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The Daily Wrap: 07.19.18
July 20, 2018 08:33 AM PDT
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01:18 - Gregory explains how Trump should factor into your financial decisions.

03:52 - Gregory reports on how much of our national debt is held by foreign countries, and how many countries have sold off big chunks of our bonds. Russia has unloaded most of their bond holdings, and has been buying up gold. What's going on with that?

13:13 - Russia's GDP has fallen by almost half since the price of oil crashed a few years ago. Gregory shows how Russia lost money dumping our bonds, and lost money on the gold they've been acquiring in recent years.

16:10 - Gregory shares how he evaluates a stock. Start with the company, it's earnings, do the books look good? Is the stock in a buying position? You have to make sure you're buying the right company, and you're buying it at the right time. Maybe you should wait a day or two if you're not sure.

19:41 - China is a much bigger economic counterweight to the United States than Russia. Their economy is around ten times as big, and China holds over a trillion in US debt. Russia is a bit player compared to China when it comes to affecting our economy and your money. The rest of the list on US debt holdings by country is a fun discussion.

25:03 - Gregory expects Russia to attempt to influence any and every election they can. Every country tries to influence any election they can. China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, and those countries are probably trying to hack anything and everything they can at all times, but here's the better part: we probably get hack attempts from allies like the UK, France, and Germany.

26:29 - What happens to all of the Burberry merchandise that goes unsold? Gregory reveals a common practice of the high end retail industry to maintain status and price: they burn it.

32:29 - We have a new richest man in the world: Jeff Bezos.

34:22 - The highest paid celebrities list is always interesting. Good to see the Rock doing so well.
37:21 - The Numbers come in a bit mixed, but a report says Tesla's cancellations are outpacing new reservations. Gregory questions the logic of a country with $21 trillion in debt continuing to subsidize companies like Tesla.


The Daily Wrap: 07.18.18
July 19, 2018 07:39 AM PDT
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01:33 - Tax Reform 2.0 is in the early stages of discussion, and Gregory breaks down the different proposals being talked about. One of the issues they want to address is encouraging retirement savings. Gregory Ricks pokes holes in some of the ideas being reported, including the Universal Savings Account. Gregory sees what they are trying to do, and points out a much simpler fix to get to where they want to be. The government needs to give up some tax incentives to encourage saving now, to save on revenue in the long term when people are less likely to need Medicaid.

15:32 - Gregory continues to break down the proposals reported in Tax Reform 2.0, and offers some of his own ideas for Congress to consider.

25:04 - Gregory gives some quick thoughts on the politics of the day. Watching how Trump handles Putin, it is clear he is going about it like a businessman and not a politician. Anyone who doesn't understand why Trump is being so polite and gracious to Putin doesn't understand how negotiation usually work in the business world.

27:46 - Jonathan in West Virginia asks Gregory how to know if his 401k is performing well or not. Some coworkers bragged about huge gains, and Jonathan wonders if he's done something wrong.

36:02 - Jake in Larose is thinking about buying tax leins on properties in hopes of eventually getting ownership on the cheap. Gregory explains the various points of risk, and generally leans away from getting into any venture with so many unknowns.

40:49 - Chase in Gulfport has $2,000 in extra income monthly to invest. Should he pay down his mortgage with that money, or is there better options? Gregory asks a few questions, and has some powerful investing options for that money, maybe even using a 7702 plan.


The Daily Wrap: 07.16.18
July 17, 2018 08:15 AM PDT
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01:41 - The IRS formally approves of the backdoor Roth IRA. You can contribute to a Roth IRA directly up to a certain income level, but you can still contribute to non-deductable IRA and convert it to a Roth IRA. The rules were even confirmed in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, and it's a great way for high income earners to diversify their tax liability in retirement.

06:46 - Today is Amazon Prime Day, but there doesn't seem to be as much fanfare as last year. The Amazon psuedo-holiday is being crowded with an avalanche of other retailers announcing their super-special deals for the day. Gregory and James note this event that started as a way for Amazon to celebrate its birthday is becoming Black Friday in July, and that could be a good thing.

15:43 - James observes how the speech in the office at Gregory Ricks and Associates is full of coded language and unusually vague speech. It's not simply the addition of complex financial terms or acronyms, but the protection of personal client information compels various changes as well. The crew seems to be well practiced in ways to tell someone's personal situation without including personal details.

20:35 - Gregory wants to coin a new term for the strategy of taking out a reverse mortgage and leaving a significant line of credit untouched so it can take advantage of growth from interest.

25:55 - Another tax free income stream was combined with a client's modest pension and Social Security benefits to give a client a total if $58,000 of income with only $18,000 of it being taxable. Using 7702 based income stream saves her thousands per year in taxes.

