Welcome to the We love Entrepreneurship podcast. I am honored today. I got a very special guest joining me today, Mr. Allen. Boomer Allen has been in the financial industry for over 20 years. He spent the bulk of his career advising institutional clients and wealthy families prior to founding Mo. Mentum Island spent seven years at Goldman Sachs, where he is the vice president off the firm's investment management division. While at Goldman, he managed 450 million investment portfolio on a team that oversaw seven billion in client assets. Alan began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1995.
If you guys have not met Alan before, it is my honor toe. Introduce him to you today, Mr Allen. Boomer. Hey, thanks for having me, brother. Will. Oh, man, I am delightful that you could spend some of your time with us on this morning, Allen. Alan, why don't you share with my community just a little bit about your story and transition from, you know, working and started momentum? Absolutely. So my background is I grew up in New Jersey. My my parents are from the south, Just like like many of us who either have roots in the South or in the Caribbean.
My grandfather never earned more than $6000 in a single year. His father was born a slave. My dad was one of the first in the family to go to college. He worked at UPS for 32 years and had a dream that his kids would be entrepreneurs and his dream came true. I've got two brothers, so me and one of my other brothers were both self employed entrepreneurs. I got started in finance very differently than a lot of people. My first window in tow, Wall Street was watching trading places with Eddie Murphy in the 19 eighties.
It seemed really interesting to me, and I was very lucky to land an internship at Merrill Lynch coming out of high school and 25 years later, I'm still in the same industry, and today I'm running my own firm. My firm today has about 10 employees were managing about $250 million for individuals and institutions. We've got offices in several cities and we're touching a lot of lives, so it's really been a great great transition story for sure. Amazing. Yeah, I remember kind of trading places. So that kind of inspired you to do your thing.
Alan, you know, I'm I would be real transparent with you, and I wanna have authentic conversation with you. And I think one of the things that's so one of your social media profiles was boom, boom for rial. I was like, Yes, let's let's have a real let's keep it real. Let's keep it riel when you were. And I think you you start this firm after being at Coleman sex, right? What? What went through your mind and says, Hey, you know what? It's time for me to step out and do my own thing. What?
What happened to you? What ushered you to do that and take that step? Yeah, well, a lot went into it, man. You know, I always had the goal of being an entrepreneur. I was an entrepreneur in college. I had several businesses on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore on and then you graduate, and they kind of send you into the workforce, like not too many of my friends went straight into entrepreneurship after college. So then I had the dream. Okay, one day, I'm gonna start a business and you start to push that one day further and further and further out, particularly as you get promoted and get recognition in your job.
As you get more and more pay, you start to push it out. So I remember initially wanted to start a business by 30. That's when I'm in my twenties. Then I'm in my I turned 30 and I'm like, Yeah, I want to do it in my forties, you know? Then you start saying I'm gonna do it in my fifties and what happened for me was really abrupt. I quit Goldman in 2010, and at that point I was about 33 years old and it really was an opportunity that just opened up.
When I see opportunity, what I mean is that opportunity doesn't knock. It just kind of lays there. And what the opportunity that laid before me at that time was we had just finished the financial crisis. Wall Street was becoming a curse word. It was a curse where people were fed up with Wall Street and its conflicts of interest. And I'm literally watching the CEO of my company, uh, Lloyd Blankfein at the time, testified before Congress and the Congress Men congresswoman was asking Lloyd. They said, Didn't you have a fiduciary duty to do what was in the best interests of your client?
I'm watching from my trading desk at Goldman. I'm expecting he was going to say yes, he said No and I'm like, No, I have been on Wall Street that at that point for 20 almost 15 years for 15 years. At that point, I had never known that Financial advisors, most financial advisors, that all the big firms. I did not know that we were not fiduciaries, that we weren't required by law to act in our client's best interest on when I saw that, I said, I got to roll out, I got to get out of here and this is my window of opportunity to start this business like Aiken, stay here and being a business that goes against my values and my value was one that I wanted to align myself with my client or I could go out and try to do it better, you know, and that's what I've done.
My goal was always to create a Goldman Sachs level experience, but for people that don't have Goldman Sachs money and to do it with the fiduciary lens and the fiduciary relationship, and that's what we're doing. And it's been a wonderful story, man. It wasn't all straight up. You know, I had some lean years in the beginning, you know, when I first started, it was literally me by myself working out of my mom's basement. And today it is way bigger, man, we're employing a bunch of folks and helping a bunch of folks.
