Gary Allen on Business: Sunday, August 14, 2016 – Podcast Now Available

ABLE ACT529 ABLE Accounts Big Deal for Disabled People

Most people know about 529 College Savings Accounts but few are aware of the new exciting changes under code section 529A. Passed in 2014, the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 is the single biggest improvement for the financial future of disabled people in a very long time. 

Until the passage of the ABLE act most disabled individuals have been trapped in a life of government imposed poverty. Unfortunately, disabled people have been limited to financial assets of less than $2,000 or they would lose their government benefits. All of that is about to change with ABLE accounts.

Listen to the highlights of the exciting ABLE accounts program on this week’s program. The great news is disabled people will be allowed to have modest financial wealth and retain their government benefits. Wonderful news for the disabled community and their families.

Fiduciary ComparisonFiduciary Standard Versus Suitability Standard of Care

A recent interaction with an intern from a financial services firm on the east coast crystallizes the difference between being a fiduciary and a salesperson. This short segment is a great lesson in understanding the differences between a professional and a salesperson in the financial services industry. 

The All-Weather Portfolio and Goals-Based Investing

The final segment of the program introduces the concept of an all weather portfolio and focusing on your needs or goals. It is a change in thought process from the usual product driven/returns driven investment mindset.


Contact Information – Gary Allen

If you have a question for Gary or would like to contact him, the best way is through email at You can also try his office at 916.436.8331 but he responds more quickly through email.

The Unfilitered Truth About the Financial Services Industry

John Oliver Lambasts the Retirement Plan Industry


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.

The Difference Between a Fiduciary Adviser and a Broker/Agent/Salesperson

Shark SuitFrom experience, I know that most people do not understand the differences between a fiduciary adviser and a broker/insurance agent/salesperson.The average person would say they ALL sell financial products and charge commissions.The reality is actually far different. In my opinion, it is crucial for the general public to understand the differences and what it means to your financial future.

Fortunately, one of my business partners, Scott Simon has written a recent column on the subject where he nails it. Scott has been writing for Morningstar for more than ten years on fiduciary matters, but this column really hit home for me. He does a great job of dissecting the differences between the various adviser types and why it matters.

Scott’s column focuses on a retirement plan sponsor and her obvious confusion about the various types of advisers. Scott writes a sharp and brilliant letter to the plan sponsor in his column outlining in detail why it is important for everyone to know the difference and how it impacts their employees.

If I could, I would make this letter by Scott mandatory reading for every employer/plan sponsor in the United States. It provides a clear understanding of why they should care. Please feel free to share this post with anyone you know.

Here is a link to Scott’s most recent column for Morningstar.

Enjoy the week!




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, 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