James F. Bell

Chairman & Founder

Joined Bell: 1991

Hidden Talent: Inventive chef

Inspiration: Great music, including classical, opera, and jazz

James and his late wife, Bonnie Bell, founded Bell Investment Advisors in 1991. Since that time, the firm has enjoyed steady growth, primarily through personal and professional referrals. James has appeared as a guest on MSNBC’s “Power Lunch”, CNN Financial News, and CNBC, and has been interviewed for a variety of online and print media, including Money magazine, MutualFundWire.com, and the San Francisco Business Times. He has appeared on “View from the Bay” with Bonnie, addressing financial and life planning issues.

James derives great satisfaction from the way in which the staff at Bell Investment Advisors has developed into a tightly-knit relationship management and performance team. “I love helping clients pay attention to the quality of their lives as well as the amount of money they have. I am especially proud of having many long-term clients at this point whose children have grown up and become clients as well.”

James earned a degree in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Divinity degree from The Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He completed the Professional Educational Program of the College for Financial Planning and was awarded the designation of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM in 1992, which he held until 2020. He participated for ten years in the business professionals program Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Power (LEIP) in Silicon Valley. He has worked in the investment field since 1982 and served for several years on the board of the Financial Planning Association, San Francisco chapter.

James actively engages and financially supports the Oakland Symphony (past Board President), the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, Rebuilding Together Oakland, James Toland Vocal Arts, and Festival Opera in Walnut Creek (past Association Chair).

Market Analysis

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“There Are Better Things Ahead Than Any We Leave Behind”
January 6, 2021

As December came to a close, the global equity markets added several percentage points to their …Read More


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Webinar: 2020 Election Impact – What Investors Should Know
October 22, 2020 Presenters: Laurent Harrison, CFP®, Senior Investment Advisor and Financial Planner Ryan Kelley, …Read More

Career/Life Coaching Blog

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Thoughts from Bonnie on Balance in Times of Stress
May 12, 2020

Originally Posted March 15, 2011 Back in 2011, the world was in a different form of crisis. The …Read More