What is the most important reason to hire an experienced long-term advisor?

Making a mistake in 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 advisor 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 cost of investing. 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 help you understand and achieve goals, not simply sell you investment products. Anyone who has lost a valued relationship with a doctor, a dentist, a 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 advisor how he charges for products and services and 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 appropriate 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 by the advisor. Investors seeking wealth can potentially exercise an important option when they investigate fees and costs. Investing can be uncertain, and fees and costs are one area of investing where the investor can possibly control how much they pay to invest and understand how those costs impact achieving 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. We have a conservative strategy focused on preserving capital and selecting quality investments with the lowest fees consistent with investment objectives. In addition, we coach our clients in ways that give them greater confidence that over time, with patience, they will experience the comfort that their financial goals are continuing to work out. As financial markets and life events develop going forward, we maintain portfolio diversification continuously adjusting the portfolio by selling investments that have become expensive and investing in ones that have declined in price.

Bear markets are as scary as bear attacks. Watch this video to learn how to survive a bear market.


[00:00:00] Hello, my name is Joanna Westcot. I’m an LPL financial advisor for Bill Westcott incorporated. We are going to talk about how to survive a bear attack. That’s right. We are going to give you some wilderness survival tips.

If you were hiking through the forest and you came upon a big ferocious grizzly bear, what would you do? For most of us, our instinct would tell us to run as fast as we can. But that would be the exact wrong thing to do [00:01:00] because bears are much faster than we humans.

Okay. So if we can’t outrun a bear, could we out climb it and hide in a tree? Nope. That wouldn’t work either. Just do a video search for bear climbing a tree and you’ll see why. Unfortunately wilderness survival experts say the only way to respond to a charging bear is to lay down on the ground and not move. Not something any of us would want to do, but it would be our only chance for survival.

Now, hopefully none of us ever comes upon a bear in the wilderness, but it’s certain that we’ll come upon a bear in the markets. When we do, one way to survive and potentially thrive is to respond the same way you’d respond to a real live bear. Don’t [00:02:00] move a muscle. If you attempt to flee a bear market and pull your money out, you could harm your financial health. But if you stick to the plan and lie still your chances of coming out unscathed can be improved. And we’re here to help you face down that bear.

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 advisor, their firm, and the investments themselves. We have found that investors are unaware that their portfolios 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 the potential impact of expenses on the portfolio’s cost of ownership over time. If our proposal meets the needs of the client, we negotiate a fee based on the assets placed under management and the expected complexity of account administration. 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 refer to putting the best interest of the client first by fully disclosing the benefits and the limitations of investment products and disclosing the advisor’s financial interests when those services are provided. The fiduciary advisor 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 that may not be collected by the advisor but are nonetheless deducted from the account.

What happens to me if something happens to you?

We have a succession plan to ensure that your investments will continue to be managed with the same diligence and philosophy Bill Westcott, Inc. currently uses, far into the future. That is how we have done it for 40 years; we provide fundamental, friendly advice and amazing service

How do you approach and individualize each retirement plan?

It is important for the advisor to understand each person’s relationship to money and to assess their ability to follow a long-term plan that will compete with the many important current expenses of their daily family living. This leads to conversations about lifestyle concessions. Success often depends on how quickly they find and then maintain the resolve to make concessions now for what is far in the future.

Many people respond positively to being shown simple illustrations using basic calculations with modest assumptions. Retirement is 30 years of unemployment, and the quality of that retirement depends on how early, how regularly, and how successfully one manages their money. By providing examples and scenarios based on their approximate financial condition and timeline the individual can see that whether they are starting early or later, there is a mathematical pathway to the end goal if they stay with the plan. Investor behavior over the long term can be a very important factor in achieving the ultimate goal of having a stable and predictable retirement income.

When should I start talking to a retirement planner?

The younger person should visit a financial expert early in life to understand the foundational element of long-term investing for retirement: the earlier they start, the smaller the lifestyle tradeoff. Simple examples of long-term saving can be a powerful way for young investors to see the wisdom of saving as much as possible for as long as possible. Saving money is a habit to be learned from one’s first job to the last. For those who start later, the financial expert can help lay out a specific strategy to close the income gap between how much has been saved and the most efficient way to close any gap with careful planning.

