I have known Bruce Allen for almost 25 years. When I worked in local news in Denver, he was our go-to financial expert. Because of his experience and insight, he remains a sought-after expert for media outlets when it comes to stories about the markets and financial planning,
When Bruce decided it was time to refresh his website, Bruce and I met and I asked him a lot of questions with the word why: Why do you care so much about helping people plan for their futures? Why is it so important for you to help them navigate their finances? Why do you advocate for them? Why is it important for you to be transparent with your clients about how they are making money.. and how you are making money? Why is it so necessary for someone to tap into your insight when it comes to claiming social security benefits? Why is socially-responsible investment so popular and a big part of your business? Why are women investors turning to you and your firm?
I was fascinated by Bruce’s answers, by his story. So, I rewrote the copy for his new website: Bruce G. Allen Investments. And I produced short video vignettes with Bruce that are sprinkled throughout the new site.
The first short story had to do with Bruce, personally, and the intimate reason he is devoted to being a financial advocate. Bruce grew up in Oneida, New York, where the flatware company Oneida was based. Practically everyone in the town, and many of his relatives and family friends, worked for Oneida and just counted on one day retiring with benefits and pensions. Unfortunately, Oneida did not imagine they would one day face competition from overseas. The company went bankrupt. Employees and retirees lost their savings.
“I watched relatives and friends go through that and I think it really shaped me in a way that’s hard to articulate, because it’s always in the back of my mind,” Bruce said as he stated that experience back in his hometown is the why for getting into the financial planning sector.
Bruce also wanted to share with people how he works and how he can help them. He also explained what the term ‘fiduciary’ means and why it’s important to have a financial planner who adheres to the fiduciary standard of care.
Bruce says that a lot of people think the process of claiming their social security benefits is clear cut. It is anything but. And, it’s one of the biggest decisions someone can make during their lives.
When Bruce attended Colorado College where in the 80s, the school endowment was invested in companies that were supporting or helping support the apartheid regime in South Africa. Students, faculty, alumnae and the local community became very uncomfortable about this. Bruce investigated and reported the story for the school newspaper.
“That’s when I was exposed to the concept that you could potentially impact a company’s actions by divesting from that company’s stock, if they’re doing something that you were uncomfortable with,” Bruce said.
Bruce now works a lot with clients who are focused on socially-responsible investing, where they align their values with their investments.
Over the last 35 years that Bruce G. Allen Investments has been open, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of women investors that are looking to Bruce for help in navigating their finances.
“If you look at our top 25 households that we work with, and we only work with150 households, there’s a huge number of those households that are either only women or where women have a significant role in the decision making about how those monies are invested,” Bruce said. Women-owned businesses also turn to Bruce for his insight and expertise.
Bruce’s experience over more than three decades, is partially what makes Bruce stand out as a leading in the financial planning sector.
And, personally, there are three values that are important to Bruce in how he leads his life professionally and personally: Integrity, Transparency and Advocacy.
“It’s a personal passion for me to help clients meet their goals,” Bruce said. “To watch a kid go off to school, to go off to college where they want to go, to see clients be able to retire and navigate that really significant change of life is really critical to me. I really care. I want to help my clients navigate a happy future. And it is beyond rewarding to see that happen. I love what I do.”