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Coasting in Retirement Ep 30: Growth!  Thumbnail

Coasting in Retirement Ep 30: Growth!

Segment 1 (Show Open): 

Good afternoon, everyone! Welcome in. Welcome to Coasting in Retirement! That’s. Right. Thanks for joining us today, we’re excited to have you! Josh Null here, and unfortunately for our regular listeners, Michelle is not available today, she’ll be back next week, which means I am flying solo for today’s episode! I feel like I am missing an arm, but lucky for me, I am recording in my safe place, here in Coastal College’s recording studio, beautiful downtown Fairhope, ready to put together another a great show for those of you tuning in!

Regular listeners know that on this show we discuss financial topics relevant to those of you in or near retirement, living your best life along our part of the Gulf Coast. Regular listeners will also know that we had a couple of re-runs this past couple of weeks, which is not typical, we are a weekly show, BUT there was a good reason for that. This show is divided into 3 segments. I’m going to use our 1st segment – about 20 minutes - to fill you all in on some exciting news for me and for my company Gulf Coast Financial Advisors. I think you’ll understand why we’ve been so busy. Then I encourage you all to stay tuned thru the break, especially you Michelle fans out there, because we’re going to replay some of favorite news headlines in our 2nd segment titled, “Michelle with the News of the Week”. Then at roughly 40 minutes past the hour, the last 1/3 of our show will feature some of our favorite clips from” Josh’s Crystal Ball and…(Michelle:) Big Mouth” segment. 

Before I start monologuing, quick background on me for those new to the show. Again, my name is Josh Null, 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 with offices in Fairhope and Orange Beach, 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. If you missed that, don’t worry, we will repeat our contact info several times throughout the show! Alright, let’s get on with the show:

Let’s start with a business update. I’ll try to not be too industry jargony. Over the past few months, we have diligently been working with the great State of Alabama to form our own Registered Investment Advisory Firm, or RIA for short, and I’m incredibly excited to announce that we go live with it next week! We’re still Gulf Coast Financial Advisors, it’s just the culmination of YEARS of work to get to this point, with the biggest change being that we’ve grown to the point where we can bring a lot of the services in-house that we use to outsource. Also by making this change, it allows us to clear the path to work together on our clients’ portfolio investment management with a very successful Fairhope based firm called Aptus Capital Advisors! We’ll discuss Aptus more on our upcoming episodes, all I can tell you is that if you know, you know - the Aptus crew brings a sophisticated, locally based resource to our investment management options at Gulf Coast Financial Advisors. 

Also on a growth note for our business, we are going to be expanding the Gulf Coast Financial Advisors team. Some of these additions will be directly affiliated with Gulf Coast Financial Advisors, while some will serve in a consulting role, but the result will be a dramatically improved and expanded financial planning, tax planning and estate planning process. One of the first additions will be a producer named Robert Ikner, who brings years of experience to the table, a lot of it with group benefits and qualified retirement plans, or 401k plans, in plain English. Robert is currently studying for his Series 65 securities exam, which will give him the ability to offer fee-based financial planning services that is the foundation of our value proposition. 

Other additions will be a Manager of First Impressions, a Manager of Tech, a Risk Management consultant, and a local attorney that will serve as our Estate Planning consultant. I’ll introduce the rest of the team in more detail over the course of our next episodes. If you’re already a client of ours, or have followed our journey over the years, you’ll recognize the names we’re adding to the team in a more official capacity – these are super talented people that have worked with our clients on a referral basis in the past. It’s going to be a team that’s super hard to beat, especially for those of you that prefer to work with a locally owned, truly independent, fee-based, fiduciary-first financial planning firm. 

Lastly on the business update side, we are going to be opening an office in Mobile, in addition to our locations in Fairhope and Orange Beach, which makes sense because this show is broadcast on Mobile-based FM Talk 106.5, and for those of you that reach out to us from across the Bay will now have a much more convenient location to meet. It’s funny but when I moved down here 10 years ago I thought it was little odd that people on both sides of Mobile Bay made such as big deal of having to travel the relatively short distance across either what’s called the Bay Way or the Causeway, but it didn’t take me long to figure out why. There’s 2 tunnels and they both suck, especially during the summer when ½ the country is vacationing down here, or lord help us if there’s a wreck, or yet another too tall truck stuck in the 12 foot tall opening of the Bankhead tunnel. So if you’re a regular listener in the Mobile area and you haven’t reached out to us because you didn’t want to travel to Fairhope, we will have a convenient office location for you soon! 

