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 Mar
March 27, 2015

We all work hard and live within our means, investing what we can. Then, after time, we look at our nest egg and it appears to be big enough for us to finally retire or proceed with an exciting life goal, often with the help of someone who presents himself to the public as a financial professional. At this point, you need to ask yourself, “What kind of financial advisor do I want to work with?” The key word: fiduciary.

Simply

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12 Mar
March 12, 2015

Spring is nearly here. The time has changed forward, and tax returns will soon be due. In no time at all, the temperature will climb and birds will sing. Here in the nation’s capital the cherry blossoms will bloom in spectacular color. Then summer will arrive with all its joys. Some investors will spend precious time watching TV, reading blogs, and seeking insight to give them an edge, a way to “beat the market” and gain a leg up toward

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04 Mar
March 04, 2015

Homeownership is a goal for many Americans, young adults in particular. It is widely believed that residential real estate is a good long-term investment. However, there are numerous factors to consider before purchasing a home.  

Cost: Homeownership is a big commitment, and many people take on mortgages they cannot afford. Often, while trying to make the numbers work for a purchase, additional costs like maintenance and property taxes are minimized or forgotten entirely. Alternatively, choosing to rent a home rather than

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11 Feb
February 11, 2015

Was your estate plan drafted five or more years ago? If so, recent changes in the Federal and Illinois estate tax laws should prompt a review and update of that plan.

Effective January 1st of this year, each U.S. citizen can transfer during life or at death up to $5.43 million of property free of Federal estate tax. Transfers in excess of this amount are subject to Federal tax at a flat rate of 40%. For Illinois

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10 Feb
February 10, 2015

Brainstorming topics to write about this month, I kept thinking about all the changes that happen during the transition from college into the real world for the first time. Being at this point in my life, I know firsthand about the learning curve that comes during this time. Questions that pop into my head often are: Am I spending too much on rent? Am I saving enough? Do I even know how much I am saving per month, if

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