If customer service is a priority, Schwab is a poor choice

Dear Mr. Berko: I’m 83 and a conservative investor. My stockbroker of 21 years retired from his six-man firm, and my $166,000 individual retirement account isn’t big enough for Merrill Lynch or Morgan Stanley. I’m sharp enough to manage my account. And I won’t make any big changes, because I own quality electric, natural gas […]

Single-country exchange-traded funds are good low risk option

Dear Mr. Berko: My wife and I are engineers, and we’re in our late 40s. In June 2015, you recommended a group of single-country exchange-traded funds, and we bought 800 shares of the iShares MSCI Italy Capped ETF at $15. It’s now about $31, and our stockbroker wants us to sell this ETF and put […]

Options exist for college fund, even if child skips college

Dear Carrie, We’ve been saving in a 529 account for years for our son’s education, but it now looks like he won’t be going to college. Are there other options for using this money? – A Reader   Dear Reader, One of the great — and challenging — things about having kids is that they […]

The 12 dumbest, most common mistakes that small businesses make

With more and more people starting businesses of their own — out of necessity, not choice — I’m seeing more and more people making the same mistakes over and over again. Here is my top 12 list of the dumbest entrepreneurial moves. All are easily avoidable with a little common sense and street smarts. Not […]

Mismanagement and competition make Yelp a poor investment

Dear Mr. Berko: I bought 1,000 shares of Yelp last year at $28. Should I continue to hold the stock? – P.K., Erie, Pa.   Dear P.K.: “Yelp” is defined by Oxford Dictionaries, not Wall Street, as “a short, sharp cry, especially of pain or alarm.” Yelp (YELP-$42) came public in March 2012, offering 8.3 […]