Gary Allen on Business, Sunday, August 23, 2015

HomeHomezada                                                                                                                                                                             Are you ever overwhelmed with home ownership? A home represents so many relationships with the outside world. People dream about going off the grid, but that is only one of many interactions a household has.

What if you could manage the life-cycle of home ownership and all it entails within a single portal or interface? Sounds like a dream… I know. Well that is the promise of Homezada and one of its co-founders, Mr. John Bodrozic.

As a financial guy, I was always surprised by the lack of technology tools to efficiently manage a home. Excel spreadsheets and a paper trail seems so quaint and antiquated at the same time.

On this program, I discuss the benefits of an electronic portal to manage all of the relationships and the obligations that homeowners face.

Later in the program, I discuss various applications with John for the real estate and insurance industry. It turns out that Homezada can be a very useful tool for real estate agents and brokers along with a host of other real estate related industries.


John Bodrozic co-founded Meridian Systems in 1994 and sold it to Trimble, a public company, for an all cash mid-eight figure deal. Under John’s leadership, Meridian outlasted the dotcom boom that spawned over 200 companies that were also focused on construction management. After leaving Meridian Systems, John co-founded his new startup, HomeZada. HomeZada provides smart applications and recommendations to manage data about your home for insurance, maintenance, remodeling, and financial purposes. Save money, improve value, and get organized.


Show Podcast

Gary Allen on Business, Sunday, August 16, 2015 – Podcast Now Available

Silver and Gold! Hedge Fund Performance and More

Yukon CorneliusYukon Cornelius is one of my favorite characters from the childhood classic, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Yukon is the ultimate prospector always looking for silver and gold with his trusty pickax. Unfortunately… his most famous line from the movie is… nothin!

As a child I loved the song Silver and Gold sung by Burl Ives. But as an investment professional, I am not a big fan of silver or gold. There are several potential reasons to invest in silver and gold but alas the evidence points out they have not done so well for most folks.

In segment one of the program, I cover what is called a pre-mortem investment exercise. In simple terms, it is to imagine what would happen if your portfolio blew up before it happens. It is something similar to what I call the fire drill exercise.

Instead of waiting to conduct a postmortem exercise after your portfolio blows up, it is better to plan in advance for the worst and make any corrective actions necessary to beef up your portfolio risk management.

Segment two is all about Silver and Gold… see above.

Segment three is a look at hedge funds and their long-term performance. You may want to seriously look at those fancy numbers that hedge fund salespeople are showing you. It may be surprising just how poorly they have done in recent years. In fact, many hedge funds had only a few years of great performance early on… and then lots of lean years since then.

Segment four is a quick discussion on the idea of focusing your investments on a final goal of income instead of wealth. There are a lot of implications if you focus on income versus wealth.

Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, August 2, 2015 – Podcast Now Available

International Turmoil… China Greece

China Greece High Resolution Sign Flags Concept
Trouble Overseas?

Summer financial headlines have been dominated by foreign financial markets. As we enter the month of August, Greece has begun to fade from the headlines while China rises to the top.

Segment one of this program I spend time talking about Greece and its recent financial crisis. Despite the dire headlines, Greece is a very small country measured by its financial markets and its economy.

China is the focus for segments two and three. This country is very large and its economy is one of the largest in the world. What happens in China is meaningful compared to Greece.

However, because of its communist system the Chinese stock market is very small relative to its population and its economy. Because of the severe restrictions on foreign ownership, the Chinese stock market is not very well developed and is prone to market manipulations. In recent years, the Chinese government has done much to prop up the stock market as its economy goes through transition.

Finally in segment four, I discuss the recent 4×6 index card of financial advice provided by University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack. The professor thinks that simplicity is the way to go.

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

The Annuity Sales Pitch… What They Don’t Tell You – (Part 2)

SharkThe saga continues… In this program, I continue to expose what is not said during annuity sales pitches. The old adage that annuities are sold and not purchased is very true. Without the “kind and polite” assistance of insurance salespeople, my opinion, it is doubtful that many variable annuities would be sold in America.

I base this opinion on the large sales commissions offered to salespeople to entice them to sell variable annuities. The commissions can often be in the 3% to 5% range and often more than that. Imagine someone retiring with a lump sum of $600,000 in their 401(k).

The newly minted retiree receives help from an insurance salesperson who convinces them to purchase a variable annuity with the entire lump sum. Let’s assume the insurance salesperson will make 5% on the transaction. That works out to be a very nice $30,000 payday for the insurance agent.

In this program, I continue to explore the annuity sales pitch and the often unspoken words that taint the sales process. I hope you enjoy the program.

Gary Allen on Business – Podcast Now Available – Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Annuity Sales Pitch… What They Don’t Tell You!


Variable annuities are one of the most popular insurance products sold in America today. Insurance agents love them because they offer a very lucrative sales commission. However, I wonder if as many people would buy them if they really understood the whole story.

On this program, I spend time talking about the annuity sales pitch and provide the rest of the story. I go point by point through some of the most common sales pitches and provide you some additional information that is not usually shared by the person trying to sell you that annuity.

My largest complaint about annuities is the way they are distributed and the large sales commissions offered to agents to sell them. I hope you enjoy this inside look at variable annuities.

Segment 1 – The NYSE Goes Down Because of a Software Upgrade!

Segment 2 – Annuity Sales Pitch

Segment 3 – Annuity Sales Pitch

Segment 4 – Annuity Sales Pitch

Brilliant Investor… I Don’t Know!

Question, mark, child.
Brilliant Investor?

This program explores the mindset of many investors who trick themselves into thinking they are brilliant and can do no wrong. If on the odd occasion something does go wrong, we are very good at blaming someone or something else for our losses. If only the Fed would get out of the way. Or if the Chinese would stop manipulating their financial markets, I would be making a fortune.

In the second segment, I spend time giving some fatherly advice, since this program was broadcast on Father’s Day. And in segment three, I provide some humility with the thought that people should be more willing to say three simple words… I don’t know. Too often people rely on the prognostications of people who sound very authoritative and convincing, but in reality they don’t have a clue.

Finally in part four, this short segment talks about focusing on income instead of wealth. Do all the television and radio commercials talking about, what’s your number, have it wrong?

Fiduciary Rules and Your Retirement

New Fiduciary Rules and the Future of Investment Advice.
New Fiduciary Rules and the Future of Investment Advice.

On this program I discuss the ramifications of the proposed fiduciary rules from the SEC. After years of work and lots of comments from interested parties, the SEC is preparing to issue its final rules on the new definition of fiduciary. The new regulations are considered the most sweeping changes regarding fiduciary in decades. Ultimately, the rules may reshape the investment and brokerage industries for decades to come. At stake is the current state of affairs on Wall Street and main street between financial salespeople and their clients.

Proponents of the new regulations hail them as a big step in the right direction, while opponents say it will cost consumers more money. Of course, no one knows for sure until the final regulations are out. However, in my humble opinion, brokerage firms and insurance companies are spending millions on lobbying not in the best interest of their clients, but in the best interest of their own bottom line. I would not expect anything less from for profit companies who have resisted being fiduciaries for decades.

Segment 1 – The new fiduciary rules

Segment 2 – How investment advice might change

Segment 3 – The accidental retirement plan (the 401(k))

Segment 4  – Fee Transparency and 401(k) plan access

Hope you enjoy the program