Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, January 25, 2015 Broadcast – Podcast Now Available

Taxes, Super Bowl, 529 Savings Programs… and More


It was one of those shows when I covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time. It started with my boredom over the Super Bowl week being dominated by footballs with slightly lower pressure. From there it was a quick discussion about the Croatian Super Bowl connection (my most popular blog post ever) and then a quick look at the California DMV and its quick turnaround concerning commercial plate requirements for ride sharing vehicles.

From there, we spent time discussing, 529 College Savings Plans and the President’s proposal to phase them out. By the way, he must have been listening… two days later he withdrew the proposal. From there it was off to a big picture discussion about tax revenue and spending habits in Washington. Look out folks, those pesky folks in Washington DC may be after your ROTH IRA accounts too!

Owl spendingThe bottom line is simply a mathematical problem. The easy tax revenues for government have already been accessed. Now it appears that government is going to have to learn to budget better or more wisely in the future. It will become harder and harder to add new programs or significant spending without raising taxes on the middle class. It will be hard to go after more of the middle classes’ income, so the likely targets are their savings. And the ROTH accounts have a bulls-eye on them right now.

Finally, a short segment on my daughter Rachel and her experience at the giant home show. Grandma gave her $20 to spend and she learned several lessons on her own as she dealt with the concept of limited money and so many choices to spend it on.

As a parent, it was great to watch her grow as she came to grips with the idea of spending. Rachel learned how to budget for the day and limit her spending. I only wish it was that easy for Washington DC to curb its spending habits. Or maybe they can just learn to spend it more wisely!

I hope you enjoy the program.






Croatian Super Bowl


Super Bowl Field


What does America’s greatest sporting event have to do with Croatia? Turns out, a whole lot.

On Feb. 1, 2015, when more than 110 million Americans are expected to tune in to watch the New England Patriots take on the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, the two head coaches can both trace their roots back to this small European country on the edge of the Mediterranean/Adriatic Sea.

dUBROVNIKThat’s right. Proud Croatians around the United States, Canada and the rest of the globe will be watching some Croatian history unfold in Arizona. Both Bill Belichick, coach of the Patriots, and Pete Carroll, coaching the Seahawks, are fellow Croatian Americans. And that marks the first time in NFL history when both head coaches in the Super Bowl can say they are descendants from this small nation.

For those unfamiliar with Croatia, it is a small central European country born out of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Croatia is to the east of Italy on the other side of the beautiful Adriatic Sea. For those with limited geographic knowledge, maybe this will help. King’s Landing in the HBO smash series Game of Thrones is filmed on location in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The real city is known as the Pearl of the Adriatic and is a UNESCO World Heritage Center.

Pete Carroll

carroll_captionFor those who are fans of the cable television series, you may want to favor Pete Carroll in the Super Bowl since his Croatian grandfather hails from Gravosa, the modern-day port area of Dubrovnik.

If you have ever had the pleasure of arriving in Dubrovnik via ferry or cruise ship, you have landed where Pete Carroll’s grandfather (on his mother’s side) Peter Bann was born. It is not ironic that the grandfather of laid back, easy going Californian, Pete Carroll was born on the beautiful Croatian coast. In the intense game of football, Carroll carries that uniquely Dalmatian vibe with him.





Belichick-captionBill Belichick

Rival NFL coach Bill Belichick is another proud Croatian American whose grandparents (on his   father’s side) came to America in the late 1800s. Ivan Bilicic and Mary Barkovic (Bill’s grandparents) both hail from the Karlovac region of Croatia from the village of Draganić. Belichick’s family comes from the central part of Croatia far from the sea. An interesting fact is that Karlovac was built in 1579 by the Austrians as a fortress to defend its southern border. Centuries later, Steve Belichick (father of Bill) was an assistant coach and scout for more than three decades at the United States Naval Academy.


ninkovich-captionRob Ninkovich

Meanwhile Belichick will not be alone on the sidelines as one of his key defensive players Rob Ninkovich also has deep Croatian roots. Ninkovich is from a large Croatian American family in the Chicago area with many working as ironworkers over the years.




