Good afternoon everyone! Welcome in. Welcome to Coasting in Retirement! That’s right. Josh Null here, along side co-host Michelle Lee Melton, my radio partner in crime, my midnight rider…Michelle, how are you? Well, I’m great, and I’m excited to be back recording here in Coastal College’s podcast studio, located in beautiful downtown Fairhope, and I’m even more excited about the show we have today, as usual, we have another killer show for those of you tuning in.
Listeners: Michelle and I are here today to discuss financial topics relevant to those in or near retirement living their best life along our part of the coast. If you’re just tuning in to our show, welcome, you’ve listening to Lower Alabama’s most dynamic financial radio show. Here’s what we’ve got in store for you today: First segment – deep dive on our topic of the day. 2nd segment - at about 15 minutes past the hour - fan favorite “Michelle with the News of the Week”. 3rd segment, roughly 30 minutes past the hour, you’ll hear a good ol fashioned roast of yours truly with our ”Josh’s Crystal Ball and Big Mouth” piece. As you learn, I have opinions. Lot’s of them. So buckle up, we pack a lot in, and be ready to be both entertained and enlightened!
For those new to the show, a quick background on me. Again, my name is Josh Null, and I am a fee-based financial advisor, I hold my FINRA Series 65 securities license and I am the owner of Gulf Coast Financial Advisors, an independent investment management and financial planning firm based out of Fairhope, Alabama. You can find more information on me and Gulf Coast Financial Advisors by visiting our website gulfcoastfa.com or feel free to give us a call at 251-327-2124. We will repeat our contact info several times throughout the show!
Alright, let’s get started with our main topic today. I’ll start with a question for you Michelle. Have you ever felt “better” after watching the evening news for a prolong period of time? Why not? Well today we’re probably going to have our first controversial show Michelle, we’re probably going to anger a few people, probably make a few people think we’ve lost our marbles, but listeners, I want you to listen to what I am about to say, maybe even write it down, then take some time to consider the wisdom of my advice before firing off an angry email. Our episode title is pretty tame – 5 things that retirees should simply ignore in retirement – but I made the decision to bring my life experience into this debate as much as my financial advisor experience, and in doing so, I’m sure to ruffle a few feathers. So be it.
Alright, Michelle, you ready? Well then here we go. I’ll list the 5 things that retirees should simply ignore in retirement and then we discuss each individually:
- We’ll just dive headfirst into what we used as our opening example, Michelle. The first thing that retirees should ignore in retirement is the news in general. Especially the evening news. It’s a waste of your time and only exists to sell advertising. I’ll give a specific and recent example. All of the noise around the most recent debt ceiling stand-off. A complete waste of most people’s time and was used to get a bunch of people worked up and scared, needlessly.
- That social security is going broke. Your grandkids may need to worry about this. Possibly your kids to some degree. But those of you in or near retirement? You’re fine. We’ll discuss.
- The stock market. Wait, what? Aren’t you a financial advisor Josh? Isn’t it your job to watch the stock market? Yes, it is. To some degree anyway, I don’t sit around staring at 3 computer screens and stressing out all day. And neither should you. We focus on financial planning, and we’ll discuss why the proper strategy in retirement should alleviate you checking your investment accounts often.
- Any news about crypto currency, meme stocks and anything guys like Jim Cramer have to say. I’m looking forward to discussing this one in more depth.
- Lastly, people that use scare tactics to sell you a financial product in retirement. I don’t care if it’s precious metals, a time share, an annuity or freaking snake oil, if someone has to convince that the world is going to hell in a handbasket to sell you a financial product, run away, don’t walk.
Alright, let’s dive into each of these items individually: Debt ceiling has been increased 78 times since 1960. Do you know how many times the United States government has failed to pay it’s obligations or service it’s debt? Zero. Zero times. The debt ceiling matters simply as a political tool to leverage what each side wants. No matter what you hear from any politician, neither side, NO ONE, would want to be responsible at all for the US defaulting on its debt. The consequences would be catastrophic, and probably lead to an almost immediate crippling of the US’s standing in the world, particularly relative to our enemies and rivals.
Again, if you’re interested in having that conversation, give us a call at 251-333-5151, or find us at gulfcoastfa.com. That’s gulfcoastfa.com.
Alright folks, coming up next - There’s always a lot going on in the world! Particularly the world of finance- this past week was certainly an example of big news in finance! Every week Michelle and I scour the interwebs for helpful financial articles related to our topic of the day, especially articles that pertain to those in or near retirement. Join us after the break to hear Michelle and I discuss this week’s relevant headlines in our “Michelle with the News of the Week” segment. Stay tuned!