Swimming Against the Financial Tide


[00:00:00] Hello, I’m Joanna Westcott an LPL financial advisor for Bill Westcott Incorporated. I’d like to talk to you about how to swim, but not swimming in a pool, ocean or lake, but rather swimming against the tide. When investing, the tide of investors pushes to sell when the markets trend down and buy when they’re trending up.

But if you swim along with this tide, you could potentially lose out on some serious returns. In fact DALBAR’s quantitative analysis of investor behavior published in March, [00:01:00] 2020 showed us that investors have lost out on almost 5% of returns throughout the past 30 years, by dipping in and out of the markets during volatility.

If you learn how to swim against this tide, you could avoid missing out on returns, like those who are following the flow and swimming down. Here’s the thing, the way you swim upstream is by keeping a long term view of your investment strategy, which can be a challenge. But I know you’re all up for the challenge and I’m here to help you if your arms get tired and you need to float for a while. In the meantime, here’s to swimming against the tide.

What happens if I have a financial emergency?

Financial emergencies should be expected. A percentage of long-term savings should be designated in a separate account as untouchable reserves to be used when a life event happens to help avoid using future retirement money one will need later. It could be a health issue, a job loss, or a major market correction early in retirement; anything predictable can be accounted for in the savings plan.

Will my investment plan change as the market changes?

The market always changes. Advisors vary on how they manage those changes as they occur. It is extremely important that the investor understand that no one knows what it will do in the short term. We model our portfolios on research that projects three, five, and ten years into the future based on past results going back three, five, and ten years. During those time periods, the most likely reason changes would be made to the portfolio would be for an unforeseen life event, or to rebalance the portfolio to stay on track with the model being used.

Lizard Brain


[00:00:00] Hello, my name is Joanna Westcot. I’m an LPO financial advisor with Bill Westcot incorporated. In this video, I’m gonna talk about the brain more specifically, the brain on market volatility. Behavioral scientists have discovered that money activates the emotional parts of our brain called the amygdala, commonly known as our lizard brain, because it’s completely driven by instinct.

All this really means is that when money issues arise, we respond with emotion rather than logic. This [00:01:00] happens to everyone. When it comes to market volatility, our lizard brain will tell us to go against what we know to be the best force of action. It tells us to sell when stocks are plummeting and buy when stocks are rising.

But the good news is we can train our lizard brains by knowing ahead of time what to expect from our brain and making a plan for how to react. We can fight our natural instincts in the short term, so we can potentially have more success over the long term. And we are here to help you create a plan. So the next time market volatility hits, remember to check your lizard brain.[00:02:00]

What are some of the services you offer?

We help our clients administrate the burden of owning financial assets. We help them coordinate health benefits and navigate taxes and other benefits they may have. By far the most important service we offer is to earn the professional and personal credibility necessary to help them stay on track when life events or media-generated fears threaten their plans.

How do you reduce the costs of investment for clients?

We talk openly to investors about the costs associated with acquiring and maintaining long-term investment strategies. Investors cannot influence what the market does, but they can impact what they pay to participate in the marketplace. We explain how our business model earns us a living. We illustrate how the cost of investing is not typically transparent or often, accurately articulated. Hidden fees can have a significant impact on long-term results. We do not promote products with commissions, and we charge a flat fee that is lower when the portfolio is down and higher when the portfolio is up. There is no incentive for us to recommend expensive products in our fee-based model.

How can you help me with charitable donations?

There are provisions in the law that allow investors over a certain age to direct their annual required income distribution with certain limitations, to a charity of their choice and not pay the income tax on that distribution.


How Bill Westcott Inc. Keeps In Touch


[00:00:00] Hello. Today I wanna give you a little insight into how we stay in touch with you, which is more important than ever with a current social distancing requirements. We think communication is one of the biggest parts of our job, because it means our clients stay informed not just about their investment strategy, but also how we are thinking about investing these days.

We have five primary ways of staying in touch with you. First is through email. We send out emails frequently, which gives you a good idea about how we’re viewing the markets and the world these days. Second, is through our social media channels. We’re continually [00:01:00] posting about things happening in our practice, what we’re up to, how we’re viewing certain market events or sharing timely articles.

Third is through our website. Here we post helpful articles and blogs that go more in depth into our perspectives.

Fourth is of course the meetings and events we offer. Our goal is to meet with you as often as you’d like and provide a few events that allow us to connect with you on a deeper level and give you a chance to network with each other.

