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Oct 05,2007
Market volatility and economic uncertainty often go hand in hand. When the markets are roiling and the future of the economy is less than clear, financial insecurity can take root. Are you worried about your job? Fearful about downsizing or layoffs? Here are a few concrete steps you can take now to help you deal with the potential loss of a paycheck. BULK UP YOUR EMERGENCY FUND Conventional wisdom holds that you should keep enough ... [full story]
1307 times read - No comment posted

Aug 31,2007
Raising a family is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences in life, but also one of the most expensive. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey, a typical middle-income family will spend nearly $200,000 raising a child to age 18 - not including college costs or lost wages for a stay-at-home parent. First-time parents are often amazed at how many "things" a baby needs. Top essentials include a car seat (required by ... [full story]
1576 times read - No comment posted

Aug 31,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I'm a veterinarian and the accountant doing my taxes recently retired. In searching for a tax preparer I've discovered that there is a professional called an "enrolled agent." I was going to select a CPA but my dentist friend uses an enrolled agent and tells me that this professional would be better than a CPA. Please tell me what the difference is between an enrolled agent and a CPA. I also need ... [full story]
1481 times read - No comment posted

Aug 31,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: For several months I've been agonizing over whether to buy 75 shares of AT&T for my IRA. I guess I need guidance. Please tell me your thoughts on this stock and help me make a decision. I know you recommended the stock last year at $28 but its 10 points higher now and I can't decide if the price is too high or if it can move higher. My next question concerns ... [full story]
1787 times read - No comment posted

Aug 31,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I sold my shares of the New York Stock Exchange in February at $100.50 on you recommendation. Now the stock is $73. Do you think this is a buying opportunity because its almost 30 points lower? If not, please explain why. I know you don't like Robert Nardelli who has recently been appointed CEO of Chrysler. How do you think he will do at that auto company? He doesn't know anything about ... [full story]
1225 times read - No comment posted

Aug 24,2007
Last week I wrote about putting personal finance on your teen's curriculum this fall by teaching them about the basics of money management: budgeting, saving, and the pros and cons of credit cards. But I also believe teens should at least start to learn about investing for the long term. One of the more eye-opening findings of the survey about teens and money I mentioned last week, co-sponsored by Schwab and the Boys & Girls ... [full story]
1521 times read - No comment posted

Aug 17,2007
"Back to school." Time for new clothes, new notebooks and pencils. And for teens who don't have one, a savings account. Why a savings account? Because one of the topics your teens should be learning about is personal finance, and the chances are good that your child isn't going to find "Money 101" on the curriculum this fall. Just seven states require students to learn about personal finance, which is particularly troubling given how little ... [full story]
2043 times read - No comment posted

Aug 10,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: What can you tell me about Kinetic Concepts? A friend, who had diabetes, would have had to have his foot amputated, but for Kinetic Concepts new wound treatment. The physician who treated him told us that this new wound care treatment is covered by my friend's insurance policy, which I find incredible. I am thinking about buying a large number of shares for several trusts I administer and would appreciate your impression ... [full story]
2194 times read - No comment posted

Aug 10,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I read your article on Sasol and its hydrogenation process that makes gas from coal. I even bought 150 shares and thanks to you I now have a $5 per share profit. If this company can produce gas and oil from coal at an equivalent cost of oil at $42 a barrel why won't Exxon, Shell or Conoco do the same thing? I just paid $3.39 a gallon to fill my tank ... [full story]
1732 times read - No comment posted

Aug 10,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I have worked at Chrysler Corp. since 1986 and have gone through some rough times but have managed to hold my job for 21 years. Do you have any idea if I will be able to keep my job if there will be massive layoffs after this Cerberus takes us over? Can you tell us in plain English who and what is Cerberus and if they will be more reasonable that the ... [full story]
3138 times read - No comment posted

Aug 10,2007
Recently, I had a heart-to-heart chat with a good friend of mine, who confessed she was worried about retirement. I was surprised since she's a very successful businesswoman who is in her late 40s and earns a good salary. But she'd recently divorced with no settlement, and is putting her son through college. "My focus right now is on him," she told me. "Putting away a lot for retirement just isn't going to happen anytime ... [full story]
1480 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
Shortly after our first child was born, my wife and I realized we needed to remodel our kitchen and family room to accommodate our new family focused lifestyle and our new arrival. But, like most first-time remodelers, we had no idea what we were up against. Whether you're making cosmetic changes to improve your home's resale value or undertaking major renovations for the long haul, it's essential to plan carefully so your home doesn't turn ... [full story]
1043 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
One of my crusades is to encourage "financial literacy." I believe everyone needs a practical understanding of personal finance so they can make smart decisions when it comes to money, both spending today and investing for tomorrow. But in too many households just one spouse handles the money, and that's a recipe for trouble. Even if you're married to the world's greatest money manager and aren't involved with the day-to-day responsibilities, you need to know ... [full story]
1647 times read - No comment posted



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