On the financial planning note, we already offer what I consider a pretty attractive system, but we’re going to be diving even deeper into utilizing and marketing our process using software called Right Capital. Experienced investors listening will probably recognize financial planning software eMoney or MoneyGuide pro, which are both great programs, but we’ve test driven every software package under the sun and Right Capital has proven to be a great fit for us and our clients.

Alright, now let’s pivot to the radio show and its growth. We’re hoping to hear in the next couple of weeks if we’re in the running for what’s called a Nappie award for best talk radio show, thank you all that voted for us, but even if we don’t win that, the show has been a smashing success thanks to our listeners. Given that neither Michelle nor I are trained radio show hosts, I think we’ve done a good job of creating an entertaining and enlightening show. My first goal when starting the Coasting in Retirement radio show was to create a good show – no offense to some of my competitors’ shows, but we didn’t want to come across as a salesy, info-mercial type show. Regular listeners will know that I’m way too skeptical of my own industry to be a “rah-rah” cheerleader type of host and I think we’ve succeeded in conveying the type of no-nonsense, no BS information that investors need to hear.

But rather than rest on our laurels, we’re going to be dramatically increasing the scope and reach of our radio show. First, about once per month we’re going to bring on a local advisor named Jay Stubbs, who is also going to be serving as Gulf Coast Financial Advisor’s risk management consultant. For those of you listening that know Jay, or maybe you’ve followed me the past few years and heard the content that Jay and I produced together, either way you know that when it comes to knowledge about insurance, risk management and financial planning for pre-retirees and retirees, Jay is second to none. And his smooth southern baritone is a nice contrast to my reedy Ozark’s twang. 

Also coming in about once per month will be some of the guys from Aptus Capital Advisors, which as I discussed above, bring sophisticated and experienced investment management services to our team. The episodes where Aptus joins us will be dedicated to those of you that want a deeper dive on investments, ETFs, stocks and market trends. To be honest with you all, I am proud of the experience and knowledge about my line of work that I’ve built up over the years, but the guys at Aptus are on another level and I can’t wait to see how those discussions turn out. 

Next, and this addresses some of the feedback and questions we’ve gotten from some of our listeners, about once per quarter we will have a local attorney named Asheton Sawyer of Sawyer Legal Services joining us to do a deep dive on Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts. Asheton also brings years of experience and knowledge to our team on top of being just a fantastic human being so I can’t wait to share all of this with you. 

One more thing for the radio show, about twice a quarter we are going to bring guests on the show from my client pool to discuss what they do for a living, particularly my business owner clients. In addition to helping those of you in or near retirement with financial planning, Gulf Coast Financial Advisors also has a niche with mature business owners, and I’m excited about giving them the platform to promote their business or professional endeavors. 

One last thing, related to my awesome clients too – this is still getting assembled – but stay tuned for an accompanying video series for the Coasting in Retirement radio show. We’re going to do long-form case study videos highlighting the various planning and investment tasks we’ve done with some of our clients. We’ll start filming later this month and I think it’s going to be so cool!

Phew! See what I mean? Hopefully now you regular listeners will forgive me for the re-runs the last couple of weeks – we’ve been busy! And I think it goes without saying – all of this opportunity and growth is a direct result of our incredible clients and the business they do with us. I speak for all of us at Gulf Coast Financial Advisors in expressing my deepest gratitude to those of you that allow us to serve you. 

One that note, at GCFA we approach our financial and retirement planning exercises with the goal of educating and enlightening our clients, and there’s never any pressure to make quick decisions or do business with us until you’re comfortable. You can set up an appointment by calling 251-327-2124, or you can reach us through our website gulfcoastfa.com. One our site, you can choose to send us a direct message, or click on the blue button in the upper right-hand corner to set up a 15-minute introductory phone call. Or do all 3!

