AmeriGas Is That Animal

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Re-evaluating Investments

Business / Taking Stock /

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

New Look at Newell

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Making Money on Margin

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Opinions on Uniti Are Not United

Business / Taking Stock /

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

MasterCard and Consumer Debt

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Mint Scheme

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Taxes and Retirement Savings

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Invest in NuVasive?

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Is Rite Aid a Good Buy?

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Schwab's Clean Sweep

Business / Taking Stock /

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

High-Yield Stocks

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Best Stock Picks

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Cheap Stocks

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Chinese Stocks

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Highly Rated Stocks

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Constellation Getting High

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Stinky GE Still a Buy

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Stock Market for 2018

Business / Taking Stock /

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

Buying the Hand That Feeds You

Business / Taking Stock /

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


Social Connections


DeFlocked Garfield Diamond Lil Boondocks Momma Pearls Before Swine