Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, April 26, 2015 – Podcast Now Available

Pursuing A Better Investment Experience

graph waterOn the program this week, I continue and conclude my sneak peek on our new E-book, Pursuing A Better Investment Experience. The E-Book is currently going through graphic design and should be available soon. I will certainly let you know when it is ready for distribution. The great news is the price is right… FREE!

In the first segment I talk about what investors should focus on, that is, what they can control. It is not worth the anxiety, the frustration and the futility of trying to tame the uncontrollable. Instead spend your precious energy, time and resources on things you can control:

1) Have a plan that is customized to you;

2) Manage expenses;

3) Controll portfolio turnover; and

4) Maintain your focus and discipline through good markets and bad.

In segment two of the program, I discuss the problem with building a portfolio based on the hot sector or trend. While diversification is not the sexiest thing in the world, it does have its place in a prudent portfolio. Chasing hot stocks, hot sectors or hot trends is truly a speculative endeavor at best.

Segment three of the program is a high level overview of the factors identified by academic research that drive financial market returns. In a nutshell, the factors are:

1) How much in stocks vs. bonds; (Asset Mixture)
2) Your exposure to small vs. large companies;  (Small to Large)
3) Your mixture of low relative price stocks vs. high relative price; (Value vs. Growth) and
4) Your ratio of high vs. low profitability firms. (Profitability)

Of course, this does not mean a portfolio will be completely immunized against security-specific risk. But it is a way of diluting those influences and finding a balance between seeking to improve expected returns and striving for appropriate diversification. I hope you enjoy this week’s program.

Good luck and as always, thank you for listening to my program.

All the best,



Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, April 19, 2015 – Podcast Now Available

Pursuing A Better Investment Experience

Investment RoadOn the program this week, I preview a new educational presentation we have been working on for a while. The presentation covers ten important decisions that help investors target long-term wealth accumulation in the capital markets. While the presentation is not currently completed, the information seemed very timely as financial markets took another deep around the globe last week.

I have noticed an uptick of investor anxiety as we have seen more volatility in capital markets in recent months. The increase in tensions highlights the need for a prudent investment strategy that investors can utilize through good times and bad. A prudent strategy, conviction, discipline and a strong dose of confidence goes a long ways towards generating a positive investment experience.

In this program, I was able to cover nine of the ten major investment decisions needed to develop and implement a prudent investment strategy. However, I was not able to cover investment decision number ten this week. That will be covered at the beginning of my show next week.

When the presentation is completed, we will release it and make it available to everyone online. We are currently working on some of the illustrations and completing the voice tracks. So look for that release in the near future.

In the first segment of the program, I spend time chatting about taxes from a strategic perspective. Often investors are encouraged to think short-term about taxes instead of strategically. In many cases, tactical tax planning does not solve the underlying issues.

I hope you enjoy the show this week.

Remember to subscribe or follow my blog if you would like to receive updates about when new podcasts become available. Here are the materials from this week’s show.

Segment 1: Strategic versus tactical investment tax planning

Segments 2-4: Pursuing A Better Investment Experience


Stocks Fall… Is It Time To Panic?

PanicStock markets around the world stumbled on Friday. Is this the beginning of the great correction that so many pundits have been calling for? Is it time to panic? The answer of course is nobody knows the future. However, you should be worried if you don’t have a prudent investment process in the first place.

There will always be bumps in the road that will rattle stock markets and investors alike. It takes a prudent investment process and discipline to remain calm and focused on your own goals. If you don’t have a prudent process, or if it is one built on speculation, then the odds are not in your favor.

On the show this weekend, we will chat about how to embrace an investment philosophy that allows you to stay invested through good times and not so good times. *** Also listen for a special offer for some new investment education materials.***

Tune in Sunday morning at 8 AM on KNBR 680 AM San Francisco for Gary Allen on Business.

On the show this weekend, we will chat about how to embrace an investment philosophy that allows you to stay invested through good times and not so good times.

Tune in Sunday morning at 8 AM on KNBR 680 AM San Francisco for Gary Allen on Business.

Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, April 12, 2015 – Podcast Available

Interview with Clearslide Co-founder and CEO Al Lieb

Al LiebThe program this week features a great interview with Clearslide’s Al Lieb. We begin the interview with a quick story on Al and his past. For those of you that do not recognize his name, he was a co-founder of Evite. It is a fun story about the infancy of that company.

Later in the interview, we discover the unlikely beginnings of Clearslide. It is a good story about paying attention to what people are telling you about your product or services.

In the interview, we learn about Clearslide and its mission to create a sales environment allowing people to create powerful narratives with an overlay of metrics. The company is expending great efforts to build tools so salespeople and their management have the ability to close the loop on the sales cycle. This includes all the way down to the impact of a single slide in a deck. Ultimately, the goal is to provide true feedback on the effectiveness of any sales materials. Later in the interview, we find out that the company has built an interesting niche with professional sports teams including the Golden State Warriors.