Alright folks, coming up next - There’s always a lot going on in the world! Particularly the world of finance, investments and money. 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. Our job is to help you all understand how these headlines impact you, especially when it comes to your money! We also include the articles links on our show transcript, which you can find on our website gulfcoastfa.com under the podcast tab. So, without further adieu, here’s “Michelle with the news of the week!”:

1. Michelle: Alright Josh, let’s start with a recent article from Market Watch titled “Note to Bulls: Stock market valuations haven’t improved over the last 2 years”. The funny thing is that this article was published just before the rally of the last 2 weeks, which means the statistics quoted in this article would be even more elevated. This article references 10 statistics to make it’s case that the stock market is overvalued, including leaning heaving on price to earnings ratios and how they compare to our previous market peak back in January 2022. So, can you explain some of the ratios this author used to make his case, and do you agree with him? 

Josh:. So, first, it’s hard to not agree with the author because everything he points to is basic math, he’s not doing some of the gut-feeling click-bait “market will crash / market will soar” stuff we so often see. It seems to be a pretty fair report and take away. So listeners what the author is saying that our current stock market is one of the most richly valued in…the history of the stock market. He’s conclusion is that while this over-valuation may not matter much in the short run, in the long run, the potential for significant gains, or even a Bull run, are well below historical averages. That doesn’t mean the market will crash; what he is saying is that there is limited upside based on current valuations. He uses a bunch of ratios bunch let’s concentrate on one that everyday investors will have heard of, the price to earnings ratio. The P/E for a stock is computed by dividing the price of a stock (the "P") by the company's annual earnings per share (the "E"). If a stock is trading at $20 per share and its earnings per share are $1, then the stock has a P/E of 20 ($20/$1). P/E ratios tend to be high for growth stocks, often tech, then level off over time as the business matures. And what the author demonstrates in the article is that the P/E ratios for a lot market indexes is very high, which means a lot of the business upside is already captured in the valuation. So – what’s this mean to our listeners? The stock market is a voting machine in the short run and a weighing machine in the long run. If you think it’s time to discuss some of your investments related to information like this, give us a call at 251-327-2124.


2. Michelle: Next up, with all of this conversation around the stock market being over-valued, I wondered what the tale-tell signs would be that a stock was under-valued, at least to everyday retail investors. To help answer that question, I found an article on our often-referenced site, Investopedia, titled “What Does Undervalued mean? Definition in Value Investing”. This article discussed the intrinsic value of stocks and value investing, which I believe is what Warren Buffet is famous for. So, Josh, does this match up with your view that the market returns to fundamentals over the long run? And how do investors look for undervalued companies? 

Josh: Undervalued is a financial term referring to a security or other type of investment that is selling in the market for a price presumed to be below the investment's true intrinsic value. The intrinsic value of a company is the present value of the future cash flows expected to be made by the company. An undervalued stock can be evaluated by looking at the underlying company's financial statements and analyzing its fundamentals, such as cash flow, return on assets, profit generation, and capital management to estimate the stock's intrinsic value. If there is a gap between the stock’s intrinsic value and it’s current price, it’s undervalued and you buy it, congratulations, you’re now a value investor. Now, for regular investors not named Warren Buffett, doing the sometimes sophisticated analysis of a companies future cash flows and balance sheet, one area to look at for value indications is…the P/E ratio we just discussed. You want to compare P/E ratios of companies in similar industries. For example, if Pepsi’s P/E ratio is significantly lower that Coca-Cola’s, all things considered, then may Pepsi is undervalued. OK, again, for those of you that want to hire someone like me, what practical use can you make of this information? Well, here’s an interesting tidbit for you listeners and I bet even Michelle didn’t know. Buffett made his name early by looking for severely undervalued companies and buying most or all of the company. As the years went on he shifted to buying more companies he considered “bullet-proof” – think insurance companies like Geico, railroad companies like BNSF, Duracell, ,etc – and instead of looking for cheap deals, cleaning them up and selling them, he, with the prodding of the recently passed Charlie Munger, started looking for “buy and forever hold companies”. Or in other words, most investors should quick looking for the needle in the haystack, and just find the best quality haystack they can, and buy all of it. 