2012 Super Bowl

This marks the second time in three years when Croatian Americans play a significant role in the Super Bowl. In 2012, the Belichick/Ninkovich Patriots battled unsuccessfully against Croatian American David Diehl and his New York Giants teammates. On a side note, that Super Bowl was played in Lucas Oil Stadium, which is named after Anthony Lucas, who was born as Antun Lučić in Split, Croatia. Lucas is credited as being the father of petroleum engineering in the United States.

 *****Super Bowl Poll Question*****

In the spirit of Super Bowl competition, the Not-For-Profit, Croatian Scholarship Fund is asking everyone a very simple question on their Facebook page:

Who is the greatest Croatian head coach in the NFL?

You can vote either for Bill Belichick of the Patriots or Pete Carroll of the Seahawks.

The voting will remain open through Super Bowl Sunday.

*****You can find Croatian Scholarship Fund (CSF) poll here*****


csf LOGO- SMALLAbout Croatian Scholarship Fund

For the past 25 years CSF, a 501c3 Not-For-Profit, has been providing financial assistance to financially deserving and extremely talented Croatian university students in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Without this assistance many of these bright young men and women would not be able to obtain a university education. This is all made possible because of individuals, families, and organizations who have generously supported CSF’s mission by donating or sponsoring one or more students.

For more information about CSF, our mission and our students, please visit our website:





Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, January 18, 2015 Broadcast – Podcast Now Available

Gamble InvestmentsThe Value of Good Advice

On this program, I cover several topics of interest to investors. Often it is so easy to lose your way due to the constant barrage of information about money and finance. All to often, others will feed off of our personal fears as well as our greed. The result of this dangerous mixture is often a poor investment experience. We try to make investing more approachable and less daunting. Ultimately, the money is yours and you should be in control. Too often, people blindly respond to a good sales pitch and fail to become an informed consumer.

The cartoon above is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I think many people feel this way when they work with an advisor. It does not have to be that way. Common sense along with some basic information should help to overcome this problem. Investing is something very different from gambling or speculation. Hopefully, we can help you with that. This week we highlight the following for you:

Segment One – The Value of Good Advice

Segment Two – The Blue Chip Blues vs. Diversification Rules

Segment Three – Beware the Slick Salespeople Selling Despair And Fear

Segment Four – Living With Uncertainty

As always, I hope you enjoy the program and thank you for listening! – Gary


Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, January 11, 2015 – Podcast Now Available

Tragic Events in France

Pen bullet cartoonIn the first segment of the program I spent a few minutes expressing my thoughts on the terrorist attacks in Paris. This past week, we saw tragic events unfold in France as terrorists held Paris under siege for several days. As a member of the media, I followed the events closely and could not come to grips with how anyone could resort to violence against people expressing their opinions and beliefs. In this case, satire from a group of cartoonists and magazine folks who have never threatened anyone with violence or mayhem.

The bedrock of a civilized human society is the freedom of expression or the freedom of speech. Whenever someone threatens this right, society suffers. No matter how offensive or even if you simply don’t agree with someone’s viewpoint, no one has the right to harm another individual. While saddened by the events in France, I was heartened by the outpouring of support from around the world. The gathering on Sunday, January 11, 2015 in Paris and other locations around France was a sight to be seen. World leaders (except for our own, big mistake), gathered arm in arm in a show of unity against terrorism with a sea of people from all walks of life behind them. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a new period of time, when the silent majority finally stands up to say enough is enough.

The pen will always be mightier than the sword. Even when it seems like the sword is winning, human society, freedom of expression and freedom of speech will eventually prevail.


blue skyThe Weather Vs. The Climate

In segments two and three of the program, I spend time chatting about trying to focus on the long-term versus worrying about the daily noise. So often, we make dumb mistakes with our finances because we dwell on short-term and temporary circumstances. I use the analogy of worrying about the day to day weather instead of focusing on the climate. Ultimately, it is much better to have a wardrobe based on the prevailing climate instead of today’s weather.

Investing is no different. One should build an all-weather portfolio so they can remain disciplined through good markets and bad. Too often, individuals will constantly tinker with their portfolio due to current circumstances. Ultimately, they end up fighting the last battle or hurdle, when a new one is just around the corner.

