One of the largest financial decisions a person will make during their lifetime is what to do with their retirement savings when they retire. I have heard many horror stories from folks over the years who have made wrong decisions. The stories often revolve around someone convincing them to buy a complicated and costly financial product. On the program this week, I spend time going through a framework to develop a good decision making process.
Too often, people will immediately be talked into rolling or transferring their monies out of a retirement plan before comparing it to the proposed solution. In other cases, a lack of disclosure or too much faith in the salesperson dooms the transaction and/or the relationship.
The concept of “money in motion” has been taught to financial salespeople for generations. That is, focus on people who are at or near a lifetime event to gather assets. They will be more vulnerable and responsive to sales pitches when they are facing a big decision. It all makes sense, but too often these trolling for dollars safaris end up hurting real people. I have seen many inexperienced or unscrupulous salespeople sell costly financial products that appear to benefit them more than their clients.
On the program this week, I spend time walking through some of the issues that folks face as they get close to retirement and what they should do with their retirement savings. I hope you enjoy the program this week. – Gary
If you have a question or would like to contact Gary, the best way is through Gary’s Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can always try to call him as well 916.436.8331.
How Most People Feel About the Financial Services Industry
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!
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!
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!
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.
Monetary and Fiscal Policy… Helping the Economy or Slowly Drowning it?
In 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
Costs Matter – The Impact of Fees on Your Retirement
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:
Funding (wish I could change this)
The timing of your retirement
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.
The best way to contact Gary is through email at email@example.com. But you can try to reach him by phone as well at 916.436.8331.
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.
Human Capital and Financial Capital Equals Life Cycle Investing
Unfortunately, too many people do not understand the interaction between human and financial capital. Human capital is the collective skills, knowledge, or other intangible assets that you possess in order to create economic value. A simpler way to understand human capital is your present and future earning power. Education is an investment in your human capital that pays off in terms of higher productivity.
Our economic life cycle is driven by a balance between our human and financial capital. Early in life we have a lot of future earnings power in the form of human capital. As we work, we have a choice; to either consume our present earnings or save for future needs. That balance between consumption and savings is one of the primary drivers of our economic life. Consumption is spending, while savings is the process of turning human capital into financial capital. That financial capital becomes our investments.
In this program, I discuss the general concepts of human and financial capital and how it is crucial to understand the big picture. Hope you enjoy the program.
Have a question for Gary or would like to contact him? You can reach Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can try to call him at his office at 916.436.8331.