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.

27 Jul
July 27, 2016

You may be a fan of do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. A visit to Home Depot or a search through Pinterest shows the popularity of a wide variety of DIY projects. Many folks are taking the DIY approach with their estate plan. Online document preparers offer a low-cost solution for simple estate planning. But beware of many pitfalls to this approach.

Complexities are often hard to detect.

You might not realize what complexities exist in your situation. Family circumstances, asset characteristics, net worth, and

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19 Jul
July 19, 2016

Many in the financial media tout the benefits of the early paydown of the home mortgage as one of the best financial strategies a family can implement. Unfortunately, this is one of those cases in which the rule of thumb can be completely wrong, particularly when it is not adapted for individual circumstances. Similar to consulting with a doctor before starting an exercise regimen, families should consult with a qualified financial professional before launching an accelerated mortgage paydown

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07 Jul
July 07, 2016

For charitably inclined individuals, many strategies exist that allow you to meet your philanthropic goals while creating tax savings. One strategy to consider is a Qualified Charitable Distribution, or QCD. QCDs are distributions that come directly from your IRA to a qualified charity of your choice. This type of IRA distribution is not included in the taxpayer’s AGI. QCDs became permanent with the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, and this strategy allows individuals to

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05 Jul
July 05, 2016

When it comes to financial services, knowing how much you are paying and the value it provides is vitally important. Not long ago, a participant in an adult education class I teach asked me this question: “If I work with a financial planner, what should I be paying for their services and what should I get for what I pay?” My response was, “While that is a fair question, consider this as well. What would you like assistance

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28 Jun
June 28, 2016

Many people are frightened by the prospect of a declining stock market. A market “correction” is defined as a decline of 10% in a short period of time; a “bear market” is defined as a decline of 20%. Fear trumps greed in these folks’ minds.

This paper will put into perspective the frequency and severity of market declines, and then offer solid tactics that will enable investors to take advantage of these situations when they occur.

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