Gary Allen on Business – Northern California Workshops

How Most People Feel About the Financial Services Industry

Dan Ackroyd

Cowbells

The reality? 

I wish I was only talking about sleazy salespeople from a classic Saturday Night Live skit, but sadly, that is not the case. Too often people have been taken advantage of by salespeople in the financial services industry that are not as easy to spot as the famous characters above. 

Over the past 18 years I have heard so many horror stories from my KNBR listeners about their situation. Often there is a common theme of expensive or inappropriate financial products often sold by people they don’t trust. The road is littered with expensive products, high fees and outrageous commissions that have damaged the financial future of many people.   

I happen to believe that most people are interested in a straight-forward, transparent relationship that is free of conflicts of interest and always in their best interest. Most financial advisers fail to deliver on these basics and rely on greed and fear to sell products.

For 18 years I have been on KNBR personally delivering straight-talk without the B.S., talking about business and investment issues that matter to most people. I want to thank my listeners for making my program so successful and popular over the years. Many people have asked why I don’t do workshops for people around the Bay Area. I have had a number of reasons not to, but after so long, I have run out of excuses not to provide them.

However, I will not compromise on my integrity and my commitment to provide my listeners with straight-talk and no B.S. So my workshops will have a very different feel from the usual provide food, sell something hard and then sell it some more events that people in my industry use to take advantage of you. 

I will deliver education and information just like I do on my radio program. At the end of the event I hope you have a better understanding of how I think you should invest and take care of your financial life. If you would like to meet me I would enjoy meeting you as well. If you want to know what my firm does and how we help people that’s fine too. But you will never and I mean never get a hard sales pitch from anyone I work with. We educate people and give you the opportunity to make your own well-informed decisions. It is your money and your life!   

CONCERN

One of my concerns is a lot of people might sign up for the event and then for whatever reason not attend. This  means other people who would like to go cannot. It also makes it very hard to manage from a numbers standpoint.  As I thought about this, just like magic, one of my listeners provided me with a great idea.

Instead of making it a free event like I planned, we will charge a nominal fee for the event and then donate every penny to charity. Each event will have a fee of $10 for an individual or $15 for a couple. And no we will not be checking to see if the couple is married, living together or whatever. Just sign up and come. Thank you Ed from Palo Alto! 

WORKSHOP LOCATIONS

I need your help. Where should I hold the workshops? Please help me out by using the form below to get on our workshop list and to let us know where you would like to see one held. By the way, please share this with your friends. Thank you in advance for helping me on this and I look forward to meeting all of you in person after all this time! 

 

 

 

United Kingdom Leaves the European Union

United Kingdom Citizens Surprise the Experts and Vote to Leave EU (What Does it Mean to Me?)

UK EU PictureOn June 23, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. While there has been much speculation leading up to and since the vote, many of the longer-term implications of the referendum remain unclear, as the process for negotiating what a UK exit may look like are just beginning.

Prudent Investor Advisors and its team of professionals has decades of experience managing portfolios, including during periods of uncertainty and heightened volatility. We monitor market events very closely and consider the implications of new information as it comes to light. We are paying close attention to market mechanisms and they appear to be functioning well. Our investment philosophy and process have withstood many trying times and we remain committed.

We urge caution in allowing market movements to impact long-term asset allocation. Long-term investors recognize that risks and uncertainty are ever present in markets. A drop in prices is generally due to lower expectations of cash flows, higher discount rates, or both. In some cases, a drop is also due to investors demanding liquidity. In the current situation, some investors and economists may expect lower cash flows due to possible trade barriers that may not be implemented. Higher discount rates may be occurring due to uncertainty about changes in the economic landscape and regulations. We have seen markets increase discount rates in times of uncertainty before, resulting in lower prices and increased expected returns.

However, it is difficult to know when good outcomes will materialize in the future. By attempting to time the right moment to buy or sell, one risks not enjoying the potential benefits of such materializations. Many of those who exit the markets miss the recoveries. What we have often seen in the past is that investors who remained in well-diversified portfolios were rewarded over time.

The UK will have up to two years to negotiate a withdrawal, during which time it remains subject to EU treaties and laws. Any potential operational changes depend on what path the UK and EU decide to take. There is plenty of speculation out there about what is going to happen. However, no one knows what the future holds. In fact, the experts were completely wrong about the expectations for this election. The political experts and the famous English bookies were completely wrong about the will of the citizens of the UK to leave the European Union. We would advise against listening to these same so-called experts who are now calling for financial ruin.

UK EU Picture2The UK has voted to leave the European Union however to the best of our knowledge it remains committed to the planet Earth. There are many questions that remain to be answered but the UK will continue to be a meaningful player in the global economy whether it is a member of the European Union or not.

Prudent remains committed to helping our clients navigate the uncertainties of the world and to help them focus on what is within their control. Our advice to clients remains the same. Focus on your personal situation, make certain your goals are clear, and make changes to your investments based on changes in your circumstances. A well-diversified, lower cost, institutional portfolio like those managed by Prudent are designed as all-weather portfolios.

Poor investment decisions are often made as people react emotionally to news and events. The wall-to-wall coverage of the events in Europe only raise this level of stress. If you want to focus on Europe we have a suggestion for you. Turn the channel to one of the UEFA 2016 soccer games and enjoy the match.

After the soccer match if you are still worried about current events, please take some time to read through our Pursuing a Better Investment Experience paper. It outlines the ten items that any investor should focus on to improve their chances of a better investment experience.

Request a Free Copy of “Pursuing a Better Investment Experience”.

Better Investment ExperienceThis easy to read document provides a road map for investors to focus on the right things to improve your chances for a successful investment experience.