These days, we’re doing most meetings and events remotely, and we’re trying to get creative, just how we do that. Lastly, we have online portals where you can view up to date financial information.

Those are ways we keep in touch, but there are several ways you can get in touch with us as well. Whether by calling or emailing. If you’re currently a client and want to know more, let us know. If you’re [00:02:00] not a client today, let us know how we can help you. We’re here for you.

Keeping a long-term view. What does that mean?


[00:00:00] Hello, my name is Joanna Westcott I’m an LBL financial advisor with Bill Westcott Incorporated. Today let’s talk about time. If you hear us talk a lot about keeping a long term view, what does that actually mean? Well, when we put together an investment strategy for you, we consider your specific timeline, or rather when you are going to need the money we’re investing for you.

The plan we make is intended to keep you invested throughout this time and takes into consideration potential market dips and spikes. If you keep your eye on the long term prize, knowing your plan is meant for a [00:01:00] future date, it can help you stay steadfast when market volatility is happening. If you go against the plan and start making short term decisions, it could derail it completely. Well we know it can be difficult to keep your long term perspective, especially with the amount of news media we see every day. That’s why we’re here to remind you of your timeline and help you keep your eye on the prize. If you want to go through your strategy with us to hear how it’s designed for your specific timeline, let us know.

Investing can be scary so watch this video to see how we can help.


[00:00:00] Hello. My name is Joanna Westcott, LBO financial advisor with Bill Westcott incorporated. Around the Halloween holidays the word scary comes up. It also comes up around the topic of investing.

You know, I have some ideas of how investing doesn’t have to be scary if you’ve never invested before, or if you’re thinking about investing sometimes soon. Just think about starting small or start big. What’s [00:01:00] really important is that you start.

A way to remove “scary” from investing is to diversify. Diversification is where you put your money into different places around the economy or this stock market, or maybe what’s called asset classes. Think long term. I know maybe your future seems scary, but if you think about investing for the long term, that removes a lot of the scariness, than if you were to think about short term investing.

Build tiny habits. Maybe on an annual basis, you could give your investments a raise, or if you’re working and your employer gives you a raise, you could add half of that raise to your lifestyle [00:02:00] and the other half to your investments.

Another way you could remove some of this scary from your investing is to take a break from the news. Newscasters. They will never simply say “today, the stock market went up” or “today the stock market went down.” They gotta scare you. They’ll say the “the stock market soared today”, or “the stock market plummeted today.” It’s just probably a good idea to take a break from the news anyway.

One of the other ways that you could remove scary from investing is to call a trusted advisor. Call me. I can help you. I’m not scary.[00:03:00]

What You Need To Know 5 Years From Retirement


[00:00:00] What should you try to do within five years of deciding to retire? Here are five things to think about.

Estimate the monthly income you will make. It may be less than you need. Now, as your monthly expenses may decline, you may need to adjust or reallocate your portfolio and take another look at both income producing and growth investments.

You’ll also wanna factor in the amount you’ll receive from social security, as well as required minimum distributions. Determine whether you will stay in your existing home or move. Retiring to another state may mean tax savings. [00:01:00] Many retirees decide to downsize to a smaller dwelling to lower their living expenses also consider whether you wish to move closer to your immediate family members and grandchildren. Traveling can get more difficult as we age, and there are many advantages to having your family in close proximity.

Number three, think about debt and taxes. It’s possible that you’ll retire to a lower income tax bracket than what you are currently. If you can stand the one time tax hit converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you could someday give you a source of tax free retirement income.

However, before making this change, talk with a qualified tax professional to make sure this is the right decision for your unique scenario. Converted amounts are usually taxed as income, and age and income [00:02:00] restrictions may apply.

Number four, consider healthcare costs. Will you be eligible for Medicare? Will Medicare provide enough coverage? Remember that many retirees will eventually need long-term care at some point during retirement, which can quickly drain your saving.

Number five. Imagine what your ideal retirement looks like. How do you plan to fill your days during retirement? Do you plan on traveling the world or staying home and building your dream garden? Is there a hobby that you want to explore, but never simply had the time to try it previously? Make sure your finances can support your retirement goals, whatever those may be.

I’d like to help you plan a smooth retirement transit. Call or email me with your questions and we’ll come up with a strategy that works for you.[00:03:00]