Regional banks benefit from economy, reform, regulation

Dear Mr. Berko: If you think it’s a good idea, we’d like to invest $25,000 each in three regional banks for our self-managed retirement account. During the last 14 years we earned an average annual return of 8.2%. I think continued improvement in the economy warrants this purchase. We’ve selected PNC, and I would like […]

What money values are you passing on to your kids?

Mother’s Day had me feeling a bit wistful about the fact that my kids are now in their 20s, and like so many of us, I wonder where the time has gone. As I’ve been thinking about what it is to be a mom, I’ve been doing some soul-searching about what I’ve tried to teach […]

Replace a shower mixing valve with a new one

Dear James: Whenever one of the kids flushes a toilet while I am showering, the water gets very hot. Would installing a new type of shower valve help, and can you give me some do-it-yourself tips? — Melissa B. Dear Melissa: This is a very common problem when your bathtub has the old two-handle (hot […]

B&G foods delivers good taste, long-term investment

Dear Mr. Berko: Your buy, sell or hold thoughts on B&G Foods and why. Do directors of public corporations earn their pay? — N.L., Jonesboro, Arkansas Dear N.L.: Cream of Wheat is one of my favorite morning foods, and so is McCann’s Irish oatmeal when I toss a fistful of raisins in the bowl. B&G’s […]

Blank check companies offer more risk than return

Dear Mr. Berko: I’m close to retirement and my $400,000 IRA didn’t do well under my previous broker. Over the last 11 years, it’s averaged 7.23%. I asked him to be more aggressive, and it’s just not his style. So I moved to another firm, using a broker I’ve known for 20 years who told […]

Often-asked questions answered in brief

Dear Readers: The following are some frequently asked questions with some short answers. Socialism vs. Capitalism in the United States: Many politicians are taking “Santa Claus” classes at night school, resulting in a growing molehill of congresspeople who are slowly morphing into socialists with proposals for free education, free health care and a universal basic […]

Baby boomers stay in the game with maturepreneurship

Millions of baby boomers are leaving corporate America, but few are ready to retire. The solution for many of them? Maturepreneurship. Entrepreneurs in their 50s, 60s and 70s start 25 percent of all new businesses each year, according to Bruce Markewicz, founder of Maturepreneur Today, a new information and resource website for second-act business owners. […]

Bridge adds visual interest to landscape design

Dear James: I am planning to sell my house, so I want to improve the landscaping. I think a small decorative bridge would look nice over a gully near the flower gardens. How should I build it, and what material is best? — Ron M. Dear Ron: Adding a bridge to your garden — or […]