Segment 2 - Michelle with the News of the Week:
Josh: “Welcome back to Coasting in Retirement, your host Josh Null here! As we discussed before the break, every week Michelle and I scour the interwebs for helpful financial articles related to our topic of the day, especially articles that pertain to those in or near retirement. Michelle and I are going to help you all understand and decipher the deeper meaning of those headlines, or at the very least, provide context. So with out further adieu, here’s “Michelle with the news of the week”!:
1. Michelle: Alright Josh, since we’ve already probably riled some people up by telling them to turn off the news and ignore their investment accounts, let’s just jump right into a news site often featuring strong opinions, Fox News. I thought you would find this both interesting and a little funny. Fox News had 2 articles about the debt ceiling published within about a week of each other, one titled “Biden must resist Republican debt ceiling demands” while the other stated “Why Biden needs to bend in the debt ceiling standoff”. Now to be totally fair, the article that says Biden needs to stick to his guns was written by…Bernie Sanders. What? So, 2 questions: why is Bernie Sanders writing for Fox News, and which of these articles do you agree with?
Josh: Credit to FoxNews, I suppose. Contributing author, I suppose. I agree with neither article. And more importantly I think it’s a stark example of the posturing and political positioning that both sides do to appease to their base, get everyone worked up and scared, then slide in certain political requests that they probably couldn’t get approved thru normal political processes.
2. Michelle: So since we started off with probably the most well-known news site, let’s pivot to a site that I don’t think is super well known outside of South Carolina, The News and Democrat. They have an article titled “Base retirement plans on facts, not scare tactics”. This article was brief and to the point, which I like, and the author seems to agree with you when she states “the odds of social security benefits getting cut in the near future are just about nil”. So Josh why do you and this author share the same opinion about social security?
3. Michelle: Alright Josh let’s see what our old friends at The Motley Fool are up to. They have a recent article titled “What are meme stocks and are they worth the investment?”. As usual the Fool does a pretty good job of providing clear and unbiased information, and I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at the companies listed in their Top 5 Meme Stocks. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to tech but I am pretty sure I haven’t seen anyone double thumbing it on a Blackberry in many years, yet they’re included on the list. What say you about these meme stocks?
4. Michelle: Our next article comes from one of your favorite publications, Wired Magazine. Pretty sure that’s a site for nerds, so that tracks. Anyway, Wired Magazine just published an article titled “Molly White tracks crypto scams. It’s going just great”. I found the author pretty interesting – apparently Molly White is a young software engineer by trade that started a blog site called “Web3 is going just great” and now she has emerged as a leading researcher and voice regarding the downside of crypto. Anyway, it sounds like Molly has some of the same frustrations with crypto that you do, and as I learned from her blog, over $12 billion dollars have been lost by regular folks investing in crypto. I know you dug this article, so what say you?
Josh: Crypto is a zero sum game. It kind of goes into the “is crypto a security or a commodity” debate. I say neither. What do I mean by that? With securities, like publicly traded stock, there typically is some type of revenue being produced by the underlying company. Or if it’s a new company, say a tech company, maybe there’s a lack of revenue but there is a product being developed or at least an unique idea being explored. Commodities are backed by solid, tangible things, such as wheat or cattle, and there isn’t anything outside of a digital coin to act as an asset in crypto. OK, what about the digital gold argument? Precious metals have some inherit value that’s been proven for millennia. Crypto, on the other hand, is pure speculation at this point, and it's value is derived based on being buying and selling to each other. That’s it. And I hazard a guess that this recent Binance scandal is going to expose how much of that value came thru wash sales, where you are basically buying and selling the same thing to sometimes create the illusion of a market for that thing.
5. Michelle: Alright Josh, are you familiar with the website TheStreet? (Josh – I am, explain basics of site, financial news and literacy is the supposed goal). Very good. Well they had a recent article simply titled “Handling Market Volatility”. This article contained quite a bit of info that seems to jive with your focus on having a financial plan to help weather the ups and downs of the stock market. I also found this interesting, your old buddy Dave Ramsey, apparently his Ramsey Solutions group did a study a few years ago of over 10,000 millionaires and found that 94% of them worked with a financial advisor to achieve their money goals. So why do you think this is? And why am I not one of these 10,000 millionaires yet?
Josh: Fun fact Michelle. One of the founds of TheStreet was non other than Jim Cramer. Article says behaivoral coaching results in 1-2% more gain.
Josh: Michelle, great job as always with the headlines, these are all important pieces of information that impacts those in or near retirement! Listeners – if you have questions around the topics in our headlines of the week, or questions related to your investment strategy or financial plan, why don’t you give us a call at 251-327-2124 to have a conversation or set up an appointment, or you can reach out to use via our contact page on our website gulfcoastfa.com.
Alright folks, coming up next : Josh’s Crystal Ball and Big Mouth. What have been some of my predictions? Have I been right? Was I ever wrong? How wrong? What do I think is going to affect investors in the near future? We talk about all of these things and poke a little fun at my big mouth. Stay tuned!
