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Gary Brooks, CFP®

Gary Brooks, CFP®

Financial Advisor and Owner

What is your current role / professional background?
I lead the financial planning effort at BHJ and share responsibility for creating personalized investment portfolios. I work closely with our clients to understand their goals, evaluate their opportunities and design actionable plans to meet their objectives.  I have maintained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation since 2005.

You may have seen my monthly financial planning column in The News Tribune—Tacoma’s daily newspaper. It is published the first Sunday of each month. (Archive since 2008 here.) I have also been a quoted source and/or author of articles in various publications and media outlets: USA Today, Time, Money, Forbes, Dallas Morning News,, Investment News, Bloomberg Business,, and Dow Jones Newswires.   Additionally, I co-authored the book Ineffective Habits of Financial Advisors (and the Disciplines to Break Them), published by Wiley & Sons (2010). I was also named one of the Top 100 Social Influencers among financial advisors in the U.S. by BrightScope.

Prior to creating Brooks, Hughes & Jones, I co-founded Financial Life Design. I also spent more than seven years at Russell Investments.

I am the chairperson of the Investment Committee for the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, where I am also a member of the Board of Directors. Through a variety of charitable funds, the Investment Committee steers the investment of nearly $100 million.

What drew you to financial advising?
Soon after I transitioned from being a journalist to working at Russell Investments in 2000, I wanted to advance my knowledge and competency in personal finance concepts. I decided to educate myself by completing the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ curriculum. Concurrently, I began to realize how common it is that even well-educated, successful people have difficulty with the basic tenets of financial literacy and investing. Later, after passing the CFP® exam, I worked with a group at Russell focused on helping advisors build more efficient, enjoyable practices. Through this work, I realized that I would prefer to act in an advisory role, working directly with individual clients. Helping people improve their financial security and make smart decisions about money and investments is personally fulfilling and professionally challenging. Being an advisor has presented me a great opportunity to impact people’s lives.

If your house was on fire, what three things would you grab?
I assume my wife, children and dog are safe to start. It’s tempting to run first to things of monetary value but hopefully I’d think quickly enough to save items that could not be replaced. I would grab:

  • My grandpa Ed’s varsity baseball letter. It was separated from his letterman’s sweater decades ago and now hangs in my closet where I see it every day. He was a stoic, hard-working man, a Navy Sea Bee in World War II. Productive and industrious, he set an example that I attempt to emulate.
  • Several albums holding pre-digital era photos would be worth saving.
  • The box holding much of my past published writing. It’s like a time machine. Maybe I better store my favorite baseball cards in the same box since I only have time to retrieve three things.