34:44 - Gregory teaches you the Step Transaction Doctrine. The legal precedent dates back to 1935, and if the IRS thinks you're making moves with the specific intent of getting around a tax, you could have problems. Do not work in a gray area, and if you're not sure, get a second opinion.


The Daily Wrap: 07.11.18
July 12, 2018 02:56 PM PDT
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02:36 - Once you get out of the market, where should that money go? Gregory and James review the call from Tom in Houma on Saturday's show, and Gregory goes a little bit deeper into how to assign different jobs to different groups of your assets. If you're getting out of the market because you think it's on its way down, you need to position those assets to be able to jump right back in the market on a moment's notice when things turn around. If you're exiting the market permanently, it's time to review your risk tolerance to see what tools would be appropriate.

17:32 - Gregory Ricks reviews the highlight caller Tam from New Orleans, who is thinking about getting a vacation home, and wants to know how to take the best financial advantage from it. Gregory often sees people wanting to get into real estate on the side, and the success stories come from people who treat it like a serious business. If you're just trying to squeeze a few extra bucks out of a second property you were going to buy anyway, that's one thing. If you're trying to turn this into a reliable source of income, one rental is probably not going to cut it.

21:53 - Jim watching on Facebook Live asks Gregory's thoughts on dabbling with Puts and Calls in your brokerage account to make a little extra money. Gregory warns Jim of the extra risk involved with that area, and says the more cautious investors steer clear.

28:05 - Numbers

33:57 - Gregory relays a discussion with a client about how to better guess what changes will be made by politicians that affect your money. When you look at the decision making process from the person who is just concerned about the next election, you will form more accurate expectations.

36:01 - Oil dropped 5% in one day.

40:40 - Sandra in Slidell wants Gregory's help in getting her debt under control. She has a mortgage, credit cards, student loans, and a few other smaller debts. Gregory recommends dialing her lifestyle back in the short term to get the credit cards paid off ASAP, and then reevaluate your situation. A lot of it will depend on if you plan on staying in your house, or could move soon.


The Daily Wrap: 07.09.18
July 11, 2018 10:53 AM PDT
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02:12 - With all of the options out there, the radio format with the greatest share of the audience is News Talk. While music radio has been losing listening time to other sources of music, new media platforms have actually enabled a nice increase in the listenership of News Talk programming.

05:54 - A new game show is coming to TruTV where the winning prize is paying off your student loans.

07:50 - Gregory shares the situation of a pension buyout offer in his office today, and how he walks his client through the process of determining if the offer is a good deal. Since the client is 68 and his job is ending in a few months, we know he needs to sign up for Medicaire and set up his Social Security account at SSA.gov.

13:52 - Life expectancy for a couple who makes it to 65 today will average out around 90. If you are in good health, you need to plan on living longer than average. If you're a smoker, maybe you shouldn't be expecting to live as long. Delaying the start of your Social Security benefits means you lock in a higher benefit for life, which is one way to max out your income in later years.

25:47 - When is retirement? For too many people, it's determined by when you are physically unable to work any longer. Your retirement should be whenever you're ready

28:17 - Wayne in Hammond is 59 and has worked 20 years in Florida, and 20 years in Louisiana. Wayne heard that he could get a bigger benefit if he filed in Florida instead of Louisiana. Gregory corrects the record in that it doesn't matter what state you live in, your benefit will be the same size. However, some states tax your Social Security differently, but that is determined by your primary residence, and not your work record.

32:23 - The Numbers: green!

37:36 - Donald in Belle Chase is double checking with Gregory to see if he can get a higher benefit for his wife when he turns on his benefit. Gregory has good news: if the spousal benefit is higher than her own record, you're getting a raise!

39:20 - Jim on the Mississippi Coast is a retiring state worker and wants Gregory's thoughts on taking a monthly pension check or a lump sum now. After some probing questions and looking at the math, it's probably best to take the monthly check. Jim's relatively early retirement age weighs heavily in the decision as well.


The Weekly Wrap: 07.07.18
July 10, 2018 08:44 AM PDT
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0:01:42 - Gregory recaps how the 4th of July week has been. The new unemployment numbers are a tick higher at 4.0%, but that's because 600k new job seekers entered the market, on top of a robust job gain of 213k in June. Economic growth these days is solid.

0:09:26 - How do you know when you should turn on your Social Security benefits?

0:21:11 - Tom in Houma asks Gregory when to know it's time to get out of the market, and what does getting out of the market look like? Gregory shows how everyone's unique personal situation is more important than market performance when determining an exit strategy.

0:38:35 - Gregory explains why people who are timing the market often end up disappointed. After spending years as a money manager, Gregory Ricks has noticed people hate negative numbers, and want to know what the plan is when things go south. Gregory teaches his clients how the stocks are chosen, how the no-risk tools work, and how to know your own tolerance for risk.