3. Michelle: Alright Josh, let’s pivot to well-known custodian Fidelity and a recent article on their site called “Managing positions: When to cut and run, when to take profits”. Or as Kenny Rogers says in The Gambler, “you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold them”. I really enjoyed that this article included a 55-year-old chart from Stock Trader’s Almanac that depicts the emotional roller coaster an investor goes thru after buying a position at the top of the market, such as “What?! That’s it! I’m done with stocks”, “Son of a gun!! Not again” and “That’s it! Last Time. SELL!” I think the main point this article is trying to make is use a well-reasoned portfolio approach to your investments and avoid what the author calls the “7 deadly sins to avoid for investors”. (Josh – what’s in the box?!). What’s your thoughts on this article? 

Josh: So the author’s main argument is to lock in profits as you can with your portoflio by using a simple, old school method of “selling half on a double”. For example, If you own 100 shares of a stock, and it doubles in value, sell 50 shares.  This way you take some of your initial investment off the table and you let your winnings ride. Now he allows for the fact that there’s no guarantee that any stock is going to double in value, so he also discusses basic math like “if you’re up 40% from your purchase price, sell 20% of your position”. So listeners, all this is fine, and maybe useful for those of you that manage your own investments or want to discuss with your investment advisor or broker, and while the author does a great job showing how his own investments performed mathematically in a real world, up and down stock market, you also have to be careful of trying to time the market with this approach, and/or just driving yourself nuts with spreadsheets trying to figure out where you stand with every investment. This article is a nice contrast to our next article, but I think the more useful example from this article is the author’s 7 deadly investment sins to avoid: 

  1. Averaging down into losing positions – i.e., continued buying as a stock craters, hello GameStop
  2. Over-concentration in too few positions
  3. Investing in illiquid positions
  4. Falling in love with a stock, position, or a management team
  5. Excessive use of margin
  6. Over-concentration in one sector
  7. Hubris


4. Michelle: Our last article of the day comes from our good friends at the Fool, Motley Fool that is. They have a recent article titled “What is a Buy & Hold Strategy in Investing?”. I picked this article because I felt it was good contrast to our previous headline that encouraged folks to take gains off the table every time they can. The Fool’s article makes the case that by simply buying and holding positions in quality companies, over time you will vastly outperform anyone that tries to time the market. And like so many articles, they reference investing sage Warren Buffet, who famously has said that his most favorite holding period for stocks is “forever”. So Josh, which philosophy do you agree with – Kenny Roger’s now when to hold em and fold em, or Warren Buffet’s forever and ever stance? 

Josh: I think there’s really valuable lessons in both that apply to regular, retail investors. First, for the Kenny Rogers approach of knowing when to fold, sometimes you can be in an individual position that just isn’t working out, or maybe even in an investment portfolio that just doesn’t fit your time horizon and risk tolerance, and knowing when to make a change is an empowering moment for most investors. On the buy and hold front, it’s not so much the strategy that should be noted – tons of folks say buy and hold, take Dave Ramsey for example – but I think the bigger takeaway is this: at the end of the day, what you want to do is hold positions in quality companies. Period. When it comes to your retirement accounts, it’s not about the next “to the moon” stock with shaky financials, it’s not crypto or something very risky that you barely understand, at the end of the day you should be able to look at your statement and recognize the names of many of the companies you see. And if you hold mutual funds or ETFs, which are collections of stocks and/or bonds, you are looking at quality managers that have a proven track record. Because trust me, portfolio managers, most mutual fund, or ETF managers are not here to bet the bank on junk. Quality is what matters over time. 


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 on a previous episode of our radio show, we discussed investments for those in or near retirement to ignore. One of those investments was something called “meme” stocks, that is, stocks that are artificially bumped up in value thru a concentrated effort of investors communicating thru places like social media, Reddit and YouTube. The communication around these stocks usually involves using memes, such as a rocket to the moon. To be honest I hadn’t thought about meme stocks much since then but we recently watched the movie “Dumb Money” which was story around one of the most well known meme stocks, GameStop. The movie does a good job showing both sides of the trading activity but definitely has a soft spot for the retail investors that participated in the frenzy, even ending on a positive note for the main character and other investors that got out before the stock collapsed. So did seeing how regular people were able to dramatically increase their wealth thru investing in a meme stock soften your stance on them? 

