Bell Finance Blog

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Investors Rewarded

November 9, 2019

This year continues to reward stock and bond investors. After starting the month with a decline, the overall U.S. stock market closed with a gain of 2.15% as measured by the Russell 3000 Index, a broad benchmark that includes approximately 3000 of the …Read More

The Stock and Bond Markets

October 9, 2019

This year continues to be a rewarding one for stock and bond investors alike. Despite the uncertainty introduced by an unresolved trade war, large-cap U.S. stocks closed the month slightly positive. Other types of equities followed a similar pattern. …Read More

The Five Pillars of U.S. Economic Strength

September 4, 2019

In last month’s client letter, our president Forrest Bell, CFP® wrote about Fed Chairman Powell’s five favorable U.S. economic conditions: strong job growth, increasing wages, low interest rates, low inflation, and healthy consumer spending. As we …Read More

The July Fed Meeting

August 2, 2019

After beginning its interest rate tightening cycle in December 2015, on July 31st the Federal Reserve voted to reduce its policy interest rate by 0.25% to a range of 2-2.25%. This is the first time the Fed has cut the policy rate since late 2008. While a …Read More

Double Digit Returns Take Center Stage for 2019

July 3, 2019

The U.S. stock market completed the best first-half performance since 1997. All major indices, whether foreign or domestic, ended June in double digits year-to-date. All stock funds, both foreign and domestic, used in our client portfolios ended the …Read More

Interest Rates Down; Bond Investments Up; Stock Market Whipsawed

June 5, 2019

Interest Rates Down; Bond Investments Up; Stock Market Whipsawed May brought the first month of stock market losses in 2019. Fortunately for our clients, every stock fund position is still nicely positive for 2019, despite the pull back in May. The same …Read More

The Best Surprises of April 2019

May 2, 2019

The first print of 2019 U.S. domestic product growth (GDP) for Q1 ending March 31 came in at 3.2%! This is the best surprise from April because market estimates were only looking for 2.0%. In an April 18 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Fed …Read More

Best Quarter for U.S. Stocks Since 2009

April 5, 2019

The breadth of the U.S. stock market gain in the first quarter of 2019 caused all sectors of the S&P 500 to end higher for the first time since 2014. The headline article in the April 2nd Wall Street Journal reports manufacturing activity in the U.S. …Read More

February Celebrates Flexibility – 3/4/2019

March 5, 2019

The U.S. stock market is celebrating its best start to a new year since 1987. One big factor that drives this rally is the flexibility coming from the White House to delay the March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on $200 Billion of Chinese exports from 10% …Read More

The U.S. Economy Says “Yes”, But the Stock Market Says “No” – 1/4/19

January 18, 2019

2018 brought a remarkable divergence between U.S. economic data and U.S. stock market performance. The economy and the forward-looking stock market have always existed as separate disciplines, and in the short-run they often go their separate ways. In …Read More

“Stocks are falling. I’m buying them anyway.” – 12/4/18

December 5, 2018

The above is a quote from Jeff Sommers as the title of his 11/18/2018 “Strategies” column in the New York Times. He keeps buying stocks even when they are falling because he has “faith in the future.” What is the basis of his faith? It might be …Read More

Don’t Try to Catch a Falling Knife

November 2, 2018

You are not going to like your October statements. The U.S. and international stock markets have entered correction territory — as defined by a 10% decline or more from prior peak. History shows that markets average one 14% annual …Read More

Economic Resilience Conquers All

October 3, 2018

Despite all the news that could be so distracting, investors are focusing on U.S. economic strength to rise above the breakdowns in global trade and Washington politics. Read about this and …Read More

The U.S. Consumer Lifts Once-Maligned Retailers

September 12, 2018

Brian Cornell, age 60, Target CEO, asserts that we are in the best consumer environment that he has seen in his 35-year career. Target reported the best quarterly results in more than a decade as shares gained 33% this year. With the strongest same-store …Read More

What is Relevant About the New Tax Law? Part 5: STATE & LOCAL TAXES, MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES

August 24, 2018

One of the biggest changes resulting from the new tax law signed in December 2017 is a severe limit imposed by the Republican-controlled Congress on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Under the previous law, these deductions were unlimited for …Read More

The U.S. Economy is Very Strong (8/2/2018 analysis)

August 2, 2018

For the second quarter (Q2) of 2018, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an annualized rate of 4.1%. This is an encouraging increase from Q1 growth of 2.2%. 2018 is on track to grow by 3% or more, which has not happened since 2005. This achievement …Read More

What is Relevant About the New Tax Law? Part 4: MORTGAGE INTEREST

July 25, 2018

Under the new tax law effective in 2018, can you claim your home mortgage interest as a deduction? Would you save more money taking the standard …Read More

Technology and Small Caps Score Best Sectors for Q2 and 2018 (7/5/2018)

July 3, 2018

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 reached the end of the second quarter well below their all-time highs from January 2018. The Trump tariff activity did not start until after January, and it remains the dominant impediment to U.S. stock …Read More

Market Analysis

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Investors Rewarded
November 9, 2019 This year continues to reward stock and bond investors. After starting the month with a decline, …Read More


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529 College Savings Plan Resources
November 1, 2019 529 Education Savings Plans are a meaningful topic for parents, grandparents, and anyone else who …Read More