0:48:31 - Lesha Nugent Freeland of Keller Williams Realty is our guest from the Total Wealth Authority this week.

1:01:58 - Lesha talks about the process of learning what neighborhood would best suit her homebuying clients. Often, couples have different ideas on what type of house they are looking for, and have different needs from their location. One may think it's important to live as close as possible to work, but the other thinks it's more important to live as close as possible to the school of their choice.

1:06:36 - Lesha details what new technology has brought to the table when it comes to real estate. The ability to access information about a property has never been so convenient. Use these tools to know where you stand when it comes to the negotiations.

1:22:55 - Gregory Ricks and Lesha Nugent Freeland continue the discussion on how new technology is being used to help connect buyers and sellers in today's real estate world.

1:35:31 - The various tariff disputes escalating between America and some of our trading partners are important considerations for investors exposed to the market.

1:39:59 - Gregory breaks down the jobs numbers, and shows that our economy is better suited to weather a trade dispute than some of the people we are negotiating with.

1:42:44 - The First Rule: Avoid Losing Money. Gregory Ricks explains how to develop a masterplan for your money to weather market volatility and avoid big losses.

1:49:39 - Gregory Ricks previews his upcoming Social Security workshops in the works. It will be a quick event to explain how Social Security works, and how you can take advantage of your options to get the biggest benefit possible.

1:52:56 - Life expectancy continues to rise, and that means your money is going to have to last longer than ever in retirement. Social Security will be there in some form, and it will probably be tweaked now and again, but it's not going away. Think twice before you rush out to claim your Social Security benefits early.

2:03:04 - Gregory covers various interesting economic and financial statistics of the day.


The Daily Wrap: 07.06.18
July 10, 2018 12:25 PM PDT
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01:24 - The markets didn't seem to mind some of the bad news coming out of China and North Korea lately, which is a good sign our economy is robust enough to handle a little turbulence.

06:25 - Gregory previews some of the information that will be covered at the next Gregory Ricks Live: income planning, creating tax free income, Social Security Strategies, and estate planning.

09:21 - Are you interested in investing in Real Estate? Gregory deals with people who want to get into real estate to make some money, and shares some of the more common mistakes he sees. Buying real estate inside of you IRA can go horribly wrong if you mess it up.

14:55 - Gregory shares some additional insights on complications that can arise when buying real estate with an IRA.

21:45 - Michelle in Mandevilles asks Gregory Ricks if Social Security has any limits or penalties on outside income after full retirement age. Once you're at FRA, there is no clawbacks provisions nor penalties. The only thing that could cut into your Social Security check after FRA is taxes.

37:49 - If you can start getting Social Security checks at age 62, why would you wait to turn it on?

42:14 - Chris from Kenner is about to graduate college, and start saving through his employer plan. Should he be contributing to the regular 401k, or the Roth 401k? Gregory shows how the math tends to skew toward getting into a Roth account when you're younger.


The Daily Wrap: 07.05.18
July 10, 2018 10:42 AM PDT
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02:10 - Gregory shares some issues you need to know about when inheriting an IRA. Spousal IRAs havesome extra options, and mistakes can be costly. Even something as simple as retitling the IRA incorrectly can have a profound effect.

24:59 - Andrew in Madisonville is inheriting an IRA, and wants Gregory's guidance on how to best position that money to cover college costs for his daughters.

28:18 - Randy in Picayune asks Gregory the rules on how much you can contribute to an IRA after age 50. He also wants Gregory's thoughts on if he should be converting some of his money from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.

37:14 - Your IRA can't invest in collectibles, with the exception of a few minted precious metal coins.

43:01 - Steve in Houma asks Gregory to elaborate on the backdoor Roth IRA. Steve has heard us mention in before, and is above the income limits for direct contributions to a Roth IRA. Gregory shows him how the backdoor Roth conversions has been used for other people in similar situations.


The Daily Wrap: 07.02.18
July 10, 2018 09:50 AM PDT
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01:35 - Reports of the Fair and Reciprocal Trade Act are met with both critical policy analysis and juvenile humor.

03:24 - Kroger announces they will test groceries being delivered by a self driving car that looks like a giant lunch pail. Gregory explains how keeping up with the way technology is making subtle changes in people's behavior can help you see what's coming in the future.

13:23 - Lebron says he's going to the Lakers, and Gregory says that's the smart financial move. James points out the nose bleed taxes in California, but Gregory shows the math still works in favor of King James being in L.A..

29:27 - The Numbers are mostly positive, with all indices finishing in the green.

35:39 - Gregory addresses a rumor he was asked about today: no, Social Security is not going away.

37:51 - Gregory and James review some comments from John Hofmeister, the former head of Shell, about how the price of oil could continue to rise. The oil industry slowed their exploration investments when the price fell, while natural gas is becoming cheap enough to be a viable alternative.


