Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule

You may have heard of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary rule that went into effect on Friday, June 9, 2017 and the confusion surrounding it. This rule requires that anyone who provides advice on retirement assets must abide by new impartial conduct standards. This includes all financial professionals, no matter what they may call […]

Beware “Hidden” Costs in Mutual Funds

Since the 1960’s, mutual funds have seen an exponential increases in demand. Mutual funds have basically become a “go-to” investment for retail and institutional investors alike. According to Investopedia, over $28 trillion is currently invested in mutual funds worldwide! Today, investors often praise mutual funds for their diversification and professional management. However, what is rather […]

Survivorship Bias

In recent years, professional baseball player Yasiel Puig has served as an inspiration for young athletes yearning to go from “rags to riches.” Puig, a 26 year old migrant from Cuba, has captured the attention of baseball fans with his speed, strong arm, and gregarious personality. His ability and personality helped solidified a seven-year, $42 […]

Hindsight is 20/20

Amazon, Inc. had its initial public offering (IPO) 20 years ago this past Monday on May 15, 1997 and has grown to become arguably the most disruptive force in the retail and technology space today. The stock price has gained an astounding 36% compounded annually since its first day of trading. According to The Wall […]

The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself

The CBOE Volatility Index or “VIX” is an index that measures the market’s expectation of volatility over the next 30 days. The actual computation of the VIX is complicated but is based on current S&P 500 option prices and the expected future option price movements. Investors that are worried about large moves in the market […]

5 Common Mistakes Made When Purchasing Closed-End Funds

Closed-end funds (CEFs) are one of the core investments utilized at Blue Bell Private Wealth Management and we think it is necessary to educate people about the mistakes that are often made when purchasing closed-end funds. Below are the five most common mistakes that we believe occur with investors who purchase CEFs. 1. Buying Closed-End […]

5 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Advisor

Below is a list of questions that everyone should ask their current or potential investment advisor. While this is not a comprehensive list of questions, this can serve as a great starting point. 1. Are you a fiduciary? Your advisor should always be a fiduciary. They are required by law to act in their client’s […]

It’s Not Timing the Markets, but Time IN the Markets

Too often investors attempt to time the market and follow media headlines proclaiming the stock market is either headed for new highs or on the verge of a crash. This has been evident over the past few weeks with headlines reading “Dow Volatile After Losing Streak,” “The Trump Stock Market Rally is Under Siege,” and […]

Plan Now for Less Pain Later

Whether you are approaching retirement or still in the height of your working years, it is always a good idea to review your estate plan and named beneficiaries on accounts. We have discussed in the past the benefits of doing such here and here. Naming beneficiaries can direct your money to your loved ones in […]

Don’t Let Annuities Eat You Alive

This past weekend, Philly.com published two articles discussing fixed-index annuities and the potential harm they pose to elderly people and savers in general. Both articles can be found here and here and we highly recommend everyone read them. We almost never recommend that any of our clients purchase annuities at Blue Bell Private Wealth Management. […]

How Pay to Play May Be Holding You Back

In our previous article, we discussed how President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Labor to review the investor protection rule, otherwise known as the fiduciary rule. The review was to determine if the rule would cause any likely harm to investors, including the price of advice, industry impacts and increased litigation. While many now […]

One Reason Why Prices at Your Favorite Restaurant’s Prices Keep Rising

Remember a time where McDonald’s dollar menu actually had items that were a dollar? McChickens, chicken nuggets, and cheeseburgers; each of these could be purchased with a single crisp dollar bill. Those times are long gone. Their dollar menu has ceased to exist; it’s now called a value menu. The price of everything on that […]

Wall St. Strategists 2017 S&P 500 Projections

As 2016 has come to an end, we like to take a look back at the projections for the S&P 500 index that top Wall St. strategists made for the year and what they are expecting for 2017. Returns in the S&P 500 for 2016 were aided by a 4.64% gain following the presidential election and finished […]

Year-End Financial Check-Up

As we approach the end of the year there are a few financial moves you can make that will help you manage your savings accounts to ensure you are on the path to retirement. These include decisions you can make to help lower your taxes for the year 2016 and planning adjustments you may want […]