Diversity in Silicon Valley

Finally, in segment four, I talk briefly about diversity in Silicon Valley. Several large companies in Silicon Valley have been making some news recently as they speak about an obvious issue, diversity. The technology industry has long been known as a frat house dominated by men and lacking in diversity. Females, Hispanics and Blacks have long been underrepresented in Silicon Valley and Intel made a major commitment to help that problem this past week. The chip giant pledged $300 million at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Let’s hope that Silicon Valley is able to find more talented people that better represent the American workforce.

Gary Allen on Business
Gary Allen on Business







Bring the Olympics to San Francisco in 2024 – We Need Your Help!

SF OlympicsThis Thursday, the United States Olympic Committee will announce which American city will be the national bidder for the Olympic Games in 2024. San Francisco is competing against Washington, Boston and Los Angeles. My friend, Bill Schlough, the CIO of the San Francisco Giants is on the local organizing committee and is asking for our help. Bill has been working on bringing the Olympics to the Bay Area for more than two decades. Things are now down to the wire.

The US selection committee decides on Thursday, which American city will provide a bid for the Olympic games in 2024. Bill is asking everyone to help create some social media buzz to help convince the committee that the Bay Area is the best location for the Olympics.

Bill truly believe that the San Francisco Bay Area would be the perfect place for the world’s greatest athletes to compete.  From the temperate climate to the beautiful vistas to our innovative spirit with a population that celebrates diversity and embraces sport, it’s hard to imagine a more suitable setting. I have to agree with him. The Bay Area would be an incredible location for the games of the world.

 If you share this sentiment, please take five minutes to:

 1)      Like us on Facebook (

2)      Follow us on Twitter (

3)      Express your support in 140 characters or less via Twitter, including #sf2024 in your post

4)      Inspire your friends to do the same. Spread the word to everyone and let them help us

This is our chance to leverage social media to tip the scales and encourage the USOC make the best choice for 2024.

Thanks for helping make an Olympic Dream come true.

Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, January 4, 2015 – Podcast Now Available

A Better Way

Better wayPeople are constantly looking for a better way to invest. There are countless books, magazine articles and many other forms of communications promising great returns, magical results and more. However, most if not all, of these get rich quick schemes fall far short of their promise. In this program, I spend the first segment providing my thoughts on what people should be doing to achieve a positive investment experience. This segment should give the average person a decent roadmap of what to do if you are tired of chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This segment gives you a very good idea of the underlying philosophy behind how we manage money for our clients.

In the middle segments of the program, I review the list of money rules that financial writer Jonathan Clements of the Wall Street Journal created this year. It is for the most part an excellent list of things to consider to put your financial house in order. Finally, in the fourth segment with just a little time left, I give a brief review of the major themes that might dominate the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2015. The world’s largest electronics and technology show is set to kick off on Tuesday of this week in Las Vegas.

I hope you enjoy this week’s show and thank you for listening. Hopefully each and every one of you will have a healthy and prosperous 2015!

Gary Allen on Business
Gary Allen on Business

Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, December 21, 2014 – Podcast Now Available

Tony Robbins Investment Advisor?
Cartoon advisorFor the past few months, Tony Robbins has been just about everywhere promoting his new book, “Money: Master the Game.” Robbins is a master promoter with a long history of moving mountains and yes having people walk on fire. The guy is a very successful businessman and he knows how to generate publicity like few others. It raised many eyebrows when Robbins wrote his first new book in twenty years on the subject of money and personal finance. It has been hard to ignore due to the massive PR campaign this book has generated. Critics have pounded the motivations of Robbins and also have spent a great deal of time skewering the advice in the book as well.

In this program, I review the book and some of the information within. In my opinion, the book is filled with a lot of contradictory information that undermines many of its themes. The biggest contradiction that sets the tone is the subtitle of the book, “Seven Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.” It takes more than 600 pages to explain his seven simple steps. The length of the book immediately calls into question just how simple this story is going to be. From there the book, in my opinion, reads like an infomercial more than objective financial information. But I will let you be the judge of that.

Ultimately, I find the best part of Robbins writing this book is the fact it might get more people to pay attention to their finances and to call into question some of the more dubious practices of Wall Street. By the way, Robbins has reportedly backed away from any plans to enter the financial services industry directly. However, there appears to be some significant conflicts of interest with some of his recommendations on who you should seek out for help or advice.

Gary Allen on Business
Gary Allen on Business