Contact Gary by email to request a copy of the document. Please put Pursue a Better Investment Experience in the RE line of your email. 

Gary Allen      

916.436.8331

gallen@prudentllc.com

The Unfilitered Truth About the Financial Services Industry

John Oliver Lambasts the Retirement Plan Industry

A MUST WATCH FOR EVERYONE

Spend 20 minutes to watch the most entertaining explanation of how Wall Street and brokerage firms take advantage of clients. The filter is off as John explains it as only he can. Yes, there is some explicit language but it is completely appropriate under the circumstances.

If you have a retirement plan you must watch this video. If someone is trying to sell you financial products you have to watch this video. Thanks to John and his team for producing this video.

This video clip will leave you laughing and crying all at the same time. It exposes Wall Street for what it is in language that anyone can understand. Enjoy this video and PLEASE share it with everyone you know.

Gary Allen on Business: Sunday, June 5, 2016 – Podcast Now Available

Monetary and Fiscal Policy… Helping the Economy or Slowly Drowning it?

3d Little man choose between sink or swimIn the first segment of the program this week I talk about the potential impact of the unprecedented use of monetary policy to support global economies. How does it impact the global economy and what impact does it have on the average consumer?

In segment two, I provide my experiences with Uber as I travel on business around the country. I use Uber as a good example of how a disruptive technology/business model has upended the somewhat monopolistic stranglehold that traditional cab companies had on transportation.

What is often overlooked is how lower costs, more supply and competition has actually increased demand and improved the level of service. Another overlooked reality is how the average cost of licensing a cab adds $30,000 to $50,000 per year that is passed on to the consumer. Uber and its ride sharing competitors can offer lower prices because the licensing structure in place for traditional transportation companies is avoided. The cost of a taxi medallion to operate in NYC has for many years has been about $1 million. Uber and other ride sharing drivers do not have this requirement.

In segments three and four, the focus is turned to retirement vehicles. The segment covers some of the differences regarding pretax and after-tax considerations. The idea is to give you a better understanding of where to save rather than what to invest in.

As always, I hope you enjoy the program.Thank you for listening to my program on KNBR. – Gary

CONTACT INFORMATION

You can reach Gary at:

Email – gallen@prudentllc.com

Telephone – 916.436.8331

KNBR-logo

Gary Allen on Business: Sunday, May 29, 2016 – Podcast Now Available

Costs Matter – The Impact of Fees on Your Retirement

Fees 3d Word Bear Trap Money Interest Late Payment Penalty

Hidden or in plan sight, fees can have a big impact on retirement

People have spent eternity trying to outguess or outsmart financial markets. Another way of looking at this is to understand that people are trying to control financial markets. However, financial markets are dynamic and resist control at any level. Ultimately, this is a fool’s errand. 

Conversely, controlling costs is something that can and should be done. On this program, I run through a study we recently prepared for a company. While simple, it shows the individual and cumulative damage that higher and unnecessary fees inflict on retirement investors.  

In the study, the impact on a small retirement plan of $5 million dollars over two decades is striking. While numbers can sometimes be hard for people to comprehend, the resulting impact changes people’s lives for the worse. By controlling costs and paying only necessary fees, it is possible for employers to have a large positive impact on their own employees. 

Later in the program, I discuss the three factors that people can use to impact their own retirement:

  1. Funding (wish I could change this)
  2. The timing of your retirement
  3. Change the way you invest

These three factors can have a positive or negative influence on your retirement. Since they are under your control or influence these are the items you should spend time on rather than worrying about trying to outsmart financial markets.

As always, thank you for listening to my program on KNBR 680. If you have questions or concerns about your own investments or would like us to review what you are doing, please contact Gary.

Contact Information

The best way to contact Gary is through email at gallen@prudentllc.com. But you can try to reach him by phone as well at 916.436.8331.

Email: gallen@prudentllc.com

Phone: 916.436.8331

 

Podcast

KNBR-logo

 

 

 

 

Gary Allen on Business, Sunday, May 22, 2016 – Podcast Now Available

Business Alert!

California Employers Facing State Mandated Retirement Program

So far it has remained under the radar, but a major new State government program is rapidly heading towards a collision course with private employers in California. The California Secure Choice Act is a program that states private employers must offer a retirement plan to their employees or the employer will be forced to participate in a new retirement program mandated by the State of California.

California employers with five or more employees must comply with the mandate or face heavy penalties if they do not. Critics of the state program, including myself, have identified numerous issues small and large that plague the offering. My personal opinion is employers face significant potential risk (based on the current version of the regulations (5/22/2016). Further, the program in my opinion, falls short on providing an optimal solution for employees as well. The program design is flawed and incomplete leaving many questions unanswered. 

Currently, Secure Choice is on track for a 2017 debut, but could slip into 2018. However, make no mistake about it, this program is coming soon. And even if you do offer a retirement plan to your employees that may not exempt you from the mandate. The State is working on rules that would mandate coverage for part-time or contract workers that are excluded from your existing plan.  

There is a much simpler solution for employers to avoid the California Secure Choice Act. Employers can offer a payroll deduction IRA program to their employees without cost or personal liability to the business or its owners. Payroll deduction IRAs have been around for decades and work very well for employers of any size. You can provide your employees with a simple and effective way to save for retirement without cost to you.

I am very concerned that the California Secure Choice Savings Program will turn out to be the equivalent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for retirement plans. You can avoid the headaches and the uncertainty by offering a private solution today. 

You can listen to more about the California Secure Choice Act in segments three and four of my show this week.

In segments one and two of the program, I discuss the flaw of retirement planning that focuses on building wealth instead of a stream of income for retirement.   

KNBR-logo