Courier News Latest news from Courier News Online en-us (Editor) Courier News 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Berko says ... ]]> Lead story image

Look to Great White North for good bank stocks.  Online today, at … ]]> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 22:22:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Berko says ... ]]> Lead story image

Medley Capital is worth your investment. Online today, at … ]]> Sat, 10 Sep 2011 00:37:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Berko says ... ]]> Lead story image

Berko says: Be sure price is right on tobacco settlement bonds. Online today, at … ]]> Wed, 02 Nov 2011 14:52:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Now may be time to go on sale of Sears ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Berko: In early 2008, I bought 200 shares of Sears Holdings at $37 and so far have doubled my money. Last year, my broker recommended that I sell the stock when it rose above $120, but because I believed it would rise to $175 (I got greedy), I didn’t sell. That broker has retired, and my new broker’s recommendation is to hold the stock. He won’t tell me to sell, because he thinks its book value of $86 a share is “rich with valuable, underpriced real estate,” the values of which he believes “will come back with a … ]]> Sat, 29 Oct 2011 00:42:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hoodwinked by a trough of modules ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Berko: My money manager recently bought 400 shares of Blackboard, Inc. at $44.33. Please tell me what you know about the company and whether this is a good stock for me. — WW in Troy, Mich. Dear WW: Thank you for your lengthy letter, which I shortened by omitting the full spelling of your two-syllable family name. I hope you understand that without having access to your personal goals, income statement and balance sheet, I can’t even tell you if a CD would be a suitable investment. But I can tell you that Blackboard Inc. (BBBB-$46.01) is a … ]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 22:47:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Health insurace stock selling like hot cakes ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Berko: Health insurance stocks have been making new highs. How can this be, when Obamacare will change how insurance companies do business and how hospitals and doctors bill patients? While I don’t like Obamacare, my broker believes the health insurance industry will make more money under Obamacare than it does now and has recommended that I invest $5,000 in Cigna, UnitedHealth, Aetna, WellPoint, Coventry and Humana. Please tell me what you think. Meanwhile, my wife doesn’t believe that members of Congress and their families are exempt from Obamacare. We have a wager on your answer. I say they … ]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 14:28:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Deal not worth its weight in gold ]]> Lead story image

De ar Mr. Berko: I took your advice and went to three different dealers to sell some gold trinkets that had been in our jewelry box for at least 20 years. And I don’t understand how the guy in a storefront shop who buys gold, silver, coins and jewelry came up with the numbers he offered me for my trinkets. For instance, he offered me $237 for a 10 karat ring that weighs 1.55 ounces. Then he offers me $241 for a gold necklace that is 12 karat and weighs 1.25 ounces. I asked him how he determined those prices, … ]]> Sat, 29 Oct 2011 00:39:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Financial knowledge different from financial wisdom ]]>

Dear Mr. Berko: Our 38-year-old son is married with two children and has been living with us for two years. The grandchildren are in school, and he and his wife both work but don’t contribute a thing for rent or food or utility costs. We can afford the extra costs, but we are getting tired of this and have nicely told them so. We’d like them to move and have been told that some credit unions are offering no-down-payment mortgages. Please tell us about this program and whether there is a hook or catch we should know about. Both the … ]]> Sun, 26 Jun 2011 02:25:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Yay or nay on Munis? ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Berko: My $55,000 CD comes due soon, and I don’t mind investing long term if I can get a decent yield. What do you think of municipal bonds? I’ve read that the municipal market is oversold and there are many good bargains to be had. But by my thinking, the best reason to own municipals is that I believe personal tax rates will be forced higher by Congress to pay for an increasing national debt. Do you agree? What’s wrong with this picture? Can you make any recommendations? — HL in Aurora Dear HL: You’re right as a … ]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 02:15:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Despite Microsoft’s purchase of Skype, sell MSFT stock ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Berko: I know you haven’t cared for Microsoft in the last 10 years, in spite of its good record of revenue and earnings growth. Now that it bought Skype, the free phone and video service telecommunications company, do you have a new opinion on the stock? My broker, who is with a very prestigious firm, thinks this Skype acquisition will turn the corner and eventually push Microsoft up to the $50s again. So I bought 1,000 shares. Tell me what you think. — B.R., Kankakee Dear B.R.: It’s best to ask for advice before the horse escapes from … ]]> Thu, 13 Oct 2011 00:28:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Greek economic tragedy only part of serious European disaster ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Berko: One short question, and I hope you can give a short answer. Can you please explain this Greek problem and why it’s so difficult for the European banks to agree on rescue terms? Can Greece’s economic problems spread to all of Europe? — M.R., Two Harbors, Minn. Dear M.R.: This is more than just Greece. It also involves Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Since joining the European Union, these countries have become overripe festering boils on the tender butt cheeks of Europe. And these boils should be lanced before the putrid, yellow puss burst, showering the EU … ]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 20:22:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Who’s right about the stock market: Bianco or Shiller? ]]> Lead story image

D ear Mr. Berko: David Bianco, the brilliant analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is very bullish and thinks the market has lots of upside. But Robert Shiller of Yale and one of the most brilliant economists in the country tells us that the stock market is much too high. How can two equally brilliant professionals be so far apart in their opinions? — D.T., Troy, Minn. Dear D.T.: Shiller, a Robert Redford look-alike down to the mole on his right cheek, is a highly regarded Ivy League economics professor. He also originated the Shiller Housing Index and is … ]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:51:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ AT&T Motricity is browser scam conceived by creative management ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Berko: AT&T keeps billing me $9.99 per month for a service called Motricity, and I don’t know what it is and never ordered it. And when I call to complain, I’m put on hold, so I sent two letters, but they did not answer. When I finally did get in touch on the phone, they insisted I ordered Motricity, but refunded two months of the eight months I paid. How can they let another company put their charges on my private phone bill? I got so mad I canceled my cell service, and I intend to sell my … ]]> Fri, 08 Jul 2011 15:04:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Berko reviews the big banks ]]>

Dear Mr. Berko: I’m down lots of money in Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan. I logically figured that these banks are involved in every financial business of our economy, and if one of their businesses got into trouble, their other business would take up the slack. I guess this common sense didn’t work. I still own them and I’m down $9,300, not to mention the dividend losses. Now I have $11,000 to invest. Do you think it would be all right to invest more money in those banks to reduce my costs? If not, please tell me the names … ]]> Sun, 05 Jun 2011 21:44:32 -0500 <![CDATA[ Amazon, Netflix are worthy new media stocks ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Berko: My broker is advising me to buy three high-growth stocks: 150 Red Hat, 50 Amazon and 25 Netflix. I already own 15 shares of Google, which I bought in 2007 at $693, and he recommends that I buy another 15 shares at today’s lower price. Please advise me, as this is for my IRA and hope to retire in four years when I’m 67. — D.F., Bloomsburg, Pa. Dear D.F.: I think your broker was born on the day when God ran out of brains. He’s certainly proof it doesn’t take brains to be stupid. I like … ]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 15:15:33 -0500