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 Mar
March 29, 2017

There is usually some permanent damage done when you lose someone you love. Most of the time, this comes in the form of grieving for that special person. From the benefit of time, the intense grieving usually fades away. Survivors are left with the burden of surviving, and, financially speaking, sometimes there is little available to help.

When Social Security was passed in 1935 it was strictly a benefit for retirees. It wasn’t until 1939 that a change was added to

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13 Mar
March 13, 2017

The news tends to over-dramatize the subject matter on which it is reporting. All too often this results in strong opinions or flat-out false statements. When it comes to Social Security benefits, the most common opinion I hear is that Social Security is going broke. It’s the elephant in the room as nervous clients jokingly comment that these benefits cannot be counted on any longer.

Social Security benefits are not going bankrupt.

It has been and still is in a

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17 Feb
February 17, 2017

You want to help your child buy a house, while ensuring that you do so in a tax-smart way. While you may have the best intentions, helping out in the wrong way can cause you or your child, or both, to lose tax benefits.

So, what’s the best way to assist your child in buying a home?

The good news is that there are several strategies for helping your child that also preserve tax benefits related to home ownership. Two considerations are

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16 Feb
February 16, 2017

Dr. Simon Ramo of TRW, Inc. (now a part of Northrop Grumman) identified the difference between a winner’s game and a loser’s game in his book, Extraordinary Tennis for the Ordinary Tennis Player (pub. 1977). Dr. Ramo summed it up this way: professionals win points; amateurs lose points.

The extraordinary tennis players rarely make mistakes, called “unforced errors.” When a superior tennis player is competing against an average opponent, the superior player wins—but not due primarily to making winning shots. Rather,

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14 Feb
February 14, 2017

Retirement planning and saving are a big deal. When you are working hard and saving for your future, you want to ensure you are getting the most “bang” from each retirement savings dollar. After all, it’s your ideal future that’s at stake!

All of this planning and saving often lead to a common question. What retirement savings vehicle makes the most sense? Specifically, should I utilize an IRA or a 401(k)? The answer is similar to most choices in life: It

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