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Feb 25,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: I have a big loss in NYSE Euronext (aka New York Stock Exchange) and I'm tempted to sell it to take a $4,000 loss. But I heard that John Thain could rejoin the company. When he took it over, the stock did real well, going as high as $84. I didn't sell because I liked Thain and because he told a friend of mine that it would go above $100 and then ... [full story]
2007 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: How are U.S. government bonds rated on the world market? My broker says they are not rated "buy," but carry an "implied Triple-A rating" because of our ability to repay the debt. With that debt increasing, are U.S. Treasury bonds still comparable to a Triple-A Moody's or Standard and Poor's rating? If you could point one finger at one person who is responsible for this mess, who would it be? My broker ... [full story]
2194 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: In July, when it was selling at $550 a share I asked you about Google. You said not to buy it. But I bought 50 shares at $492 anyway. Also against your advice, I bought 900 shares of Microsoft at $27. Both stocks closed lower than my purchase price on the day I bought them. I guess that was a bad omen, because I'm down nearly 20 points, or $10,000, on Google. ... [full story]
2074 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: My parents lost all their retirement nest egg of $1.8 million to Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. But suing him would obviously be fruitless because he has no assets. I did read, however, that some investors are suing a bank that was custodian for much of Madoff's money called HSBC. (What do those initials stand for?) Even though HSBC was just a custodian, a lawyer we talked to said the bank failed to ... [full story]
3497 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
It won't surprise anyone that we talk plenty about personal finance at my office — about the importance of saving and investing for the future, and about finding ways to make that process easier and more effective for people. But lately, the big topic of conversation has focused more on spending than investing. The discussion gets boiled down into something along these lines: "On the one hand, I think I should be saving my money. ... [full story]
1163 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Retirement. Today's economic turmoil has changed the equation for many who are either nearing retirement age or who have recently left the workforce. Millions of Americans are finding that their savings aren't adequate — or that they miss the challenges and rewards of the workplace. Whatever the reason, the financial and psychological implications of that decision can be significant. Here are some things to think about as you decide if you are going to stay ... [full story]
1261 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
What are your money beliefs? The way you behave with money proves what you believe about it. Behaviors are symptoms of values, and when it comes to personal finances and money management, a wishy-washy belief system results in a messed-up financial life. People without strong financial belief systems end up being controlled by their money. Because they cannot trust their own ability to make sound decisions, they let anyone who comes along with a slick ... [full story]
1581 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2009
Q: I receive Social Security disability benefits. I am a finalist in a contest where I could win $100,000. Will I lose my disability benefits if I win all that money? A: If you are indeed receiving SOCIAL SECURITY disability benefits, then you will keep those benefits even if you win all that money. Social Security is considered an "entitlement" program, as opposed to a welfare program. In other words, you worked and earned your ... [full story]
2144 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2009
A large but subdued crowd of investors gathered in Orlando, Fla., for the annual MoneyShow last week. When asked for their outlook, fully a third of the audience said the market could linger around the 8,000 level for a decade, similar to the market of the 1970s, which traded around the 800 level for nearly a dozen years. Pessimism abounded, although each investment guru could find at least one sector worthy for investment. Problem was, ... [full story]
1093 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: Now that Barack Obama is in the White House, I am not alone in believing the economy will soon begin to turn around. We believe that President Obama is more interested in the economy than in "war on terror" and will devote the power of his office to repairing the banking system, making jobs available, lowering taxes, providing affordable health care, ending discrimination in the work place, and taking graft out of ... [full story]
1407 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: A salesman has been soliciting me to buy gold bullion. Even thought I'm familiar with all the negatives of owning the metal, his pitch makes awfully good sense. He insists the United States will go through a period of hyperinflation because of the trillions of dollars being added to the national debt. I don't want to buy gold. So I'm asking you, are there any alternatives to protect us if inflation runs ... [full story]
1557 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: I responded to a newspaper ad headlined "LOST MORE THAN $100,000 in Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac Preferred ..." Well, I have. I have lost $132,000 in Fannie and Freddie plus preferreds of Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citicorp and Lehman Brothers. I bought these securities for income in early 2008 on my broker's advice and, as you know, they collapsed. Well, I think I made a mistake because the attorney who ... [full story]
1522 times read - No comment posted

Feb 16,2009
While many people think of April 15 as the dreaded tax deadline, I like to look at it in a more positive light. I think of it as the retirement savings deadline. That's because April 15 is the last day you can make your IRA contribution for the previous year. So if you haven't made your 2008 contribution yet, you still have time. And so does your nonworking spouse. That's right. Even if your spouse ... [full story]
1325 times read - No comment posted

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