Essential techniques for managing your business – and your clients

If you have a service business, you have to develop techniques for keeping your clients happy. Without clients, you’re out of business. However, bending over backward for your clients may not be the best long-term strategy for growing your business. The nicer you are to your clients, the more they are tempted to take advantage […]

Factors indicate that 30,000 Dow Jones is a real possibility

Dear Mr. Berko: Last February, you said the Dow Jones industrial average could pass 30,000 in 10 years. Considering the possibility of higher interest rates, dangerous international situations — Brexit, Catalonia, the Kurds, North Korea, global warming, the Middle East, Afghanistan, the economic failure of Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina — the huge costs […]

Grocery acquisition could be boon or downfall for Amazon

Dear Mr. Berko: In January 2015, I bought 300 shares of Amazon at $342 a share, and it just kept going up and up. I never thought Amazon could rise so much that quickly. This year, my shares increased by more than 300 points, and I’m very nervous because I have such a large profit […]

Planning a funeral is costly both financially and emotionally

Dear Carrie, I just watched my best friend experience the death of her mother. Not only did she suffer a loss but the process of making funeral arrangements seemed more difficult and costly than they needed to be. What is your advice for other families going through this? – A Reader   Dear Reader, First […]

Misconceptions about entrepreneurship are common in competitions

‘Tis business plan competition season once again. This time of year, I spend lots of time traveling around the country judging business plan competitions at colleges and universities. The participants are either undergraduate or business school students who form “teams” and compete for cash prizes or (sometimes) face time with me and other influential people […]

Investing money in Sears and Coca-Cola would be a big mistake

Dear Mr. Berko: Sears finally reported a profit last May — $2.28 a share. My stockbroker had me buy 1,000 shares in early June at $7 because he thought Sears had turned the corner to profitability. He insists Sears will trade in the low $10s this year and wants me to buy 1,000 more shares. […]

FINRA establishing database to improve regulatory enforcement

Dear Mr. Berko: My brother-in-law, who is a longtime human resources officer with a New York Stock Exchange brokerage, told me that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is establishing a new database to improve regulatory enforcement. This database will include information about all Americans’ brokerage accounts, their personal financial information and the details of every […]