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.

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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21 May
May 21, 2014

My last posting discussed the types of financial firms offering investment advice and the types of registration for the advisors they employ. Continuing this theme, today we provide clarity on the qualifications of financial advisors. In particular, we shed some light on the indecipherable collection of initials advisors put after their names.

Financial Advisor Qualifications
According to the Wall Street Journal, there are at least 210 different “professional designations” for financial advisors. The sheer number is bound to cause confusion. What do

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