Dear Mr. Berko: I'm a 35-year-old physician, and I'm finally getting married. A jeweler in Chicago has shown me a nearly flawless, $58,000, 5-carat diamond for my fiance’. It's a wonder to look at and seems like it could be a good investment. When I asked the jeweler how much this stone could be worth in 10 years, he couldn't answer me. So I'm putting this question to you. – WS, ChicagoRead More »
DEAR BENNY: We moved to Jacksonville, Fla., in 2010, but still own a home in Pensacola that we are renting to some friends. We got a check in the mail for an alleged overpayment from escrow. I remember telling my wife they had the home insurance wrong on the HUD-1 form, so we figured it was discovered and they reimbursed us. So we used the money to pay bills.Read More »
Dear Mr. Berko: I have a little over $12,000, and I would like to speculate with it and buy one of two stocks that trade below $10 a share. Please recommend a few low-price issues that can maybe double their value in two or three years. I don't want to lose this money, but I'm willing to take a chance if there's a possibility that I can double my money. – TJ, Rochester, Minn.
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DEAR BENNY: We live in California and own a second home within five miles of our primary residence. This second home has been used as a rental, initially to persons we were not connected with in any way. For the past 10 years, two different sets of relatives who were in need of a new start in life lived in the home.Read More »
Dear Mr. Berko: I bought 100 shares of Best Buy in the beginning of 2011 at $32, and now it's $26. Please tell me what you think its prospects are for this year and next. Do you think I should buy another 100 shares or hold what I have? Or should I sell my stock and take a loss?Read More »
As local, county and state governments face growing, and sometimes desperate, economic needs, they increasingly turn to real estate transfer taxes as a source of funding. This is a tax that may be imposed at the closing of home sales or other real property transactions.Read More »