“It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times . . .”

January 2019

…So wrote Charles Dickens in his famous opening line of A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens wrote this novel in part as a warning and as an encouragement to his fellow citizens of Great Britain not to devolve into indiscriminate mass murder and mob violence …Read More

Do You Have a Bias Against International Small-Cap Stocks?

by Forrest Bell, CFP®, Senior Investment Advisor, Financial Planner
October 2018

With the S&P 500 fully recovered from the correction earlier this year, and hovering near its all-time high, the current bull market in U.S. large-cap stocks remains one of the longest in history. The reasons for this bull market are still in debate. …Read More

Homeowners Insurance

by Forrest Bell, CFP®, Sr. Investment Advisor, Financial Planner
July 2018

On October 8, 2017, a fire began in Calistoga, California, that would kill 43 people and displace 100,000 others. Because of the weather conditions, the fire moved fast. The following morning, I remember hearing that the fire had jumped the 101 freeway …Read More

American Consumers Get Great Deals from the Trade Deficit

by Jim Bell, CFP®, Founder and Chief Investment Officer
July 2018

In 2017 investors benefited from an unusually non-volatile market with consistent growth, but 2018 has been notably less euphoric. So what changed? In short, tariffs: these economic and political tools are the only force holding back the U.S. stock …Read More

Trump Punishes Craft Beer

by Jim Bell, CFP®
April 2018

Thanks to the St. Patrick’s Day editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, I learned about American Keg in Pottstown, PA, the only remaining U.S. manufacturer of stainless steel beer kegs. Their biggest seller is the 15.5 gallon keg, very popular with …Read More

What About Umbrella Insurance?

by Forrest Bell, CFP®
April 2018

Last month, the radio show Radiolab aired a story about the Benrath Senior Center in Dusseldorf, Germany. Like many centers of its kind, some of its patients suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. On occasion, these patients would try to walk …Read More

Long-Term Care

by Forrest Ryan Bell, CFP®
January 2018

Some years ago, a client came to me concerned about his long-term care policy. He purchased the policy through CalPERS. It would cover much of the cost of long-term care for all of his life, but he had just been informed that his premiums would be going …Read More

Are You Guilty of Self-Induced Poverty?

by James F. Bell, CFP®
January 2018

Believe it or not, there is a new concern afoot that retired Americans are not spending enough money! This runs completely counter to the dominant conversation that Americans are in a retirement crisis and woefully unprepared for life after work. Finance …Read More

Cash, Bonds, and Happiness

by Forrest Ryan Bell, CFP®
October 2017

 Cash can make you happy, at least according to an article from the Wall Street Journal titled “Money and Happiness: A Surprising Twist,” published last year. The article cites a study by a team of researchers from the University of California at …Read More

Strength in Numbers: A Golden First Half for Global Stocks

by Jim Bell, CFP®, President and Founder, Chief Investment Officer
July 2017

By no means am I an authentic basketball fan. For example, I do not under-stand a pick and roll. But our Oakland office at 11th and Broadway is directly across the street from the Golden State Warriors’ headquarters and practice court atop the Oakland …Read More

California Real Estate and Retirement Possibilities

by Forrest Ryan Bell, CFP®, Senior Investment Advisor, Financial Planner
April 2017

A caption to a Wall Street Journal article from November 2016 read, “Home prices set a record in September (2016), reaching their highest level since 2006 and bringing to a close the worst stretch for the housing market since the Great Depression.” …Read More

What Do the South Carolina Gamecocks Know About Life Coaching?

by Bonnie Bell, MA, MDiv., Principal, Director of Career/Life Coaching
April 2017

This is not exactly a question on the tip of everyone’s tongue in the midst of March Madness. However, the somewhat surprising topic of life coaching did make its way into the headline of the sports section of the New York Times on Saturday, March 25, …Read More

The Resolution Revolution

by Bonnie Bell, MA, MDiv., Principal, Director of Career/Life Coaching
January 2017

By the time you read this, the new year will be at least a couple of weeks old, and if you made any new year’s resolutions at all, you may have already broken them. The statistics on keeping new year’s resolutions are not favorable. According to Ray …Read More

Life Insurance: What to Consider

by Forrest Ryan Bell, CFP®, Senior Investment Advisor, Financial Planner
January 2017

In an August interview, investment consultant and founder of Greenwich Associates, Charles Ellis, talked about the power of marketing. To illustrate his point, he told a story about insurance. Founded in 1706, the Amicable Society for Perpetual …Read More

Don’t Pay Attention to Predictions

by James F. Bell, CFP®, President & Founder
January 2017

2016 was a horrible year for professional predictors, forecasters, fortune tellers, and pollsters. The year demonstrated why it is impossible to predict the future. In graduate school, I took a course in Futurism, and the conclusion of the course was …Read More

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Market Analysis

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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 …Read More


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2019 Threats and Opportunities
February 14, 2019 Join us as we review 2018 and discuss what 2019 may have in store for investors: Does the poor end …Read More


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“It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times . . .”
January 31, 2019 …So wrote Charles Dickens in his famous opening line of A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens wrote this …Read More

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2018 Schwab 1099 Availability

The 2018 tax season is now upon us, and with that comes tax documentation to assist you in filing your return. All official tax reporting information will come directly from Schwab. Please see below for timelines (varies by document type). 1099 – Paper Mailing For retirement accounts, you should have already received your Form 1099-R. …Read More

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