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Rick Brooks's Latest Posts

Six Mistakes People Make with Annuities

| September 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

Ask some financial advisors what they think about annuities, and their first thought is likely to be “Commissions.” They won’t say that, of course, but the reality is that annuity sales generate huge revenues for brokers and insurance agents. So it’s no surprise that they sell a lot of them. But are they good for […]

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A Tale of Two Decisions

| August 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

The stock market drop in February and March was the fastest drop of that magnitude on record. The recovery since late March has been equally breathtaking. In fact, many people we speak with are surprised that the broad stock market has completely recovered its losses for the year. During turbulent markets like these, investors face […]

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Investing in an Election Year

| July 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

You’re going to be hearing a lot of people talking about how to ‘prepare your portfolio’ for the election results. I could make a case for lots of different possible outcomes, regardless of whom is ultimately elected. At the end of the day, though, the markets will have the final say, and it’s likely to […]

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Investing in the “New Normal”: Now what?

| June 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

As I write this article, it appears that the current outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has peaked in most U.S. states. State and local lock-down orders are being eased, but it’s an open question as to what will pass for a new normal while the pandemic continues. Even as some states begin to open up, […]

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Disciplined Investing in Volatile Markets

| May 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

The past few weeks have been a wild ride, to be sure. With financial markets selling off and government efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak starting to crimp both economic and personal activity, it’s very reasonable to be concerned about what will happen in the coming months. Frankly, there are about as many theories as […]

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Paying for College

| March 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

A college education gives your child a significant advantage in today’s job market, generally delivering higher earnings throughout their entire working life. Over the years, Congress has introduced many different incentives to help families afford the cost. Here are several of the key incentives and how they can help with you with the rising cost […]

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What Happens If I Don’t Have A Will?

| February 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

I occasionally hear this question, and the answer is somewhat surprising to those who ask me: even if you do not create a Last Will and Testament, you still have one. It was written by your state legislature. A will is basically a set of instructions that tells your heirs how to wind up your […]

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Have a Happier New Year

| January 5, 2020 | 0 Comments

As a financial planner, my basic role is to help people make their lives better, whether it’s through realizing their dreams or simply organizing their finances. In more than 20 years of working with clients, I’ve found that the most impactful conversations are often not about money. They are about life, health and relationships. With […]

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Charitable Gifting Today

| December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated or capped a lot of itemized deductions for most taxpayers. While deductions for charitable gifts were preserved, raising the standard deduction meant that many taxpayers lost the benefit of all but the largest donations. Here are some strategies that you can use to squeeze out the […]

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I’ve Been Hacked! Now What?

| November 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

These words bring a certain level of dread to most people who hear (or think them). But what can you really do if you’ve been hacked? First, it’s going to depend on just what information has been compromised and where the hack occurred. I got a call from AppleCare (or Dell or Microsoft) saying… No […]

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