Scott Andrew Bell
Scott has 18 years of experience in serving the personal needs of investors. His writing and thoughts on the wealth management industry and financial technology have been featured by Bloomberg, Business Insider, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal.
Before founding Gross Domestic Product, Inc., Scott worked for one of the oldest firms on Wall Street for almost ten years as an advisor. Now, he tries to wear a tie as little as possible and teaches people what he’s learned.
An Eagle Scout, Scott played NAIA Division I soccer on scholarship, and graduated magna cum laude in economics from Western State University of Colorado. His econometric thesis was on “Openness To Trade And Its Relationship To Gross Domestic Product.” He resides in Playa Del Rey, California with his wife, their four children, two bunnies, and Hazel the dog.
Why are you here?
I don’t really know why I’m here. I do know, though, that while I am here I want to spend my life’s work helping people in the ways that I can. Right now I’m focusing on helping people make better decisions with money. Service to others is something my father taught me and stuck with me and gives me true joy. I also know that I don’t want my story to stop when I die, which is why I spend my time trying to be a loving father, kind husband, good brother, friend, and mensch every chance I get. I think Mae West said it best, “You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough.”
What quality of yours makes you best suited for what you do?
I’m empathetic and intuitive. I feel like someone who is giving you advice should understand where you’re coming from, and why you think about things the way you do. Advice doesn’t require those things, but I do think it’s more meaningful when it does.
What makes you great at your job?
My experience both personally and professionally.
Learning from my mistakes and from the issues I saw with money growing up has been a huge help. As a child, seeing our home almost auctioned off shook me to my core, for the better. My dad had a great business idea that failed due to poor planning. That key moment in my life is a big part of why I do what I do today. The other gift given to me is being good at systems. I understand complex ideas. I can also often break them down into something simple and relatable when I do. The sum total of these experiences (and others we can talk about any time you want) make me a great at my job because I have perspective.
What are you trying to do better?
Take better care of myself. I really do put the needs of others and my work before myself and have a tendency to leave not much time for tending to my body. I was an athlete throughout my childhood and young adult life, which I’ve taken for granted. I’m starting to realize it’s a little different in your 40s.
What keeps you up at night, during the week?
My busy mind. I have notepads full of mad scientist notes and ideas about what I want us improve and do next. Meditation helps.
What gets you up in the morning, on the weekends?
A spreadsheet and the sun. I love to plan our weekends using spreadsheets listing all of our goals and the obligations we have, and then try to optimize how we use our time for maximum utility. My wife somehow still loves me.
What makes you proud about GDP, inc.?
You get two families in your life. Your birthed and your earthed. These are my people. Erika is so good at her job. We hear it every day from clients who love her and her level of care. Gabe is an artist with technology and dedicated to living his fullest life helping others. He’s also a genuinely good person. And Jodi is warm, unafraid, caring… and wicked smart. Together we’re stronger. When I started the company in my garage 10 years ago, I dreamt of having people like this working with me.
What do you think makes customers happy?
Quality work. Genuine care and warmth. I don’t think you can fake any of those for long, so that’s why customers stay.
What personal accomplishments are you most proud of?
That’s hard to say… and I’m the one who wrote these questions. I’m proud I left my old Wall Street firm. It was big and ugly. I’m proud to be an Eagle Scout, which is probably cheesy to say in some circles, but it taught me I can survive and thrive even if the world is crashing down around me. I’m also proud of my family. My wife and I are helping to raise some nice people.
What’s one thing we should know about you?
If I had to do it all over again, I’d be an acupuncturist chiropractor. I find the human body absolutely fascinating, such an intricate system of energy.