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Apr 20,2007
Seventy-three percent of U.S. adults think life insurance costs too much, according to a 2006 Mutual Life Insurance Co. survey conducted by Harris Interactive. But declaring "I can't afford it" is not a good enough reason for not buying a life insurance plan, some experts say. They argue that life insurance is a good way of financially caring for loved ones after you die.   FINANCIAL ADVISER - Darrell Jones is a financial advisor with New ... [full story]
3046 times read - No comment posted

Apr 20,2007
In 1999, the Securities and Exchange Commission tossed out a proposal that anyone with just a left or right brain could have found alarming. The SEC suggested that stockbrokers could give some financial advice to customers without having to become registered investment advisers. The SEC's proposal was puzzling because it would have helped to gut an excellent investor protection that Americans have enjoyed since World War II. The regulatory distinctions between investment advisers and stockbrokers, ... [full story]
1478 times read - No comment posted

Apr 20,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: My wife and I are 65 and 67 respectively. We sold our small business in the high-tax state of California for $525,000 two years ago and invested $135,000 of that money in dividend stocks, put the remaining in money market then moved to be with our children. We have just enough income from our Individual Retirement Accounts, Social Security, plus a duplex in Bethlehem, Pa., and won't (for three to five years) ... [full story]
3284 times read - No comment posted

Apr 20,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I'm an attorney in Cincinnati and sometimes agree with your harsh comments of members of my profession. It's often deserved but as often it's undeserved. I've been reading your column for years and have learned to respect your opinions and commonsense approach to readers' questions. Now I find myself in need of your expertise. A client recently received a $1 million insurance settlement. She's a wonderful and healthy 79-years-young lady who needs ... [full story]
2832 times read - No comment posted

Apr 20,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: There's a bank called Millennium Bank that I discovered on the Internet, which is offering Certificates of Deposit for seven years that guarantee 9 percent. It's a subsidiary of a big Swiss bank that is in Zurich and because its subsidiary is on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the interest is tax-free, which makes the 9 percent yield even better. I'm 70 and just retired several months ago and ... [full story]
2551 times read - No comment posted

Apr 20,2007
Like many people, I often take my health for granted. I plan to work for many more years, but you never know: Studies have shown that Americans of all ages are more likely to become disabled in a given year than to die, and that nearly a third are likely to suffer a serious disability between the ages of 35 and 65. People often buy life insurance to protect their families, but it usually only ... [full story]
1114 times read - No comment posted

Apr 20,2007
Get rich with no risk. The classic business pitch is usually too good to be true - unless you're talking about the student loan business. Student loans, which banks and other lenders avoided in decades past, have become a creditor's dream. Their product is desperately needed, the multibillion-dollar market is growing like gangbusters, and if things go south, lenders can turn to the government for a bailout. The federal government estimates that college students and ... [full story]
1192 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2007
Recently, I received an e-mail from a partner at a law firm that would make most human resources directors sweat. The e-mail came from Jerome J. Schlichter, whose law firm, Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, used to be known for its railroad personal injury cases. But that was before the firm got into a promising new source of litigation that offers more low-hanging fruit than a Sunkist orchard. Last fall, the firm began suing Fortune 500 ... [full story]
939 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I'm thinking of buying 100 shares of Bristol-Myers for income and growth. You always said that the best time to buy a stock is when nobody wants it and it seems that nobody wants to own Bristol-Myers. I bought two issues nobody wanted just over a year ago when you recommended the Ford Motor Convertible Preferreds and the General Motors Preferred. I bought 150 shares of each and got a 12 percent ... [full story]
1232 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: In 1999 I bought 75 shares of Circuit City Stores at $31 (split adjusted) and sold them at $58 less than a year later. I watched the stock fall to $5 in 2003 but didn't have the guts to buy 1,000 shares. The stock is down to $19 from $31 last year and I am thinking of buying 300 shares. Please give me your thoughts on this stock. Goldman Sachs has a ... [full story]
2672 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: My wife and I are both 77 and recently sold our home for $266,000 after all costs. The only income we have is Social Security, one state pension and a small insurance check. We need income. Our nephew is a broker with a big New York member firm and has suggested that we invest $100,000 into this index annuity from which we can get $10,000 a year and is guaranteed that we ... [full story]
1356 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2007
These can't be easy times for senior housing/healthcare borrowers hoping to get a better handle on how current Federal Reserve Board monetary policies will impact long-term interest rates in the months ahead. "At this time, Federal Reserve Board policies appear to be driven by a logic that says, when in doubt, it's best to leave well enough alone," says funding expert Jeffrey A. Davis.   Jeffrey A. Davis, Chairman of Cambridge Realty Capital Companies "The Fed is attempting ... [full story]
4971 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2007
For many of us, the agony of filing taxes each April is partially offset by knowing that a few weeks later we’ll get a nice refund from Uncle Sam (assuming you don’t have to write him a check). Last year, nearly 70 percent of the nearly 123 million U.S. taxpayers received refunds averaging $2,237. But before you go out and blow your refund on a flat-panel TV, take a deep breath and consider a few ... [full story]
1499 times read - No comment posted

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