Josh: No. 

Michelle: Alright Josh, as many listeners know, you’ve been opening critical about cryptocurrencies, especially when it comes to retail investors in or near retirement. You’ve also been pretty open that you think that artificial intelligence, or AI, has both stolen crypto’s thunder and a more attractive bet for future growth and opportunities, at least from an investor’s perspective. With the recent positive news for crypto in the form of approved ETFs, and surprisingly, FTX announcing that they would pay back their customer’s in full, coupled with the somewhat bad news for AI in the form of AI generated phone scams, does this change what you’re big mouth has to say about these 2 technologies? 

Josh: AI is being generated by the largest of the tech firms – think Microsoft, Google, Tesla if you want to call them a tech firm – and truly is the antithesis of crypto, which is primarly composed of smaller groups or companies trying to find a reason for a niche technology to be adopted by the masses. AI is by definition a centralized system – you go to Google to access Bard, etc – while crypto is supposed to be de-centralized, al though I would argue that people are learning this isn’t what it’s stacked up to be. And I believe AI cannot run on the blockchain, crypto bro correct me if I’m wrong. 

So let me say this as it relates to crypto sometimes both arguments for and against can be true – crypto and the underlying technology could work it’s way into mass adoption AND it could be a gigantic waste of time for investors. Blockchain is basically a fancy database, so let me give this example Michelle - Did you know that in the 1980’s there was a technology developed that handled complex calculations, served as a sophisticated database, at least during it’s time, and revolutionized people’s ability to gather, track and conduct business? It was called Lotus, or more specifically, Lotus 1-2-3, and while I’m sure it made it’s parent company and it’s investors a good chunk of money in it’s early years, all it took was Microsoft to steal, er, develop, it’s own spreadsheet called Excel, eventually driving Lotus 1-2-3 to irrelevancy. If you had put all of your money into Lotus in 1980, how happy would you be in 1990? 2000? Now? Not happy at all, you’d be broke. So, yes, maybe blockchain is the next Lotus, and maybe it will change the world…and/or maybe it will fade out or be replaced by a better technology. Something like…AI.  


Michelle: Last one Josh. Anyone that knows you well knows that you have a…let’s call it an aversion…to flying. I’ve heard you state on more than one occasion that as someone that ran all types of equipment and machinery in your younger years, the one consistent thing is that machines tend to break, and that an airplane is no different than any other machine. So with all the bad news around Boeing’s Max 737 airplane, from the tragedy of 2 crashes that killed hundreds to actual pieces of the aircraft falling off, in flight, just a few weeks ago, are you just going to go all John Madden and take a bus when you travel long distances?  

Josh: This one obviously has nothing to do with investments, we’ll make it silly in case Chas has to cut for time. 

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! 


Gulf Coast Financial Advisors, LLC ("GCFA”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of Alabama and in such other jurisdictions where it is registered, filed the required notices, or is otherwise excluded or exempted from such registration and/or notice filing requirements. Registration does not indicate or imply that GCFA has attained a particular level of skill or ability, nor does it constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or any state securities regulator.

The Coasting in Retirement radio program serves mainly to disseminate general information including those pertaining to GCFA’s advisory services, together with access to additional investment-related information, publications, materials and links. The publication of this radio show should not be construed by any client and/or prospective client as GCFA’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, nor should it be interpreted as GCFA providing personalized investment advice, or any type of professional advice, for compensation, wherever this program is broadcast. Any subsequent, direct communication by GCFA with a prospective client will be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides.

Certain information, news stories, headlines, data, charts, graphs, figures or statistics presented on this radio program may have been obtained from third-party sources that are believed to be generally reliable but which GCFA may not have independently verified. GCFA does not and cannot guarantee the timeliness, accuracy, or reliability of any such third-party information and undertakes no obligation to update or correct any information that may become obsolete, unreliable, or inaccurate. The radio program also contains the opinions, views, and perspectives expressed by Josh Null and any other GCFA representatives which are solely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or perspectives of GCFA as a firm. Such personal views and opinions should not be construed as endorsements or professional advice from GCFA. GCFA makes no representation or warranty regarding the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of any information on this radio program, and disclaims any liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage incurred from using or relying on such information.