Financial Planning

We build investment portfolios to suit investor goals, blending equity, fixed income and alternative investments to produce superior, risk-adjusted returns. Our own in-house investment research fuels financial planning to encompass not only investments but also retirement income and financial legacies.


  • Assessment of financial goals, time horizons and risk tolerance
  • Financial planning
  • Retirement income planning
  • Estate planning
  • In-house investment research
  • Consistent contact and follow-up on investment success

Bell State Bank & Trust’s comprehensive financial services go well beyond basic investment options. Bell Wealth Management is your financial GPS.  We see ourselves as your co-pilots or navigators on your financial journey.  We invest your funds only after careful consideration of how they fit into your overall financial situation, risk tolerance and goals. Your trust & investment team will work with you in a five-step process to develop your financial plan for a secure future.

5 Stages of Financial Planning

  1. Comprehensive review of your investment objectives and risk tolerance
  2. Learning the facts about your overall financial situation and assets
  3. Solid recommendations based on your financial profile
  4. Finalizing a plan that best meets your financial goals
  5. Ongoing partnership and regular communication with you and your attorney, accountant and other advisors

Here to Help You Prepare Financially

By Becky Walen, Senior Wealth Management Advisor, Bell State Bank & Trust

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning,” Thomas Edison wrote. Our job at Bell State Bank & Trust is to help our clients accumulate, grow, preserve and distribute wealth. How we do this is through financial planning and more specifically, life planning.

Not so long ago, between October 2007 and March 2009, the S&P 500 index dropped from 1,565.15 down to 676.53, an annualized change of -44.69%. Ouch! How can anyone without a plan succeed in meeting any goals in the near future or the long term? You cannot do this without luck—and nobody wants to rely on luck for their financial security. Instead, let us help you gather the proper documents and position yourself on the right path for your goals and your life.

We have found that people define retirement as financial independence – and obtaining that independence takes time and proper planning. Determining what constitutes enough money for financial independence differs for each individual. By looking at a few key items in your life, we can help you figure out what defines your financial independence. Here’s how, in 5 basic steps:

5 Steps to a Financial Plan

  1. Our lives are filled with unknowns: unexpected bills for your car and home, illness, job loss, salary cuts, flooding costs, nursing home expenses. We recommend having at least three to six months of expenses in a money market or short-term savings instrument (such as a certificate of deposit) for emergency purposes.
  2. Each of us has wants and needs. I want to buy that new Aston Martin that goes 250mph but I need a dependable car that gets me to work. Once you have established your emergency fund, consider setting your priorities into three timeframes or savings buckets for short-, medium- and long-term goals.
  3. For many of us, it is relatively easy to save for things like vacations and even used cars,  but as price tags rise and time horizons push farther into the future, it becomes harder to keep financial goals in perspective. For those more major goals, you may need to look at some other savings and investment options. For example, if you are saving toward your child’s or grandchild’s college education, you may want to consider investing those dollars into a section 529 plan. Section 529 plans give you the option to invest in mutual funds and other investments and, if the child goes to a qualified institution, the withdrawals of the principal and earnings from the 529 for their education will be tax-free. Consult your tax advisor and see if this option is right for you.
  4. Do not forget to evaluate your long-term goals. Your retirement account is perhaps the one savings bucket where the time horizon is long enough to ride out volatility and market corrections. One of the easiest ways to save for your retirement is through your employer’s retirement plan and IRAs. If you don’t know what your asset allocation should be within those accounts, or even what that means, we are here to help.
  5. When you start to distribute money from your retirement plans to provide income for you and your family to live on, it is sometimes challenging to find an appropriate balance between preservation of principal and enough growth to keep pace with inflation. It all comes back to basics. If we go back to thinking in terms of short-, medium- and long-term goals, we can start to build a foundation in which you will have enough safe cash available for your living expenses and enough growth in your long-term investments to keep pace with inflation.

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Contact our financial planning team to start the conversation about your plan for long-term financial security and peace of mind!


Becky Walen, Senior Wealth Management Advisor



Learn more about our financial planning team.


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