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Allen Harris

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Allen Harris is the founder, CEO and CIO of Berkshire Money Management based in Dalton, Massachusetts. He is a Certified Exit Planner, Certified Value Builder and Certified Business Valuation Specialist, and specializes in working with business owners intending to accelerate their growth and/or transition. Harris is also the author of ‘Build It, Sell It, Profit: Taking Care of Business Today to Get Top Dollar When You Retire,’ publishes the Berkshire Business Confidence Index, and hosts the BMM Business Roundtable.

He built and sold his previous business, the Navigator Newsletters Group, a financial publication with 16,000 paid subscribers (one of the five largest of its era).

Beyond his professional work, Harris is passionate about the well-being of animals. He is an avid supporter of spay and neuter efforts and animal rescue. Additionally, he is a strong advocate for both economic revitalization and the arts in the Berkshires, including First Fridays Artswalk, Shakespeare in the Park, Alchemy Initiative, Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow and other nonprofit organizations.

Articles by Allen Harris

CAPITAL IDEAS: GPS for ‘the GE’: Marco Polo?

Wednesday, 21 Aug 2019 - Dalton — Growing up in the Berkshires, I could tell if a certain generation lived in the area at a certain time period by the way they referred to General Electric as “The GE.” For more than 20 years, because of my profession, local folks have asked me where “the GE” is going — should […]

CAPITAL IDEAS: What I did on my summer vacation

Wednesday, 14 Aug 2019 - Dalton — My bride, Stacey, and I spent last week in Lake George, New York. It’s become an annual pilgrimage of ours, which came to be because my parents would bring the family there every summer since as far back as I can remember. We’ve been there enough times that the area is easy to […]

CAPITAL IDEAS: Click here for $125

Wednesday, 31 Jul 2019 - If they do cut rates this afternoon, I’m growing convinced that the Fed will be one-and-done, and there will be an extended pause before we see any new action.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Upside down you’re turning me

Wednesday, 24 Jul 2019 - Dalton — Last Thursday, July 18, the yield curve (the spread between yields on 10-year and three-month U.S. Treasuries) turned un-inverted for the first time since May 23 and ended a 40-day streak at inverted levels. As a refresher, an inverted yield curve is an interest rate environment in which long-term debt has a lower […]

CAPITAL IDEAS: What’s your number?

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2019 - According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, currently 67% of workers are “very” or “somewhat” confident that they’ll be able to live comfortably in retirement. ... Their optimism is probably misguided, but I’m happy for them. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Fuel for the fire

Wednesday, 26 Jun 2019 - The next six months may finally give you the returns you were hoping for. But depending on your level of expectations, I doubt it.

CAPITAL IDEAS: The Bank of Mom and Dad

Wednesday, 12 Jun 2019 - The Bank of Mom and Dad, I bet, is not a new concept to you. But what might be less familiar to you is the Bank of Junior, which has an obligation to pay the cost of elder care for aging parents.

CAPITAL IDEAS: What happens in small-town America

Wednesday, 5 Jun 2019 - Do you know who gets the worst returns in the stock market? People who buy something because it’s gone up in price and sell something because it’s gone down in price. Time and time again, following the crowd has proven to be the stupidest thing in the world of investing.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Enough is enough

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 - It's very easy for me to tell you what to do at extremes: Do what feels the worst and go against the crowd. But we’re not at extremes now; indicators are mixed. So what to do now?

