Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, March 5, 2017 – Podcast Now Available

The Health of the US Stock Market

Where Have All The Public Companies Gone?

Business man

On the program this week, I talk about the concerns raised by a trio of professors regarding the health of capitalism in the United States. The professors are calling into question one of the basic tenets of capitalism, the idea of creative destruction. Their argument is America is headed towards a system of winner take all. This is where large companies continue to gain market share and dominate their industry. They argue the primary cause for this is a lack of anti-trust regulation and enforcement. In the first segment of the program, I give you my thoughts on why I think they are off base with this argument. HINT – I think it is a byproduct of the artificially low interest rates that we have experienced for a decade. 

Here is a link to the article by Jason Zweig that I mentioned at the beginning of the segment. Jason Zweig Article

In segment two, I spend time talking about one of the few initial public offerings in recent months. Snap Inc. of Snap Chat fame enjoyed a snap, crackle and pop opening (who could resist) on its public debut.

Segment three is another take on the “success” of the Snap IPO. Why does Wall Street continue to dominate the IPO process and the pricing structure? Snap, which burns money at an incredible rate, sure could have used an extra billion dollars that Wall Street passed on to its best clients by pricing the IPO below what the public market would pay just a few minutes later. 

Finally, in segment four, I cover, what in my opinion is one of the worst investments for most retirement plan savers. The funds are called many things, but they are commonly known as Stable Value Funds. I believe that most people would reject this investment if they truly understood how it worked. Let me put it to you another way. Would you be interested in an investment where you lock in a low rate of return and give up approximately 75% of the profit that your money generates? It is called spread income and it is not disclosed anywhere to retirement plan participants (Employees) or plan sponsors (Employer). Spread income makes Stable Value Funds the most profitable portion of a retirement plan vendor’s business. And that profit comes at your expense!

I hope you enjoy this week’s program! – Gary

Gary’s Contact Information

If you would like to contact Gary about your financial situation, the best way to reach him is via email at Gary’s Email gallen@prudentllc.com. You can try to reach him at his office, but he is often on the move! 916.436.8331.

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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, 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

 

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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

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

Some Oscar Swag… and America Saves Week!

One celebrates the art and glamor of Hollywood, while the other tries to celebrate the savings of average Americans. Strange bedfellows but it works for me!

Oscar Swag Bag

On the program this week, a little bit of Hollywood glitz with the Oscars grabbing all the attention this weekend. So who am I to ignore the bright lights! In the first segment, I cover this year’s swag or goodie bag that 21 folks will receive this year.

The host and twenty losers from the major Oscar categories will receive the so-called swag bag. However it must be quite a “bag” if you notice the picture to the left. In the show I mention it has a retail value of $125,000 but I found out later, that was an incorrect amount. In fact, the swag bag is worth an astounding $168,000.

Above is a picture of the Oscar Swag Bag, but the Academy actually has nothing to do with it at all. Back in 2006, the Academy settled a long dispute with the IRS over taxation of the goodie bag and since then they have steered clear of it.

Here is a list for those that really want to know what’s in the bag!  Here are SOME of the highlights of the 2015 Oscar Nominee Swag Bag:

Antiperspirant: $5.49
Each swag bag holder will receive a bottle of Dove Dry Spray antiperspirant and Dove Men+Care antiperspirant.

Lip gloss: $36
The swag bag will contain a bottle of Flickable’s vegan-friendly lip gloss.

Lollipops: $68
This six-pack of herbal tea-based lollipops from Dosha Pops incorporates 24 karat edible gold leaf.

Travel pillow: $69
The Oscar nominees and host can rest easy on the trip back home with an innovative travel pillow from NapAnywhere.

Ambrosia Apples: $75
This new variety of apple is known for its low acid content and sweet flavor.

Condiments: $280
Rouge Maple is providing an assortment of organic maple syrup, salad dressings, jellies and mustard, as well as an apron to keep all that sticky stuff off those gowns and tuxedos.

Accessories: $300
Female nominees will receive a trio of bracelets from Jan Lewis Designs, and the men will receive silk ties.

Personal Training: $900
Celebrity trainer Alexis Seletzky is offering up 10 sessions of personal training.

Skincare: $1,200
Gift bag recipients can stay forever young with a host of products from Wellness 360, including a hair stimulant and skin serum.

Liposuction Wearable: $4,068
The stars can avoid going under the knife with a non-invasive liposuction wearable device from Ventura Lipo-Light.

Home spa system: $5,060
Steamist is providing a home spa system that delivers the ultimate steam bathing experience.

Italian luxury hotel package: $11,500
The Nominees and host can enjoy a three-night stay at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, the Villa Armena in Tuscany and the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como. Maybe George Clooney will have them over for cocktails.

Glamping: $12,500
This luxury camping trip from TerraVelo Tours includes surfing, hot air balloon rides and horseback riding.

Lifestyle makeover: $14,239
Reset Yourself is offering the recipients supplements, hair mineral analysis, a kitchen/pantry detox, expert meditation consultation and more to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Luxury rail trip: $14,594
The Oscar swag bag recipients can enjoy a luxury rail trip through the Canadian Rockies from Rocky Mountaineer.

Horoscope reading: $20,000
The founder of Enigma Life, Olessia Kantor, will fly out to meet each Oscar nominee and host to deliver their 2015 horoscopes. Kantor will also teach mind control techniques and conduct dream analysis.

 

America Saves WeekIn segment two of the program, I start the festivities for “America Saves Week,” which is the eighth year of this event. However, in this segment and the following one, I point out how the name might not be the best. The reality is a better name might be, “America Does Not Save Week” or possibly it should be more aptly named, “America Needs to Save More Week.”

I continue to cover “America Saves Week” in this segment of the program. I spend some time chatting about one of the major problems or disconnects with saving for retirement. The actual information we receive about:  How Much?, How Am I Doing?, What Should I Be Doing?, and a few others is less than satisfactory. It is no mystery why people feel in the dark about their retirement. That needs to change if we are to see a marked improvement in the coming years.

In the last segment of the program, I cover some of the excuses people use not to save as well as some of the highlights of a Fidelity study that outlines how even small increases in savings over time can have a big impact. Finally, I challenge the listeners to make a difference in their own lives by increasing their retirement savings at work by one percent.

I hope you enjoy this program and I really hope you find it possible to increase your retirement savings.

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Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, December 14, 2014 – Podcast Now Available

Annuities and Lifetime Income Options in 401(k) Plans
Cheat In this program I spend time explaining some of my concerns with annuities in general and their application in 401(k) plans. There have been some recent regulatory changes that will make it easier for insurance companies to use so-called lifetime income options (annuities) inside of qualified retirement plans.

There are some significant potential problems with these new products that business owners and their employees should be aware of. As you would expect, they are going to be sold as a simple solution but they are anything but simple. I hope you enjoy the program.

Segment 1 – Basic annuity concerns
Segment 2 – My concerns for business owners with lifetime income options (fiduciary liability with a very long tail)
Segment 3 – My concerns for employees with lifetime income options
Segment 4 – A short segment introducing Tony Robbins and his new foray into the financial services world

Annuity

Gary Allen on Business

Gary Allen on Business