Smart Money: Ask around to find good broker


DEAR BRUCE >> How do I find a good broker? Is there a website that rates brokers? Is word of mouth the best way to go?

— Reader

DEAR READER >> There is no set way to find a broker. I suggest that you consult with friends, neighbors, etc. and ask who they use, if they are comfortable with that person and if they would be comfortable recommending that person. Assuming they answer in the affirmative, you can take your investigation from there.

There is a new website that says it rates brokers. The problem is I don't know enough about it to either recommend it or tell you to stay away. You'll have to investigate that on your own. I am still confident in the methods I have used over the years and have used to my advantage. Good luck.

DEAR BRUCE >> With cities raising the minimum wage to $15 and more per hour for waitstaff in restaurants, and with restaurants charging customers 5 percent and more for mandated health insurance for waitstaffers, why should customers tip anymore? In Europe, diners do not tip because of socialized medicine and higher wages than those in the U.S. But with so many costs being passed on to diners, for me tipping is a thing of the past.

— Reader

DEAR READER >> I understand your concern that the restaurant will have to raise wages in order to meet the $15 minimum. With that being said, I happen to believe I get better service in restaurants where I dine regularly because I tip well. I don't resent that, but then again, the fact is I can afford it and it's no big burden on me.

For many people, the extra costs to the restaurant will be included in the price of the meal, and that might persuade them not to dine in a restaurant at all. That's a personal choice. As for me, I will continue to tip.

DEAR BRUCE >> Are wills drawn in Ohio good in Puerto Rico?

-- J.K.

DEAR J.K. >> From my understanding, a will drawn in Ohio will be perfectly valid in Puerto Rico. That having been observed, if you are now domiciled in Puerto Rico, I would have a new will drawn in Puerto Rico, witnessed and so forth, in the event you pass away. It will be a great deal easier than running back to Ohio when you might wish to make changes, and this is the proper way to accomplish this.

Send questions to Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.


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