So it's really been a dream come true. You said some really interesting things. I want to dig into their right there. One of things that you said is that you left because it didn't line up with your values. I think that is really powerful, that you took a step and said, Hey, this really means something and I'm gonna walk away because I'm out of alignment. I don't think many people actually do that today, so I I applaud you for for walking away for your values. But you said something else because most people when they started business, they need the office.
You did it out of your mom's basement. You said. Absolutely, man. Yeah, Here's the deal. Like we've been taught the wrong way on how to start businesses. You know, we've been taught when you're starting a business, the first thing you need to do is get a business card, a website, a brochure, office face the secretary like these air all costs. Those things cost money, right. The most important thing a business can can have is customers that bring you revenue. And at the time, I didn't have any money toe in office.
So my mom and dad, they had a fully furnished basement. I said, Hey, cannot come and work out of here until I get enough money to get in office. And that's how I got started, man. And that's how most people should start. And I think, especially during Covic, Kobe has turned the world into a place that works virtual that understands that people are working from home like if you could work for a big company from home, why can't you work for yourself from home on, work your way up to getting a big office?
And I just feel like, man, it was a ah, humble way to start because I had no choice like I didn't have funding. I didn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank. I started the business, really? With a little bit of desperation in my back. You know, when I quit, I didn't have a strong game plan. I just knew I had a couple of clients that would would still do business with me outside of the firm. And I had ah, feeling that I could get some more and that was it amazing.
You just said something. So you had a few relationships that you're hot. Those relationships went with you when you actually made that transition. Yeah, if you I mean emphasis on a few, like right. So I was managing about $450 million when I was at Goldman. The clients that I had the closest relationships with added up to about $250 million. I figured if I could get $20 million worth of clients to come with me, then I could pay my bills like I could make enough money toe to continue to live.
And so before I quit, I wasn't a fool. I went to 20 to $20 million worth of clients and said, Hey, if I left, would you come with me? And 20 million said yes. And then I quit and I called those 20 million people and Onley seven million actually came through right? So, like if I had, if I had only gotten seven million to say yes, I probably would not have quit. But just to put things in perspective, I needed $20 million just to pay my bills. Right? Right. Seven million came through, so that means I was at less than half of my goal.
That means I could pay less than half of my bills in the in the beginning, which is why I'm in my mom's basement, not running some office space. But today it's only been, I guess, 20. It's been eight years. We had $250 million this year, you know so literally. I went from seven million to $250 million in a few years, but it really it all came from the perseverance of not being able to turn back right. That's amazing. Let me just give the audience, um, clarification. What? Allen's kind of saying when he actually left in transition.
It wasn't seven million in fees he was again. That was the assets that he had under management. Right? So because somebody people like, Hey, what do you mean you left? You had seven million. That's what you need to pay your bills. I just want to clarify for that against Yeah, I'll give you the actual number. So if you charge 1% on seven million, that $70,000 that's how much I was bringing in. But I have three kids, a mortgage, a wife that doesn't work. And so I figured if I could have 20 million, that would pay me about 200 K. You know that that would be enough for me to live and pay my bills.
And what I'm getting at is that if you're making six figures, it's hard to go back and make 70 K or 50 k or what have you. Because I still had expenses that 70 k wasn't all in my pocket. Like I had to pay for my software. I had to pay for my licenses. I had to pay for this and that. So at seven million I might have cleared $40,000 it was not enough to really make it, but through God, through the grace of God, through some hard work through, you know, really some necessity.
I really believe that that necessity is the mother of invention. I had to reinvent myself when I had toe go out into the marketplace and compete and figure out a way to win and thank thankfully, we're doing that. That's amazing, Alan, just in your your transition story. You know, you made this transition. Is it anything that came up that you didn't plan for, that you felt that you could have done better? Yeah, I think the only thing I would I wish I had done better or done differently, and I won't go back and read.
I can't redo anything, so I can't really regret anything. But I made the mistake of bringing on an investor early in my business and equity investor. I got this guy to believe in my story, and he wrote a check, and at the time I thought, Man, this is great. I'm using other people's money, but ultimately, when you bring someone into your business as an equity partner, you now have to listen to them like it's no longer your business. It's y'all business. And if y'all don't don't agree, then you're gonna bump heads and somebody's got to make a move right.
