Is a 30,000 Dow Possible?

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: Last February, you said the Dow Jones industrial average could pass 30,000 in 10 years. Considering the possibility of higher interest rates, dangerous international situations -- Brexit, Catalonia, the Kurds, North Korea, global warming, the Middle East, Afghanistan, the economic failure of Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Brazil and ...Read more

Can Amazon Keep Going Up?

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: In January 2015, I bought 300 shares of Amazon at $342 a share, and it just kept going up and up. I never thought Amazon could rise so much that quickly. This year, my shares increased by more than 300 points, and I'm very nervous because I have such a large profit and could lose it all if the company's earnings were to fall or...Read more

Sears and Coke

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: Sears finally reported a profit last May -- $2.28 a share. My stockbroker had me buy 1,000 shares in early June at $7 because he thought Sears had turned the corner to profitability. He insists Sears will trade in the low $10s this year and wants me to buy 1,000 more shares. What do you think? And what do you think of Coca-Cola...Read more

FINRA's Coming Database, S&P and Moody's

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: My brother-in-law, who is a longtime human resources officer with a New York Stock Exchange brokerage, told me that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is establishing a new database to improve regulatory enforcement. This database will include information about all Americans' brokerage accounts, their personal ...Read more

Our Tax System

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: This is our third request for a copy of your column. Two years ago, our investment club read and discussed what you wrote about 10 families paying taxes at different rates because of income differences. It showed how our tax system favors the wealthy at the expense of the poor. It's become a hot topic of discussion at club ...Read more

Just Buy It

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: My 19-year-old daughter is a saver and wants to buy 47 shares of Nike. I don't know enough about stocks to advise her. What can you tell me about Nike? Would she be making a wise decision? -- FS, Kankakee, Ill.

Dear FS: Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, was born in January 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports. BRS initially operated ...Read more

Get Rid of Qualcomm?

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: In November 2016, my stockbroker had me buy 200 shares of Qualcomm at $71.25 for income and growth. It's now $51, and my broker wants me to sell the stock and take a $4,050 loss. He said Qualcomm is being sued by Apple, and he thinks it could really hurt the company. Please explain what the suit is about. And would you also ...Read more

Fed Chairs

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: Could you give your opinions of recent chairs of the Federal Reserve Board -- namely, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen? -- TD, Akron, Ohio

Dear TD: I believe I know enough about economics, money and banking to spend a month of evenings talking with Janet Yellen about how she and her colleagues run the Federal ...Read more

Schumpeter vs.

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: recently agreed to sell Nike products. Amazon can sell Nike's merchandise for less than retail stores can, and according to my college professor, this is a first step toward taking over Nike. Amazon currently owns Whole Foods Market and Zappos. It's huge in the video business. It's forcing Barnes & Noble out of the ...Read more

Hold Boeing?

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: In January 2010, you advised me to invest $10,000 in Boeing. I bought 157 shares at $63. Thanks to you, I've quadrupled my money, and the $5.68 dividend, which has increased every year, is a 9 percent yield on my cost. Thank you from my heart. Now I wonder whether I should sell Boeing because Airbus is leading the market with ...Read more

Schwab and Customer Service

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: I'm 83 and a conservative investor. My stockbroker of 21 years retired from his six-man firm, and my $166,000 individual retirement account isn't big enough for Merrill Lynch or Morgan Stanley. I'm sharp enough to manage my account. And I won't make any big changes, because I own quality electric, natural gas and ...Read more

Talking Funds

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: My wife and I are engineers, and we're in our late 40s. In June 2015, you recommended a group of single-country exchange-traded funds, and we bought 800 shares of the iShares MSCI Italy Capped ETF at $15. It's now about $31, and our stockbroker wants us to sell this ETF and put the money in the Putnam Global Health Care Fund, ...Read more

Sell or Hold Yelp?

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: I bought 1,000 shares of Yelp last year at $28. Should I continue to hold the stock? -- PK, Erie, Pa.

Dear PK: "Yelp" is defined by Oxford Dictionaries, not Wall Street, as "a short, sharp cry, especially of pain or alarm."

Yelp (YELP-$42) came public in March 2012, offering 8.3 million shares at $15. The IPO was led by ...Read more

Medical Annuity Could Be Best Option for Investor With Cancer

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: I have cancer, and the prognosis is not good. I am 71 and might be able to live for another seven to eight years with proper care, which, as you know, is very costly. This cost is hard on my family and draining our income. I have $330,000 invested in the stock market (mostly blue chips), and the dividends earn me about $11,000 ...Read more

Advice About an Art Investment

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: I've been given the opportunity to invest in Treasure Investments Corp. by CEO Mark Russo. The investment consists of buying stock at 20 cents a share with a minimum investment of $25,000. The goal is to raise $10 million. The strategic plan is taking the company public in the fall of 2018 for $3 to $5 a share.

The pitch is ...Read more

Buy, Hold or Sell Flexion Therapeutics?

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: I have bad osteoarthritis in my knee and read about a new drug called Zilretta (not out yet), which is supposed to bring lasting relief. It's made by a small biotech firm, called Flexion Therapeutics. Last March, my stockbroker told me that Flexion was going to be bought out by a French drug company named Sanofi. So I bought 1,...Read more

Structured Investment Option and NKTR

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: In March 2013, I bought 500 shares of Nektar Therapeutics at $12. In March of this year, it traded at $24, but now it trades around $19. Should I sell this stock or continue to hold and see whether it will go higher? In June 2013, I invested $100,000 in 10 different no-load mutual funds (list enclosed), which are now worth $166...Read more

Pass on PPL

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: At 63, I need income and growth. I recently retired after 34 years with the same company. I moved my $388,000 401(k), which owned a group of lousy mutual funds, into an individual retirement account and control my own investing. My new stockbroker had me buy Pfizer, AT&T, Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Bank of America, AmeriGas, W....Read more

Need Professional Manager

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: After 33 years, my wife and I sold our business to our longtime partners. We're both 66, and we have a little over $3.2 million to invest after taxes. We're debt-free, healthy and active, and our children are independent. A stockbroker, recommended by our lawyer, advises we invest $2 million in a variable annuity, $200,000 each...Read more

Lost Insurance Policy

Business / Taking Stock /

Dear Mr. Berko: My sister and I had a love-hate relationship with our father for the last 10 years of his life. He died last year at age 69. After Mom's death in 2006, we had good times and bad times together. He told my sister and me many times over those 10 years about a $500,000 life insurance policy that would be divided evenly between us....Read more


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