CAPITAL IDEAS: A Lannister always spays his pets

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 - Dalton — First off, there are no spoilers ahead for the season finale of Game of Thrones. I wrote this before it was aired. There are minor spoilers for the first season, but you should be fine. On Saturday evening (May 18),,I had the distinct pleasure of hosting a fundraiser at the Model Farm (a former […]

CAPITAL IDEAS: Less talk, more tariffs

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 - The threat of more tariffs to be imposed by the U.S. just before talks were to begin was a dangerous game of diplomacy chicken, which didn’t end well as the Chinese said they were going to retaliate by raising tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods starting June 1.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Buffett-stock and China gets rocked

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 - Dalton — Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate headed by famed investor Warren Buffett, held its annual shareholder meeting this past weekend. It’s like Woodstock for investors of the Omaha, Nebraska-based company, drawing roughly 40,000 people to an arena—Buffett-stock, if you will. There were multiple hours of conversation, too much to detail for a short article, so […]

CAPITAL IDEAS: Suck it up, buttercup

Wednesday, 1 May 2019 - According to my colleagues, 44 percent see a recession hitting in 2020, and 32 percent in 2021. That’s two-thirds who think the U.S. will see a recession within the next two years. You can count me among them.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Markets feeling good

Wednesday, 24 Apr 2019 - The bad news is that when everyone is bullish, it’s often a bad time to be invested because, often times, that means all of the potential good news has already been expected and priced into the market.

CAPITAL IDEAS: You are not going to be OK

Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 - My point is that it’s not just about investing—you’ve got to be aware of your mistakes. Humans tend to be overconfident in their skills.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Advising seniors

Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019 - Dalton — When I work with a business owner to improve their company, one of my main points is that whatever your industry looks like today will be much, if not totally, different in the not-too-distant future. Whether you, my dear reader, are a business owner or valued employee looking to climb the corporate ladder, it […]

CAPITAL IDEAS: Interest rate whiplash

Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 - Last week the Fed pivoted so quickly that all of us watching the press conference got whiplash. The Fed went from expecting two hikes in 2019 to zero. (It did maintain its estimate of one hike in 2020.)

CAPITAL IDEAS: Financial advisors are the worst

Wednesday, 20 Mar 2019 - Have a conversation with your financial advisor. It’s perfectly appropriate for you to ask for tax returns or profit-and-loss statements and have them explain where their revenue is coming from in general, and, specifically, from your accounts.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Go refund me

Wednesday, 13 Mar 2019 - You deserve to receive your income when you get paid. Change your withholding and stop treating IRS tax refunds as if it’s some sort of windfall.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Perfect 10

Wednesday, 6 Mar 2019 - The market has been so good that it’s likely to keep being good for another few months as investors move from the sidelines back into stocks. But after that, brief declines in stock prices wouldn’t be unlikely.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Mort à la résistance

Wednesday, 20 Feb 2019 - Recency bias is the tendency to think that what’s been happening recently will keep happening. It’s one of a group of behavioral finance biases that cloud the judgement of investors.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Vive la resistance!

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 - Still, for many investors, significant concerns remain. Some fear that the advance has been nothing more than a rally in a bear market and the Christmas Eve lows will be revisited. Others fear that stock prices have gone “too far, too fast” and now the market is vulnerable to familiar headwinds such as trade talks, slowing earnings growth rates, a government shutdown, or any other of the recent favorites.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Playing with FIRE

Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 - I get the “Financial Independence” part, but the “Retire Early” part is just made up. Retiring at age 40 is a romantic idea.

CAPITAL IDEAS: A lower high and icicles

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2019 - The concept shared at Davos is similar to what we’ve been preaching: Local businesses need to embrace the new technologies to not only offer the services that their clients want, but also to use these technologies on the operations side, making their companies more efficient.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Ladies Business Group

Wednesday, 23 Jan 2019 - Although going through the value growth process takes one to five years, the most common question I get from business owners is “What can I do now to improve my business today?”

CAPITAL IDEAS: Beer and the cost of brinkmanship

Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019 - Negative effects will intensify and compound the longer the shutdown continues. If the government were to reopen today, the affect for this quarter would be nearly tripled due to the impact from workers not receiving paychecks.

CAPITAL IDEAS: Bad movie night

Wednesday, 9 Jan 2019 - Waterfall declines are typically not the final low; the Dec. 24 low might need to be retested—might. We’ll watch the breadth over the next few weeks to assess if the rally is sustainable or if portfolios need to get more conservative to defend against a retest.