And so I had to buy that partner out. And for every dollar he put in, I had to give him three or $4 back, ultimately, right, so he put in 100 K. That means I had to pay him almost 400 k to get him out. And I think a lot of people think about equity like, Hey, I need to raise some money. I need some equity They watched Shark Tank. It was the most equities, the most expensive money that there is a right, like the guy invested 100 K. If I have borrowed 100 K, I would have had to pay back, maybe 120 k, right?
Right. I took in 100 K as an equity investor and had to pay back 400 K right? And and that's what I'm getting at is that if I had to do it again, I would have just I had, you know, the money in my retirement account and and there are ways to use your retirement dollars to invest in the business without taxes and penalties. I wish I had thought more about that. I wish I had thought more about me being able to be enough, you know? And I think part of bringing in investors is feeling like you're not enough feeling like, yo, I need some help.
I need some capital. I need a team. I need somebody else on my board, somebody to believe in me. But ultimately, I realized after the fact that God had given me everything I needed to be successful. And it was me who felt who still felt inadequate me and went out to get more. But I had everything I needed from the very jump man, that it that is so powerful. You just sharing that. Hey, everything you had, you had it internally. You had it. God had empowered you.
But you was looking for something outside. And you had it all. You had everything you needed. Very, very interesting. So that was your transition from there. What do you celebrating now? Now that you're here, you look back. What's going well into business now, Alan, that you're celebrating? Yeah, I just love, man. It's a great question, and I love my firm's ability to bring new professionals and into the into the field and help them thio grow and thrive. We've grown to 10 people, and there's a lot of success stories in that like we've taken and our firm is very diverse.
I mean, you're not gonna find a more diverse firm on Wall Street or any any street for that matter. You know, we've got folk folks of every ethnicity, every every gender, every religious background. And we've taken some folks who were struggling in their careers as financial advisors. And we've taught them we've had toe reeducate them and how to be an adviser, re educate them and and how to build a business. And we've made some great success stories like one brother in particular had, you know, struggled at a few different banks, and he came in and initially just was very coachable and had a great attitude, and we've turned him into a success.
He's making probably three or four times the money he made when he first joined, but bigger than that man. He's helping people like he's become a great adviser to people. His clients are happy and these air clients that would have possibly been taken advantage of at other firms, and we were able to really touch more lives. So you know, it's not just about me anymore. It's about my team and helping them to grow, helping them to be better professionals, helping them to support their families, better helping them also, though, to teach their kids that they've got more options and just going to work for a big company.
You know, their their moms and dads, our entrepreneurs. And that's an option to, and the fact that they're seeing that their kids were gonna have bigger worlds one day. Amazing, amazing. You know, when I I kind of did a lot of research on you a lot of research and kind of looked at, you know, some things. But I think the one thing that really stuck out to me right soon as you go to your website, it says focus and discipline overtime multiplied by the right team equals mo mentum.
That's it. Oh, man, that that that is just amazing what you're saying there. And then you said, Hey, you got this diverse team that you have. And it seems like you are just porn value into them and is about building them now. It seems like, absolutely, man, there's the old African proverb. If you want to go somewhere fast, go alone. If you want to travel, Ah, long distance, you know, go together. We're growing together, and it's not just about me. I'm just I'm real spiritual man. I believe that God has given all of us a testimony.
He's given us all the skills that we need to to be successful, And I'm just blessed to be able to share with other people and bring them up. And, you know, we're building a, ah, beautiful story. And sometimes I say to my team, I'm like, Yo, if somebody made a movie about us, people will walk out the theater. They'd be like, No way. There's no way all this stuff happened and that's how blessed we are. That's great. That's great. You need to write the book on that and share that.
But I like you saying that Hey, you're spiritually and with God basically has done for you and and doing for your firm. What's up next for you? What's What's next, Alan? What do you building? What could the people expect from you? Yeah, we're just doing doing more, man. So we have a radio show. Me and my partner, Tiffany Hawkins, have a radio show on Sirius X M. Every Sunday. It's called The Momentum Advisor. That's on Channel 1 26. Urban View were growing that platform to be able to touch more people because not everyone can be a client.
