Dear Mr. Berko: In 2004, my wife inherited 600 shares of Volkswagen and 350 shares of BMW from her uncle who lived in Munich.
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Dear Mr. Berko: In September of 2011, you recommended the Nuveen Municipal Value Closed-End Fund for my brother who bought it at $9.39 to yield over 5.2 percent.
Dear Mr. Berko: We are in our early 80s and in good health. Four years ago, we had $106,000 in CDs and money market accounts.
Dear Mr. Berko: Is McDonald’s stock one of Warren Buffett’s largest holdings? How many times has McDonald’s split?
Dear Mr. Berko: I’m 68, and my wife is 66. I’ve worked as a diesel mechanic for 42 years, and my wife was head of our church’s religious school from 1997 until last year.
Dear Mr. Berko: Last April, IBM reported lower revenues and profits, and the stock dropped 25 points, to $195. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to buy the stock because the new CEO seems like a very sharp lady.
Dear Mr. Berko: Why is President Barack Obama reducing the amount of our future Social Security income increases, and why is he limiting the amount of money we can invest in our individual retirement accounts and 401(k) programs?
Dear Mr. Berko: This may sound undoable, but I would like to be an aggressive investor with five or six speculative stocks that have good long-term potential (not more than three years) and get a dividend income of 5 to 6 percent.
Dear Mr. Berko: I’m 75. I never have been in stocks — except for my state pension, for which I did not pick the investments.
Dear Mr. Berko: Do you think interest rates are going to rise? Because I believe they will soon, I would like to sell U.S. Treasury bonds short. What’s the best way to do this? — PT, Cincinnati Dear PT: A short sale is betting that …
Dear Mr. Berko: My daughter owns a profitable business in another state and has 87 employees.
Dear Mr. Berko: I bought 100 shares of Verizon in October 2008 for my individual retirement account because I had the spare cash and because I was a Verizon Wireless customer.
Dear Mr. Berko: How can you recommend Treasury inflation-protected securities? The government claims that inflation is 1.8 percent. That is ridiculous. It’s much higher than that. Our homeowners insurance just increased to $7,800 on a home worth $340,000.
Some readers have asked for my opinion on the Japanese stock market, the Japanese economy and the stocks of Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, Canon, Sumitomo and other large Japanese companies.
Dear Mr. Berko: You have said often that the $85 billion a month the Federal Reserve injects into the banking system has forced stock prices to rise. Could you please explain why or how in simple layman’s English?
Dear Mr. Berko: I was thinking of buying another 100 shares of Altria Group Inc. because it pays a 4.95 percent dividend and because it seems to be a decent growth stock.