Multi-industry conglomerate and spin offs a keeper for portfolio

Dear Mr. Berko: In 2008, I was 46. My husband passed away that year, and my 600 shares of United Technologies were selling at $43 each. I own eight stocks, United Technologies, which recently announced a spinoff into three companies. I’m now 56, and my stockbroker for the past 10 years, who was my husband’s […]

Tips for addressing commission payments in consulting contracts

Q: After being laid off from a company last year, I’ve started my own consulting business. Things have been going pretty smoothly, at least until now. I struck an agreement with a local company to perform services for its clients. They are willing to pay me by the hour, plus a commission. When I received […]

New prostate cancer drugs may provide path to additional research

February 1 TAKING STOCK BY MALCOLM BERKO New prostate cancer drugs may provide path to additional research Dear Mr. Berko: My husband of 34 years is a retired Marine colonel with prostate cancer, and the doctors told him that it is aggressive and could metastasize. I know that you know a lot about prostate cancer […]

Update or Just Repair?

Many factors to consider in decision to remodel bathroom Dear Edith: We bought a wonderful home in a desirable suburb last June. It was built in 1988, and it has been well maintained with a beautiful kitchen upgrade, but there are no bathroom updates. We’ve discovered a leak in the shower in the master bath, […]

Throwing an heirloom party a unique approach to downsizing

Every time you have a family get-together, whether for a holiday or another kind of celebration, family memories are created and stories are usually told, which helps pass a verbal history from one generation to the next. As the patriarchs and matriarchs age, the question of downsizing always comes to mind. Some will opt to […]

A roundup of responses to variety of questions

Dear Readers: The following are answers to recent letters received at my post office box from readers who did not include a stamped self-addressed envelope. I list the cities where the questions came from in my answers. In response to a question from Moline, Ill.: Over the past few dozen years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have asked […]

Update or Just Repair?

Many factors to consider in decision to remodel bathroom Dear Edith: We bought a wonderful home in a desirable suburb last June. It was built in 1988, and it has been well maintained with a beautiful kitchen upgrade, but there are no bathroom updates. We’ve discovered a leak in the shower in the master bath, […]

Self-driving cars may not provide the anticipated mass appeal

Dear Mr. Berko: I’ve invested $85,000 in five companies involved in the development and manufacturing of autonomous vehicles. Four of the five issues currently trade well below my cost basis. I am beginning to have doubts and wonder whether I should sell Aptiv, Volkswagen, Renault and General Motors. I’m profitable in Microsoft. What do you […]