Buying First Investment

Ms. Lank: My husband has a chance to buy the house next door to us. They would give us a mortgage, and we would rent it out. He was wondering whether you have any guidelines for how we could know whether it would pay to do it. Any info or advice you have would be […]

Propane distributor offers good income, moderate risk

Dear Mr. Berko: My spouse and I are both in our early 60s, and we have $10,000, with the hope of being able to get an 8 to 9 percent return. I know this may be a high reach because we don’t want to own any volatile issues. If there is such an animal that […]

Government-allowed 401(k) maximum may not be enough by itself

Dear Carrie, I’m turning 35 this year, and finally ready to start saving for retirement. If I contribute the maximum to my 401(k) every year, will I be OK? – A Reader   Dear Reader, First, congratulations. Making the first move can be the hardest of all, so I applaud your decision. Also, you ask […]

Project crowdfunding brings new creative finance option into view

It seems like only yesterday — wait, it WAS only yesterday — we were trying to wrap our brains around cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum. It seems like only this morning — wait, it WAS this morning — we were trying to figure out what a blockchain is all about. Now for the newest buzzword […]

Struggles over management may spell trouble for Newell Brands

Dear Mr. Berko: What happened to Newell? I bought 500 shares at $43 in September of 2017. My broker tells me to sell the stock and take a loss and wants me to put the proceeds in American Funds New Perspective. Your advice would be appreciated. – J.M., Moline, Ill.   Dear J.M.: New Perspective […]

Appraisers and brokers are valuable even when selling on your own

Dear Edith: When we get ready to sell our home, should we pay for a professional appraiser or just rely on Realtors’ suggestions? Can we call brokers if we’re really going to sell on our own? – P.I.   It’s clearly unfair to mislead agents by asking for a free market analysis on the pretense […]

Determining whether teens must file taxes is surprisingly simple

Dear Carrie, My daughter is 16 and has her first paying job. Does she need to file a separate tax return? – A Reader   Dear Reader, congratulations to your daughter — and to you. A first job is an important milestone for both kids and parents. It’s a step toward independence and personal responsibility […]