Segment 3 – Josh’s Crystal Ball and Big Mouth:
Welcome back! Your host Josh Null here, along side co-host Michelle. So, I am opinionated, I have strong opinions at times, I would say a radio show host that isn’t probably wouldn’t be very interesting to listen to. And I am paid in my profession to offer professional guidance and opinions to my clients, otherwise what use am I? Sometimes I feel so strongly about something that I talk about it publicly, on the various podcasts and radio shows I’ve had, sometimes I’ll even make predictions, and while I usually proved right, there are times I swing and I miss. Want to hear me eat a little crow? Then let’s get at with Josh’s Crystal Ball and Big Mouth. Alright Michelle, what’s first?
1. Michelle: So Josh, you’ve stated both publicly and to your clients, often I must add, that is a very rare skill to consistently beat the market by a wide margin for years at a time, and that they should be very dubious of anyone that promises high returns, especially without discussing extraordinary risk. Not that there isn’t upside in investing but there are only so many Warren Buffett’s out there. Well apparently, the Wharton School did a 15 year study on the stock picks of TV personality Jim Cramer and found that not only did he not beat the stock market, he didn’t even keep up with the S&P 500 index. Did you nail this opinion coming out of your big mouth?
Josh: Yep. The main thing to discuss here is that pre-retirees and retirees need to steer clear of individual stocks for the most part, particularly risky ones, and/or those recommended by a charismatic salesperson.
2. Michelle: So this is a quick one, just a jab right at the nose. On one of the episodes from your previous podcast, Every Dollar Counts, you said that inflation would come down quickly because it’s mathematically difficult for it to stay high in a stable economy. You said this back in…July of 2022. How’d that work out for you?
Josh: My nose is bloody. Maybe broken. My point was inflation is not a necessarily a measure of how expensive something is, it’s a measure of how much something has changed, percentage wise. And unless prices keep going up and up and up, inflation tends to natural cool after so long – see the demand for gas when prices surge. But to my surprise, things just kept going up and up.
3. Michelle: Back when everyone was going ga-ga about crypto, you held to your guns that no strong sovereign nation on earth would allow its citizens to print their own currency, at least not for long. As we discussed in the last segment, the news for crypto appears to be getting worse and worse. So let me turn this on its head, because obviously you’ve been proven right at least so far. Do you see a path forward where crypto becomes a legit enterprise?
Josh: This is one where I can say I was right but even I missed out on the amount of corruption and theft in the industry. And that all of this nonsense about treating crypto as an asset class, or like a precious metal, when it has no freaking revenue and no intrinsic value!! What I should have said I’m willing to say right now – in my opinion the whole cryptocurrency thing may go down as the greatest ponzi scheme in the history of mankind. And that is even if the underlying blockchain develops an actual re-world use case. Because even if products and services come from this, it will take years, decades probably, to make up for all of the money that the average investor has lost to the crypto BS.
4. Michelle: So Josh as someone experienced in sales, you’ve stated that the internet, social media and google search would be some of the main reasons why fear and pressure based sales tactics would eventually no longer work, that people would do their own research and do business with the people and companies they’ve viewed as experts in their industry. Yet any social media user can tell you the volume of “the worst is ahead of us so buy now” ads they see, and high pressure sales people are still working, sometimes successfully. So what happened to your crystal ball on this one?
Josh: Talk about how you thought the internet and social media would align and foster common interest, when in fact it’s allowed companies to be hyper specific with their targeted ads, even along political lines.
5. Michelle: Let’s finish with a prediction that we won’t know the answer to for years, maybe not even in our lifetime: will social security go away? If not, will it stay the same? What is your crystal ball say Josh?
Josh: Higher min age, lower payout, means testing. But never go away. It’s the greatest social net success story in the history of mankind. It’s reduced elder poverty in the US by 90%.
Well listeners, I hoped you enjoyed a peak behind the curtain on how I form my opinions and predictions, and more importantly, that I’m willing to admit when I am wrong. Which isn’t very often, but still. Now, to our listeners that have more questions the various investments and topics we discussed in this segment, we invite you to reach out to us. Call us anytime at 251-327-2124 to make an appointment or find us at on our website at gulfcoastfa.com.
Folks, that’s it for us this week here at Coasting in Retirement! I want to give a huge thank you to my lovely co-host, Michelle Lee Melton, a thank you to our awesome radio station 106.5, many thanks to the provider of our show music, local band Sloth Racer, and as always my sincere appreciation for all of your out there that have been listening and joining us on this journey. We would love to be a part of your journey as well. Until we talk again next Sunday, have a wonderful and productive week. This has been Coasting in Retirement with Josh Null!
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