for my family of six. I'm thinking of buying 150 shares for our joint account and 50 shares for my individual retirement account. What do you think? -- FD, Moline, Ill.
Dear FD: Dollar Tree (...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: What do you think of the big health insurance companies, such as Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group and Anthem? My stockbroker wants me to sell UnitedHealth Group short because he thinks President Donald Trump and his followers are going to cut medical costs by allowing insurance companies to reduce reimbursements to doctors and ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I'm a financial adviser with lots of money under management, and I and two others in our office need your help. Here's the problem, and then perhaps a personal letter from you to Oath, which is the name Verizon gave to its newly merged AOL-Yahoo organization, would help.
For two decades, we used the stock platform made ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: My wife and I have been reading your column for over 35 years, and we've made some good stock purchases from your recommendations. We have a $235,000 certificate of deposit that will come due soon and want to put $100,000 in a portfolio of stocks that will pay at least 6 percent, if possible. Even though we are in our mid-70s, ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: I'm told that junk bonds yield 12 to 18 percent or even higher. I'd like to invest about $60,000 in junk bonds if I could get at least a 12 percent yield to maturity. I can afford the risk. My stockbroker recommended a bond yielding 15.3 percent and wants to show me other junk bonds he says pay safe, high income. What do you ...Read more
Dear Mr. Berko: We're both 73, and like most Americans, we're starving for yield but scared to reach. Our neighbor told us he just bought 150 shares of Westpac Banking Corp., an Australian company. We could buy 200 shares if you think the stock, including its dividend, is safe. Also, we are told that Iceland's money market accounts pay 4.25 ...Read more