About Malcolm Berko

Malcolm Berko

Malcolm Berko

After finishing high school in 1956, Malcolm Berko toured the United States for 10 months on a reconditioned Harley-Davidson before beginning his investment career as a margin clerk for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Bean. Merrill fired him two months before completing his degree in 1959, so he spent the next two years in graduate school. In 1962, Berko sold his Harley, got married and joined Thomson McKinnon Securities as a stockbroker. In 1982, Berko began writing Taking Stock, a syndicated financial column.

In 1990, Prudential Securities purchased Thomson & McKinnon. Several months later, Prudential asked Berko to resign because his column continued to speak unkindly of the many private-equity, real estate, limited partnerships sold by Prudential to trusting clients.

Berko quickly joined Advest Securities, which was subsumed 15 years later by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. However, because his column was critical of Merrill's mutual funds and selling practices, Merrill declined Berko employment. Berko immediately segued to Moors & Cabot, a boutique New York Stock Exchange brokerage founded in 1881. In January 2007, John Thain, then president of the NYSE, insisted that Moors & Cabot terminate Berko’s employment because his column’s comments were offensive to the honor of the Big Board. Berko continues to write his columns from his offices, which he occupies with his secretary in Boca Raton, Fla. By invitation, he will share his humorous and pithy comments about the stock market, politics and social events with audiences around the country.

Berko is a published poet and nature photographer. He was a ranking handball and racquetball player, has climbed Mount Everest twice (unsuccessfully) and occasionally backpacks the Himalayas. Berko collects old stock and bond certificates, first edition signed books and is a firearms enthusiast. He admires Winston Churchill, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Albert Einstein and William F. Buckley. He hosted a two-hour, call-in radio talk show for a dozen years and enjoys playing a poor game of golf. He has a son who is a physician, a daughter who practices law and four grandchildren.

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Repaying a Student Loan Mar 29, 2017

Dear Mr. Berko: Our 27-year-old son graduated college with a degree in sociology. He is our only child, lives with three other guys and owes $112,000 on student loans. He has asked us to pay if off and said he will give us $200 a month. We've enclose... Read More

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Yahoo Finance and Reinvesting Dividends Mar 29, 2017

Dear Mr. Berko: I'm writing for our 18-member investment club, which has been active since 1994. In 2008, we discovered Yahoo Finance. It was great, and we used it to help us research stocks for our $677,000 portfolio. It was first-rate and superbly ... Read More

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Reducius Shavius and Inflation Mar 22, 2017

Dear Mr. Berko: I'm taking an economics course in college. We're learning about inflation, and the professor wants each of us to write a paper on this subject. How do you explain inflation? I know that inflation means rising prices, but I can't under... Read More