But if you can afford a Sirius XM's subscription, you can listen to great financial advice. We talk about wealth building. We talk about entrepreneurship. We talk about like this weekend. We started a conversation about generational wealth, and we talked about Generation zero, which is this concept that the the foundation of wealth building is really understanding the values that your ancestors wanted to instill in the family. And if if these values can be passed on, it's better than money being passed on because it's the foundation. So I guess the thing that we're growing is we wanna create a new set of conversations in the black community, in particular, about how to build wealth about entrepreneurship.
I'm also an investor in franchises. I have to dry cleaning stores. I have two gyms, you know, and I want to just see other people become investors become entrepreneurs. Because I just really believe, man, that we can as the people close the wealth gap if we just focus on our own households. Mm, amazing. Amazing. Allen. You know, if you guys don't notice, Allen has an MBA in finance, accounting and entrepreneurship. Alan, what's your thoughts on personal development? You've gotta always be getting better. To me, The two biggest return on investment opportunities our education and entrepreneurship, right?
Education. Some of it is textbook and going to school like I have an MBA. I've got a college degree as well, but some of it is going on YouTube university for free and learning how to do something like one of my one of my business partners. Prior to her working in our firm, she learned how to make websites sitting on the couch, and she turned that into a six figure business. And so you've got to constantly be learning you got to constantly be evolving. And the thing that I challenge all of my team members to do every year is to just get better.
You gotta be the absolute best at what you do. And if you're the best, you can't help but be successful. Think about that. Like, how can you be the best at something and fail? Right? There's a card that I got from my aunt and it had a Maya Angelou quote. This is when I finished business school and it said, Don't make money. Your goal. Instead. Pursue the things you love to do and do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you on. And that's become my mantra.
You know, personal development. It's huge. Oh, my goodness. Amazing. Amazing, Amazing. And I think if I'm right, Alan as well, you have a internship program that you're building people through. Also at the firm? Absolutely. Yeah. We take in college students that are interested in finance. We had our first student from Morgan State University last summer. The summer we had a young man from Rutgers University. They're doing great. I tell each of them, like you guys were gonna be rock stars in this business. And you'll always have a home to come back here.
But I want to see you guys go out and live your own trading places. Dream and go work on Wall Street. But just know that you've got a home back here, right? Well, just talking to you, man. It just seems like you're just a riel Karen, human being who has a lot of people and is walking into your calling man. I love everything that you're doing and and what you're about. Anything else you wanna actually share with the community? Yeah. I just want to tell everybody that's listening that ah, lot of us may wanna be entrepreneurs.
And we think we think small because the world wants us to think small. We sometimes might be afraid to share our dreams with people, but I believe that God has given all of us dreams. And it's not to frustrate us. It's not to be something that will happen at some point in the future, like he wants us to do it. Now, take some steps towards doing it now. And don't think about entrepreneurship as Onley. Something you could do on the side. Think about it. It's something that you can thrive in.
Think about. Its entrepreneurship is something that can allow you to make even more money than you make today in your job. But for yourself, bond, you can create ah, financial legacy. Ah, leadership legacy for your family. If your Children can see that you've become successful as an entrepreneur and to me, entrepreneurs, really nothing more than taking an idea that you think of up here, mixing it with your labor of your hands and then producing money. Anybody can do it the things that go into entrepreneurship. And I'm sorry, I'm I'm answering a short question with a long answer.
But you need to have something that people need, something that people are willing to pay for, and you gotta be able to deliver it at a price where you could make money. If you could do those three things, something that people need, something they're willing to pay for. And if you could deliver that service or product at a price where you could make a profit, you've got yourself a business you know you don't need, like the most important thing you need in business is not a websites not in office.
It's not business cards, is customers. Anybody that's got customers has a business. Any business that doesn't have customers. Ain't a business, right? Amazing. Amazing. Allen, thank you so much for your time. Just telling people how if they want to connect with you how to actually connect with you. And now you have the serious show if you want to tell him how to get that. But how do they kind of just connect you if they want to get toe? Alan Boomer? Sure. So if you're on Twitter, our twitter page is that mo mentum advice.
If you're on the Internet are site is momentum dash advisers dot com. And if you are in the extraterrestrial space of listening to radio, you can tune into Sirius X M Channel 1 26. Our show is on every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. You can also go to the Sirius X M app and all of our shows are archived on demand. There is well, momentum Advisors is the name of the show. Alan, thank you so much. I'm grateful that you spent this time with me. I look forward to connecting with you in the future, man.
Thanks so much. Thanks for having me, brother. Will. Yes,