Investing & Money in Your 50s

When many people reach their 50s, they may come to the daunting realization that they do not have enough money saved for their retirement.  Furthermore, as modern medicine continues to advance, people are living longer and many financial experts recommend preparing to have retirement funds available to last 40 years or more. Lifestyle plays a […]

Investing & Money in Your 40s

Anyone who is in their 40s and is roughly midway through their career or “work-life” has faced, and hopefully conquered, significant challenges financially and in life and begun focusing on saving for major life events. These can range from the purchase of a new home to planning for a child’s education expenses but retirement planning […]

Investing in Your 30s; The Do’s and Don’ts

In continuation of our discussion regarding certain money mistakes to avoid at the various stages of your investment life, we will continue with those who are in their 30s. With an additional decade of working under your belt, more investment options will arise. Unfortunately, this decade of newfound capital also means more complex expenses to […]

Investing In Your 20s; The Do’s and Don’ts

When it comes to money, everyone makes mistakes. Luckily, if you are in your 20s you have plenty of time to recover. These years can provide you with important lessons for future decisions, and the amount of time you have before retirement can minimize any investing mistakes you are likely to make. Our goal is […]

Choose the Alternative of Alternative Investments

In continuation of our discussion about which investment vehicles investors should avoid, we will now focus our attention to alternative investments. More specifically, we will discuss the importance of investors excluding Non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Private Placements, Hedge Funds, Venture Capital Funds, and Private Equity Funds from their portfolios to avoid thwarting investment […]

Steer Clear of Mutual Fund Fees and Closed End Fund IPOs

Last week, we discussed the importance of avoiding Equity-Indexed Annuities which give the illusion of principal protection and growth. This week, we will discuss how investors should ignore and avoid specific Mutual Funds and Closed End Funds (CEF) sold at the Initial Public Offering (IPO) in order to remain steadfast on the path to reaching […]

Could An Annuity Be Hurting Your Retirement Goals?

We have written a lot about what we like to invest in for our clients and what we think investors should be doing to prepare for retirement. Over the course of the next few weeks we will be discussing investments that we feel almost every investor can ignore and avoid with complete confidence. These investments, […]

Will Millennials Be Ready for Retirement?

Most millennials, people aged 18 to 34, are unprepared and under educated on the importance of saving for retirement. A survey found that 40% of millennials do not have a retirement savings account, and nearly 75% do not know their own net worth. This is concerning as they are believed to be one of the […]

Purchasing CEFs at a Discount to Net Asset Value

Would you ever buy something worth $1 for $1.01 or more? This is a question Morningstar recently posed in an article about Closed-End Funds (CEFs) on their website. The exact question was, “Would you ever buy a CEF that was trading at a premium to NAV?” and can be read here. Surprisingly, only 53% of […]

Is an In Service Distribution Right for You?

We have long understood that the investment choices inside of 401(k) plans certainly have a lot of room for improvement. The fees are high, investment choices are slim, and the options for how and when to invest are limited. For those who are unhappy with their current retirement plan there may be another option for […]

Don’t Be Afraid of Our Periodic Table

    (Click to enlarge) The above chart is known as the “Periodic Table of Investments” and illustrates the previous 10 years annual performance of eight different asset classes. The asset classes represented in this particular chart are Large Cap Equities, Mid Cap Equities, Small Cap Equities, International Equities, Emerging Market Equities, Commodities, Bonds, Inflation […]

Is Your IRA Distribution Tax-Free? The Answer May Surprise You

In 2015 Congress voted to make Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) a permanent part of the tax code. If you have to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA account (all of those over the age 70 ½ with traditional IRAs must take them each year), you have the ability to direct that distribution […]

10 Behaviors that Lead to Underperformance

“In 2015, the average equity mutual fund investor underperformed the S&P 500 by a margin of 3.66%. While the broader market made incremental gains of 1.38%, the average equity investor suffered a more-than-incremental loss of -2.28%” –Dalbar’s 22nd Annual Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior. This is not a one year aberration but a long term […]