Clearslide is in a very competitive industry and it will be interesting to see if Al and his team can repeat the magic of Evite.

MoskowitzIn the first segment of the program, we chat with tax attorney Steve Moskowitz of Moskowitz LLP. Nothing like a few last minute tips to help people out as we close out tax season for 2014. Steve had a couple of excellent reminders about Obamacare and some potentially significant penalties if you were not covered last year. Worth a listen if you find yourself in that situation.

I hope you enjoy the program and thanks for listening.



Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, March 29, 2015 – Podcast Now Available

Relying on Predictions is Hazardous to Your Financial Future

Gumball PredictionsI spend the majority of this show outlining why prognostications and market predictions are not to be relied on when planning your investment decisions. By definition, the future is something that is unknown. No matter how authoritative or convincing the prediction, it still is nothing more than an educated guess. And even if someone is able to predict a future event, there is the little problem of not knowing how financial markets will react to the event.

Remember that financial markets represent all of the known information available to market participants. The current price of any security reflects all of this information, plus the expectations of all market participants. Financial markets are dynamic and ever changing based on new information and revised expectations of every market participant. The likelihood of anyone correctly anticipating the future and to know how everyone will react to this new information is very, very unlikely. In my opinion, it is much better to focus on those things you can control in order to exert a positive influence on your investment experience. Leave the predictions for your college basketball brackets or Super Bowl champion guesses.

In the final segment, I cover a column recently written by Chuck Jaffe. The focus of the column is the cost of conflicted advice. This is a continuation of the fiduciary wars theme from my previous show (3/22/2015). The Federal Government came out with a report on the cost of conflicted advice. The numbers are staggering and critics are attacking the accuracy of the report. My thoughts on it are this, don’t quibble on a few billion here or there. Realize the number is in the billions annually and that is a shame!

I hope you enjoy the program…

Gary Allen on Business
Gary Allen on Business


Gary Allen on Business, Sunday, March 22, 2015 – Podcast Now Available

Fiduciary Wars, The Battle to Decide the Fate of Your Money

SharkThe average person cannot tell the significance or the difference between a broker, registered representative, insurance agent or investment adviser. Most people lump them all together and call them financial folks… on a good day! I have heard some other names as well but we will leave that for another day. However, from a legal perspective, there are some monumental differences no matter what you might believe. Part of the confusion is the advertising conducted by financial and insurance firms that sound so comforting. These firms will often use such terms as help, assist, advise and so on. It is very comforting that someone is here to take care of you. However, what they advertise and what they tell you verbally, in-person, is in many cases, far different from what the actual contract states.

Caveat emptor or let the buyer beware is something you should always have on your mind. When it comes to financial services, people can be very friendly and persuasive but take the time to read the bloody contract. Sales practices and legal practices are far different in the real world. I have seen many situations where people have relied on what they have been told, only to be disappointed by the reality of the contract. The fiduciary wars happening in Washington DC right now is a very hot battle going on to shape the future regulatory environment of financial services. In many ways it is a battle for the sole of the financial services industry. The outcome is uncertain at this point, but it does not change the reality of caveat emptor!

On the program this week I talk about:

Segment One – Obamacare and the tax credit problems

Segment Two – The fiduciary wars

Segment Three – The fiduciary wars continued

Segment Four – Insurance agents and products

Enjoy the program




Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, March 15, 2015 – Podcast Now Available


Wall Street Fails to Deliver on its Only Promise

Broken businessInvesting is often portrayed as a complicated and mysterious process. It certainly is confusing for most people to understand what is going on. Wall Street is notorious for speaking a different language that no one outside of the club understands. In the wake of the recent financial crisis, we found out that Wall Street titans also claim they do not know what is going on either. That was their defense when grilled by regulators and politicians who were looking for blame. They honestly said, we really did not understand the products being developed by our own firms. We did not realize how risky they were and so on.

No wonder people will throw up their hands and say, I don’t get it. Well, I have a different way at looking at things. I tend to ignore what Wall Street says and simply focus on what they do. What I mean by that is the following. They can certainly spin a complicated tale about how talented, experienced and good they are, but that is worthless to me. Instead, I focus on something more relevant to my needs. How did they do delivering on their promise of beating financial markets?

One can talk a good game, but ultimately, you have to play. In Wall Street’s case, active management is their promise of beating the market. Unfortunately, the record is abysmal for the mighty on Wall Street. Study after study concludes that active management after taking into account their expenses fails to deliver on its singular promise for existing. They fail to beat the market on a risk-adjusted and after cost basis. People can spin the tail, provide excuses for why they came up short, but in the end… the story is the same. Active management fails to stand up against market rates of return.

On the program this week I spend time chatting about:

Segment One – Failure of Active Management

Segment Two – The incredible pay of active managers

Segment Three – A case study of active management failure

Segment Four – Social Security high-jinx

I hope you enjoy the show!