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Jun 01,2007
Fifty years ago, millions of Americans were petrified at the prospect of being surpassed by the Communist Darth Vader when the Soviets launched Sputnik into the abyss. In the same year, passions were inflamed when nine black teenagers started attending a formerly all-white high school in Little Rock, Ark. During this turbulent time, pension fund managers and other investment professionals on Wall Street and around the country were grappling with a far more prosaic predicament. ... [full story]
1757 times read - No comment posted

May 25,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: Back in February you recommended Alesco Finance at $11.45 and I bought 300 shares because it yielded 10.5 percent and it's now $9.21. What happened? Should I sell my stock? I saw an advertisement in my paper by a company called Wholesale Mortgage Lending that is offering a 4.12 percent mortgage for five years on my home. I'd like to borrow $100,000 because the man told me there's no closing cost and ... [full story]
1542 times read - No comment posted

May 25,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: In January of 2004 you recommended that I buy 100 shares of Citigroup and I did at $51. Well the darn stock is still $51 even though the Dow Jones has risen from 11,000 to 12,700. Why hasn't this stock taken off like it did between 1998 and 2003? What's wrong with Citigroup? The dividend growth has been phenomenal and revenues as well as earnings have been setting records every year. Citigroup ... [full story]
1752 times read - No comment posted

May 25,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: A good friend recently bought 1,000 shares of CytRx Corp. because of a pending medical discovery that might be effective against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and diabetes. It's too complicated to detail in print, but I'd like your thoughts on purchasing 1,000 shares. It's a cheap stock and trades at $3.96 a share. But my major question is about my daughter's account at Wachovia. She was told in February of this year ... [full story]
1522 times read - No comment posted

May 25,2007
Can you imagine someone ripping you off for a Payday candy bar? Something close to that apparently has been happening at the University of Texas, where the financial aid office maintained a list of the freebies showered on the staff by student loan companies. Payday candy bars caught my eye; however, there were other goodies, including barbecue lunches, lasagna, cakes, popcorn and ice cream. Why would student loan companies want to give these folks sugar ... [full story]
1494 times read - No comment posted

May 25,2007
 During graduation season millions of college (and high school) seniors will march on stage in graduation caps and gowns to the relieved cheers of parents and friends. Many have already lined up a job in their chosen field, while others stand at a crossroads, wondering what to do in the next chapter of their lives. If you're an upcoming grad or one of your kids is, take heart: Many resources are available to help find ... [full story]
2160 times read - No comment posted

May 18,2007
When teenagers start shopping for colleges, the price is often not something they dwell upon. Which is why I wasn't surprised when a mother recently told me about the experience of her daughter's boyfriend, who will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall. The boy, who intends to major in journalism, was stunned at how little money Notre Dame awarded him, and he is naturally anxious about how he's going to pay ... [full story]
2093 times read - No comment posted

May 18,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I bank at LaSalle Bank, which is being taken over by Bank of America. I bought Bank of America when you recommended it last year and it's done nothing. Should I sell it because I have a very small profit? And what's your take on the takeover by Bank of America? Will we be getting better certificate of deposit and lower loan rates? O.N. Elgin, Ill. Dear O.N.: The takeover by Bank ... [full story]
2306 times read - No comment posted

May 18,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I want to invest in a small company that specializes in nanotechnology because I think this is the wave of the future. I'm told of a company called Altair Nanotechnologies that is, according to research given to me by my broker, on the cutting edge of many new products. I would like to buy 20,000 shares of Altair at $3.90 because it seems to have excellent promise according to WR Hambrecht's research. ... [full story]
2692 times read - No comment posted

May 18,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: Over the past 20 years, I've probably experimented with call options a dozen or so times because I could control 100 shares of a $50 stock up to nine months for about $200. The only time I ever profited was when I bought the May $55 GalxoSmithKline options in March of 2000. Glaxo was trading at $51 and I paid $175 for a call that would let me buy Glaxo at $55. ... [full story]
1604 times read - No comment posted

May 18,2007
Many people recall their wedding day as one of their happiest, filled with cherished memories and promises of a bright future. But at an average cost of more than $27,000, it's not surprising that some weddings start couples off on the wrong financial footing, setting the stage for future money problems.   Don't hear wedding bell money blues Marriage unites two lives, including two separate financial track records. While you each may bring assets and savings to ... [full story]
1497 times read - No comment posted

May 18,2007
WASHINGTON - Three major U.S. lenders -- Sallie Mae, Nelnet and College Loan Corp. -- announced they plan to up student loan discounts to offset industry competition. However, some claim the shift to better rates on student loans is meant to deflect criticism over recent allegations that students were forced to pay higher rates due to deals giving cash and other rewards to colleges that promote the lenders, USA Today reported Wednesday. "As the public ... [full story]
1144 times read - No comment posted

May 11,2007
When my daughter was preparing to retake the SAT last fall, she asked me to help her with some sample questions that she'd missed. She was supposed to pick out the mistakes in various sentences. They could have been missing a semicolon or the tenses didn't match or there was some other crime against English grammar rules. When I looked at the circled test questions, I was as mystified as Caitlin. The sentences were clearly ... [full story]
1065 times read - No comment posted

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