Savant Blog

Savant offers perspective on a variety of topics. Entries range from current events to timeless insights in the world of finance and investments.

29 Jul
July 29, 2014

Puerto Rico was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and claimed for Spain. In 1898, Puerto Rico became a U.S. Territory after the Spanish-American War. The most common language is Spanish, but almost everyone speaks a bit of English as well. The citizens of Puerto Rico enjoy many of the benefits of being a U.S. citizen, with the exception that they are unable to vote and they are not obligated to pay U.S. income taxes. The U.S. military occupied the

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21 Jul
July 21, 2014

You’ve heard it from your financial advisor in the past, and since that time you have elected to steer clear of that same conversation. After all, by the numbers he or she is correct, but it still doesn’t help you sleep better at night. Paying down debt early is often a battle of the mind.

I, too, have found myself preaching that debt can be good. I have reminded my clients that if you can earn a higher return on your

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18 Jul
July 18, 2014

We chose Puerto Rico as our family’s Spring Break destination this year. My wife, Wendy, and I would be traveling with our two teenage children. We had narrowed it down to Puerto Rico or Washington, D.C., but decided on Puerto Rico mainly because of the late arrival of warm weather to Rockford and a recent article naming Puerto Rico as the top destination for low-cost spring break vacations for families. We were not disappointed as the temperature ranged between 75 and 90

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09 Jun
June 09, 2014

When developing an estate plan it’s important to select the right person as trustee or executor (fiduciary). Unfortunately there are many stories of things going awry, and family relationships being damaged, when the person responsible for managing your estate doesn’t see eye to eye with the beneficiaries.

These unintended situations can be minimized by remembering a few important points in designating a fiduciary.

Below are four “C’s” to keep in mind:

Consider your family

A family member or child is often the first person

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23 May
May 23, 2014

Many revocable living trusts contain bypass planning language. This type of planning language captures assets owned by the grantor at death to form a new trust. The surviving spouse usually has a beneficial interest in the trust assets, such as net income, but does not have absolute ownership of the assets. These trusts are referred to by several names including the family trust, credit shelter trust, bypass trust, or the residuary trust.

The assets captured using this planning strategy typically amount

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