Rick Brooks

rss feed

Rick Brooks's Latest Posts

What on Earth is a “Liquid Alternative”?

| July 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

Scarcely a day goes by that I don’t receive a call or at least two emails from somebody trying to sell me a “Liquid Alternative” mutual fund. Thankfully, only one of my clients has come to me saying “I’ve got to have some of these.” So what are these things and why might you want […]

Continue Reading

Should You Buy Earthquake Insurance?

| June 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

Recent events in Nepal got me thinking about a couple of things. The first was how I might be able to help such poor people so far away. The second was what would happen here at home if (when?) we were to be hit by the proverbial “Big One.” Unlike a lot of people, I […]

Continue Reading

Financial Planning for a Younger Spouse

| May 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

I’ve worked with several couples with very different birthdates. This isn’t good or bad – as they say, the heart wants what it wants. Still, the financial planning considerations are a little different than for people who marry someone closer to their own age. So, here are five things to think about when a couple’s […]

Continue Reading

Five Questions People (Almost) Never Ask Their Advisor

| April 6, 2015 | 0 Comments

I meet with a lot of people who are looking for financial advice. Their needs and financial knowledge vary greatly. And yet, it amazes me how rarely I am ever asked five simple, straightforward and utterly critical questions, which will go a LONG way towards helping you differentiate good advisors from salespeople. Each of these […]

Continue Reading

Does Global Investing Still Makes Sense?

| February 3, 2015 | 0 Comments
Does Global Investing Still Makes Sense?

In 2014, the S&P 500 Index of the stocks of the 500 largest U.S. companies rose 14 percent. Outside the U.S. it was a different story: the MSCI Europe, Australasia, and Far East (EAFE®) Index of foreign stocks fell almost five percent and stocks in emerging markets lost about two percent. Over the past three […]

Continue Reading

Retirement Accounts: Trusts as Beneficiaries

| January 6, 2015 | 0 Comments

I hope you’ve enjoyed the holidays. As we ring in the New Year and start our client review cycle, one of the things that we do for our clients is to review the beneficiary designations of their retirement accounts (pensions, IRAs, etc.). This is important because the beneficiary designations that you elect control who gets […]

Continue Reading

Retirement Accounts: Distribution Rules

| December 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

With the year-end approaching, an important deadline for retirement account owners is also coming, so this column will deal with some of the rules surrounding IRAs and distributions. A significant caveat applies here: the rules can be very complex and people have literally written books on the topic. So I won’t be able to cover […]

Continue Reading

Optimizing Social Security

| November 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

There has been a lot written about Social Security lately, but I was stunned recently by a presentation at the UCSD Economics Roundtable. According to Professor John Shoven of Stanford University (who studies Social Security, aging and retirement), the VAST majority of Americans claim their Social Security benefits as soon as they are able (age […]

Continue Reading

Tax Efficient Charitable Giving

| October 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

A couple of months ago, I wrote about having a charitable giving plan, and how that can allow people to be strategic about their charitable gifts. As tax rates have been on the rise lately, many people have been looking for ways to reduce their income tax bill while benefitting the community. The whole point […]

Continue Reading

Life Insurance – What’s The Catch?

| September 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Life insurance is an important part of any financial plan. It is designed to provide financial resources for a family in the event that a member’s premature death would cause financial hardship for the survivors. However, life insurance is often used for a variety of creative purposes beyond its intended design, and therein lies the […]

Continue Reading