Home > About SMI > Meet The Team > Matt Bell

Matt Bell

Matt Bell

Managing Editor

Matt joined SMI in 2012. He leads SMI’s content strategy — managing the company’s monthly editorial calendar, writing many of the articles, sourcing content from outside the company, and either writing or overseeing much of what appears on our web site. He also represents SMI in various radio guest appearances.

Prior to joining SMI, Matt was an independent biblical money management writer and speaker. He is the author of four personal finance books that were published by NavPress, including Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples and The Grad’s Guide to Money (written for high school seniors and college freshmen). He does some outside speaking as well at churches, universities, conferences, and retreats throughout the country. Matt has been involved in stewardship ministry since 1990 when he began serving in the Good $ense ministry at Willowcreek Community Church.

Matt earned an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University and a graduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from DePaul University, where he wrote a thesis about the history and influence of our consumer culture.

Matt and his wife, Jude, have three children at home. 

Most Recent Articles

Using the Tracker to Implement a Custom Version of Just-the-Basics

Recently, we looked at the investment options that an SMI member we’ll call Betty has access to within her health savings account (HSA) and demonstrated how she could use the Personal Portfolio Tracker to implement a custom version of Upgrading.

Continue Reading

Money Roundup: What to Worry About, Persistent Market Myths, and More

Our latest picks for the best investing and personal finance articles from around the web.

What to worry about in this surreal bull market (Bloomberg). Market veterans weigh in on what could go wrong.

Are stocks too expensive? (Schwab). “…there hasn’t been a better time in 20 years to be globally diversified.”

Why I panicked when my bitcoin investment surged 780% (Financial Planning). It’s one thing to read about it, it’s another thing to invest in it.

Kitces: What’s the optimal retirement strategy? (Financial Planning). What do curves, triangles, and rectangles have to do with retirement planning? Read on.

A last-minute guide to shopping for Medicare (US News). There are still a few days left to make changes.

And from the blogosphere…

Some market myths that hurt investors (A Wealth of Common Sense). Running some common rules of thumb through a fact checker.

There are many ways to win (Of Dollars and Data). Some rules actually do matter.

Five simple behavioural tips for better long-term investment decision making (Behavioural Investment). Overriding our tendencies to do harm to our portfolios.

How to stop your grown kids from ruining your retirement (Next Avenue). Raising kids is expensive, but keeping the bank of mom and dad open after they’re out of the house can be financially ruinous.

Small business retirement plans — SEP IRA vs. Solo 401(k) (The Chicago Financial Planner). If you own a small business, there are some unique retirement saving options available to you.

We’d love to hear your responses to any of the above. To weigh in, just meet us in the comments section. 

Continue Reading

Avoiding an Unnecessarily Frugal Retirement

Experts frequently warn that most people are not saving enough for retirement. And for good reason. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), many workers closest to retirement have far too little set aside for their later years. The EBRI’s latest annual Retirement Confidence Survey found that 45% of workers age 55 or older have less than $100,000 in savings and investments.

Continue Reading

How to Buy Low This Christmas Season (and Always)

It used to be easier for low-price shoppers to find the best deals. They had their go-to stores where they knew they could find the best prices — one store for shoes, another for electronics.

Then it got even easier. Smartphones equipped with bar code-scanning apps, such as ShopSavvy, gave rise to show-rooming — the practice of looking at a product in a traditional retail store, but then searching for the best price — and usually buying the product — online.

Continue Reading

No Love Lost on Today’s Bull Market and Other Points to Ponder

No love lost on today’s bull market

  • “The VIX is too low, valuations are too high, the recovery is too old and the Fed is tightening. For an old market dude like me, that is a scary list.” – Jim Paulsen, Leuthold Group market strategist, quoted in the The New York Times on 11/5/17. Read more
Continue Reading

Using the Tracker to Manage an HSA Investment Account

Just as the Personal Portfolio Tracker can be used to manage a 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan with limited investment choices, it can also be used to manage an investable Health Savings Account (HSA).

Continue Reading

Money Roundup: Unhappy Investors in a Time of Plenty, Leveraging Your Gains for Good, and More

Our latest picks for the best investing and personal finance articles from around the web.

A bull market should make investors happy. This one isn’t. (NY Times). All investors seem to want to know is when will the good times end.

Continue Reading

Financial Regrets: Most of Us Have a Few

Many U.S. adults wish they had done things differently with their finances. That’s the key take-away from a new national survey from the personal finance site, NerdWallet. Specifically, 71% said they have financial regrets.

Continue Reading

How TDA Changes Impact Dynamic Asset Allocation and Just-the-Basics Investors

TD Ameritrade recently announced significant changes to its lineup of no transaction fee (NTF) exchange-traded funds. These changes have implications for SMI members who follow our Dynamic Asset Allocation or Just-the-Basics strategies. None of the changes affect the official recommended funds used in the strategies, but they do impact our lists of “adequate alternatives” that some members use to avoid paying transaction fees.

Continue Reading

Will the Bear’s Bite Be Especially Painful for Passive Investors?

Managing expectations is a crucial aspect of successful investing. With today’s long-running bull market having proven its resilience in the face of political, economic, and virtually every other type of threat over the past eight-plus years, it’s become dangerously easy for investors to expect the good times to continue indefinitely.

Perhaps more than any other group, index-fund investors are particularly at risk of complacency due to their passive approach to their investments.

Continue Reading