The Weekly Wrap: 06.30.18
July 10, 2018 12:45 PM PDT
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01:31 - Heads up retail business owners! The new state sales tax rate for Louisiana goes into effect on July 1. It drops from 5% to 4.45%, but if you continue to collect the higher rate, you must remit those revenues to the state in full.

03:16 - The IRS releases its new 1040 that's supposed to be the size of a postcard. It's a little deceptive though, because you may have paperwork from up to 6 extra schedules to send in with the post card. It's not really that big of a deal, but the guy is trying to fulfill a campaign promise. Gregory points out that paper returns are hardly used these days anyway.

07:38 - Maria Bartiromo previews some of her interview with Trump, and it sounds like another round of tax reform is coming. It sounds like he's working on it now, and will release his plans later this year. Getting another tax cut could be great for the economy.

14:41 - Is your personality type more likely to be financially scammed? Gregory and James are surprised by a report that outlines the type of person that is most likely to be caught up in a financial scam.

26:47 - A cup of coffee in Venezuela now costs a million pesos, which is about 29 cents. Socialism at work.

31:45 - Gregory responds to criticism that Tesla is a sham company. CEO Elon Musk is a great showman, but what's the real problem with Tesla's production? Elon called Ford a morgue, and Ford responds with a biting wit.

35:43 - The next Gregory Ricks Live is coming up Tuesday, July 10th, 6:30pm. Come find out more about Gregory Ricks and what he can do for you.

39:23 - How is your Social Security taxed? First, you learn how to determine with the IRS calls your Combined Income, and then you learn how the taxes are applied based on your bracket.

48:00 - Lesha Nugent Freeland is our guest this hour. She is the Realtor of the Total Wealth Authority™ and starts by updating homeowners on the National Flood Insurance Plan issues. It's set to expire at the end of July, and it'll probably be renewed at the last minute, but it can still cause you trouble in the meantime. She also shows you how others have been able to work the system to get a better deal on their flood insurance.

1:00:17 - Gregory Ricks and Lesha Nugent Freeland share experiences and warnings of using your IRA to get into the real estate business. Buying or leveraging a rental property with your IRA could be a disaster if any money from outside the IRA is conmingled in the property or there's any hint of self dealing. If you break the rules, the penalties are brutal.

1:04:15 - Sue in Kenner is skeptical of the new floodmaps, considering her house has never flooded, but her lot is rated more expensive than some of the areas that have flooded. Lesha explains where this is a decision from the Army Corps of Engineers, and gives Sue a few ideas on how to get her flood insurance costs lower.

1:07:41 - If your property has ever had any help from a Road Home covenant, then flood insurance is mandatory on that property.

1:11:43 - Alaska has the highest unemployment rate, and Hawaii has the lowest.

1:14:51 - Doing a real estate transaction in the midst of a divorce has its own set of issues making a complicated process even more so. Lesha explains how the new certification from the Divorce Real Estate Institute is an interesting step in confronting problems from uncooperative homeowners in splitsville.

1:23:33 - Is there any situation in which you should NOT buy flood insurance for your house? If your house is highly unlikely to flood, the insurance is probably so cheap, you would still be better off getting it.

1:26:21 - Kevin in Prairieville asks Gregory and Lesha if his wife should be on the title of the home? It turns out she isn't, so Kevin asks if that could be fixed with a will. Gregory prefers that both spouses be on the home's title if at all possible, and he should most definitely think about getting it cleared up in a will.

1:29:25 - Raymond in Albany shares a story of his unwise decision to not carry flood insurance, because his property jad no history of flooding. Sure enough, a few inches accumulated in a small flooding incident, and it costs him tens of thousands in repairs. Flood insurance would have been less than $50 a month.

1:30:53 - Lesha shares a couple of featured properties she has on the market.

1:37:22 - Bill in Pearl River is getting remarried in his 70s, and asks Gregory about the options for him and his fiancee with Social Security spousal benefits.

1:45:27 - Tam in Nola taps Gregory's wisdom in how to approach buying a vacation house in Destin. How can she do it and get the most out of it? How can she take advantage of the taxes, write offs, and maybe even renting the place out?

1:51:49 - Scott in Kiln asks if his dad should use a trust to pass along assets to his son that's on disability?

1:59:45 - Gregory describes how he has seen people get caught up in prohibited transactions with their IRAs. If the IRS catches one wrong move, they could blow up the IRA. When it loses its tax status it becomes like a giant lump of taxable income, and maybe even some penalties. The golden rules of investing within your IRA: No self dealing, and no mixing assets.

2:05:49- Because you have full ownership and control of your IRA, you are considered a fiduciary and will be held responsible for all rules and regulations.


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