What is the most important reason to hire an experienced long-term adviser?
Because making a mistake funding and distributing retirement funds can have very unpleasant consequences, it is reasonable for a person to ask themselves, “Can I do this on my own or do I need help?” Those who want help should educate themselves with a basic knowledge of 401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s, or University Plans such as TIAA or Fidelity as a starting point before they talk with a professional person from the industry. Even those who do not think they want a professional adviser should find out the true costs of investing your assets. High fees and hidden charges can make your financial goals harder to reach.
What is the most interesting thing you have learned about long-term investing?
At Bill Westcott, Inc. We have learned that investor behavior can be as important as stock market returns. Quality investments purchased for retirement or other financial goals can take time to generate returns that reward you for the risk you take investing in the financial markets. Investing can be emotional and emotional behavior can impact financial behavior and therefore investment returns.
If I decide I need help, what is the first thing I should do?
Realize that you are now looking for a person to help you consult on your financial goals and how to reach them not just to sell you investment products. Anyone who has lost a valued relationship with a doctor, a dentist, lawyer, or an accountant, knows the sense of loss and tension associated with finding someone new. Some people in the financial services industry work decades and others are just passing through. It is a legitimate question to ask a potential adviser about what happens to you if something happens to them.
Why is the cost of investing important?
Bill Westcott, Inc. cannot control what the market does, but we can guide you to select investments with low fees. Just like searching for the lowest interest credit card or home mortgage, fees add up and there can be hidden fees that are equal in amount to the ones that have been disclosed. Investors seeking to build wealth have the option to investigate fees and costs, it is one area of investing where the investor can control an important aspect of their portfolio to achieve their goals.
Is investing risky?
Yes, investing always involves risk; there are many types and at Bill Westcott, Inc. We educate our clients about them all. At any given time, your portfolio could be worth more or less than you started with, particularly early in the investment history. We have a conservative philosophy focused on conservation of capital which begins with selecting quality investments with the lowest possible fees and coaching the client in a way that gives them a degree of confidence that over time, their financial goals will continue to work out. As events develop going forward, we continue to diversify as we adjust the portfolio by adding to investments that have declined in value and selling ones that have become expensive.
How often will you meet with me?
Some people like to meet quarterly, others twice a year. We are available on the phone daily to answer questions and you have the option of checking your account online. A principal area of expertise of Bill Westcott, Inc. is our friendly, personalized service regardless of the size of your account.
How do you charge for your services?
Bill Westcott, Inc. Follows fiduciary standards. First, we evaluate your current portfolio focusing on fees and costs for both the adviser, his firm and the investments themselves. We have found that investors are unaware that their portfolio may be subject to hidden costs and fees. Once the current costs are established, we look at the suitability of the investments for the investor’s goals and how they have performed since the client has owned them. If asked, we propose alternative investments, fully disclosing all costs and expenses of ownership. If our proposal meets the needs of the client, we negotiate a fee based upon the assets placed under management. Bill Westcott, Inc. pays the trading expenses to buy and sell investments as they are re-balanced throughout the year.
What are fiduciary standards?
In the financial services industry, fiduciary standards refers to putting the best interest of the client first by fully disclosing the benefits and the limitations of investment products and disclosing the adviser’s financial interests when those services are provided. The fiduciary adviser believes that the investor has a fundamental right to know how the products he is purchasing are supposed to work along with all fees and charges associated with the product, including those fees which may not be collected by the adviser but are nonetheless deducted from the account.
What happens to me if something happens to you?
We have a succession plan to assure that your investments will continue to be managed with the same diligence and philosophy Bill Westcott, Inc. currently uses, far into the future. We have senior advisers, and we have a younger group of advisers who are being trained and mentored in our financial and personal philosophy. That is how we have done it for 38 years; we provide fundamental, friendly advice and amazing service.