The Benefits of Naming Beneficiaries in Your IRA

For most people, naming beneficiaries for retirement assets or life insurance policies happens one time – when the account or policy is first started. Typically the named beneficiary is their spouse, after that it’s usually their children, at which point it will most likely never be thought about again. While no one likes to think […]

Don’t Allow Sensational Media Headlines to Affect Your Retirement Portfolio

“U.S. stocks hammered as Brexit shock rocks markets,” “Worst day in 10 months as Wall Street reacts to Brexit,” and “Brexit Panic – Should You Sell Your Stocks?” are just a few of the headlines following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union on June 24th, 2016, just a little over 3 weeks ago. Today […]

The Impact of Rising Rates on You

On June 15th, the U.S. Federal Reserve, commonly referred to as the Fed, made the decision to maintain the federal funds rate of 0.25-0.50%. The Fed cited slow economic growth, low inflation rates, a possible British exit from the European Union (“Brexit”), and a high unemployment report for May. The Federal Reserve has been in […]

A Social Security Strategy that Could Benefit You

On April 30th, 2016, the Social Security Administration ended the popular claiming technique known as “file and suspend,” which allowed couples to increase their lifetime benefits. Even though this strategy is no longer available, a second strategy, the “restricted application,” is still available to people born before January 1, 1954. What is the “Restricted Application”? […]

Your Weekly News & Updates

Sending you into the weekend, here are some of the interesting articles the team at Blue Bell has been reading this week. We hope that you find this information useful and informative. Have a great weekend! A Simple Recipe for the 50-Year Investor “With a 50-year investment period, the average American’s retirement can be fundeded […]

How Much Could Your Children’s Diploma Cost You in the Future?

Do you or anyone in your family know someone that will be attending college in the future? Do you know that higher education tuition costs have increased faster than all other expenses for families over the past quarter century? Since 1983, college tuition and costs have risen 722%! J.P. Morgan Asset Management released a study […]

Your Weekly News & Updates

Sending you into the weekend, here are some of the interesting articles the team at BBPWM are reading. We hope that you find this information useful and informative. 20 Common Investing Mistakes Be sure you set a plan and don’t let emotions steer you off course, says Morningstar’s Russ Kinnel. Click Here to Read Say ‘yes’ to […]

Despite the Appearance of Calm, Volatility is Back

We have invested in Structured Investments through bull, bear and flat markets and continue to recommend them because of their ability to provide both partial downside protection and upside potential. What is a Structured Investment? First, it is important to remember that the term Structured Investment/Product/Note is just that – a generic moniker used to […]

Now that you have changed jobs, what do you do with your old 401(k)?

Ignoring your past employer’s 401(k) can be easy but rolling it over to an IRA could be just as easy and more beneficial in the long run. When you leave a company you have a multiple options with your 401(k). You can roll over your 401(k) into an IRA, keep it with your previous employer’s […]

Estate Planning Checklist

You may have seen estate planning mentioned a lot recently in the news regarding the late musician Prince who passed away without his estate in order. Not only can this keep your loved ones from receiving your assets, it can lead to a long, costly process that often results in battles between them as Prince’s […]

Is Your Advisor Working in Your Best Interests?

  • Is your advisor prioritizing you? • Are you working with a fiduciary? • Are you working with an advisor that receives compensation for selling financial products? • What is the difference between a broker, a fee-based advisor, and a fee-only advisor? Broker – Paid commissions for each order placed for securities executed on […]

One investment strategy for greater income and less risk

One of the principles at Blue Bell Private Wealth Management is minimizing risk while achieving reliable investment returns. For investors looking to reduce risk and increase income, covered call option writing may work well within existing equity portfolios. This strategy can achieve market returns with less risk than the average mutual fund investment. Covered call writing is […]

Would you like to buy $1 for 85 cents?

The question we pose to you may seem too good to be true. You may say, “No one would give me $1 for 85 cents.” Allow us to introduce you to closed-end funds (CEFs). A closed-end fund is a publicly traded investment company that invests in a variety of securities, such as stocks or bonds, […]

IRA vs 401(k)

Are your retirement savings invested in the best type of account for you? Identifying that you need to save for retirement is an important first step but knowing what types of accounts your money should be held in is a close second. Two of the most common accounts are the 401(k) plan offered by employers […]