News & Insights

The Third-Longest Economic Expansion in U.S. History

Now that we are in the third-longest economic expansion, people have begun to ask questions about how much longer it can last. Should we be concerned about a looming recession, or will we see the economy break another expansion record?

A Conversation with Dave Butler and Norm Mindel: “Someone in Your Corner"

Dave Butler and Norm Mindel discuss the big difference between robo-advisors and living, breathing financial advisors. 

Tuition Doesn’t Grow on Trees: Tips for Parents on Saving for College

David McClellan discusses saving for a child's college education and suggests that parents start with understanding how their college savings goal stacks up to reality. 

Protecting Tomorrows With Mary Anne Ehlert: Focus on Caregivers

In this ongoing series, we feature comments from Forum partner Mary Anne Ehlert, a highly regarded specialist working with families of individuals with disabilities. In this Q&A, Mary Anne highlights common issues for caregivers who are caring for a loved one with special needs. Professional Woman Publishing will publish Mary Anne’s book on caregivers in early 2018. 

Ready for Retirement? Planning Looks Very Different After Age 50

In this Q&A, Forum Advisor John Vires discusses the distinct planning challenges and opportunities for investors in their 50s who are starting to worry if they have saved enough for retirement and what they should be doing now to secure their future.

Nicole Campbell Obtains Her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certification

Forum Advisor Nicole Campbell has obtained the distinguished CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Nicole completed the CFP® certification process in April.

The Positive Impact of Student Financial Literacy Transcends the Classroom

To recognize Financial Literacy Month, Forum spoke to Principal Teresa Chrobak-Prince at Phoebe A. Hearst Fine Arts Magnet School. An educator with Chicago Public Schools for more than 25 years, Principal Chrobak-Prince’s leadership philosophy is based on a commitment to student-centered learning. Hearst recently attained the highest school rating reaching Level 1+.

Seeing the Benefits of Saving in a New Light

Our latest video looks at the benefits of saving in a new light. “Save the Day” was made specifically for investors who are just starting out on their financial journey by Forum Future, our program to help new investors prepare for early financial milestones and plan for long-term goals. We thought it was only fitting to share the video during Financial Literacy Month.

Ms. Poczik’s Students Know That Saving for the Future Is the Right Thing to Do

To celebrate Financial Literacy Month, we spoke with Ms. Christine Poczik, second-grade teacher at Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School. With more than 12 years teaching in Chicago Public Schools, Ms. Poczik has been working with Climb to Safety’s financial literacy program since 2015. 

At Bell School, First Graders Are Already Planning for College

To celebrate Financial Literacy Month, we spoke with Ms. Emilie Kaim, first-grade teacher at Chicago Public School’s Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School. Ms. Kaim has championed the Climb to Safety program since its inception. The class was piloted in her room and she advocated for its inclusion at Bell with the principal. This year marks her 27th year teaching first grade at Bell with 27 students participating in Ms. Kaim’s financial literacy class.

Five Tips for International Travelers With Norm Mindel

Norm Mindel may be a veteran financial advisor, but he has also earned the title of world traveler. Norm has visited four continents and more than 20 countries, including New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain and numerous places throughout Europe. Just back from his second trip to Australia, Norm shares his thoughts about the country and some of his favorite destinations with five tips for international travelers. 

20 Reasons Why It Is Better With a Human Financial Advisor

These days, more and more people are asking, “Why should I choose a human financial advisor to help me make decisions about how to invest my money?” To this end, we offer this true-to-life list of all of the perks of working with a living, breathing financial advisor.


Nirav Batavia Featured in CBS Chicago News Story on Rising Interest Rates

On March 15, the Fed increased the federal funds rate by 0.25% to a range of 0.75% to 1.00%. Forum Partner Nirav Batavia was featured in a CBS Chicago news story on rising interest rates.


Protecting Tomorrows with Mary Anne Ehlert: The ABLE Act

On February 23, Forum Partner Mary Anne Ehlert was part of a speaker panel for the webinar “The ABLE Act: EnABLE Savings for Life.” The group covered various topics on the ABLE Act, which amends Section 529 of the IRS code and allows individuals to set up accounts and save for loved ones with a disability.

In addition to sharing the webinar here, we asked Mary Anne to discuss the benefits of setting up and funding an ABLE account for a loved one with special needs. Following are Mary Anne’s comments on ABLE, how such an account can be a valuable addition to a comprehensive special-needs life plan and why ABLE accounts are not replacements for special-needs trusts.


Dave Butler Takes the Helm From David Booth to Assume co-CEO Role at Dimensional

Last week, Dimensional Fund Advisors announced that David Butler, Head of Global Financial Advisor Services, has been appointed co-CEO to lead the organization with current co-CEO Eduardo Repetto. Co-founder David Booth, who previously served in the role, will continue with Dimensional as Executive Chairman.

Forum Partner Jonathan Rogers worked for Dimensional in the Financial Advisor Services Group in Austin before joining Forum and spent several years on Dave’s team. In that close-knit environment, Jonathan had the opportunity to learn from many of the people who have shaped the field of modern finance. Today, Jonathan serves as a Forum partner, advisor and co-chief of Forum’s investment committee.

Thus, we thought it was fitting to share these words of congratulations from Jonathan on behalf of our entire organization.

The Dow at 20,000

On January 25, the Dow crossed 20,000 for the first time since it was created in 1896. Some investors may assign more value than is warranted to the historic moment, not realizing that the Dow represents an extremely small portion of the market in which more than 2,400 U.S. stocks are traded on the New York Stock Exchange with more than 10,000 stocks worldwide.

Dimensional Fund Advisors: “The Active-Passive Powerhouse”

Dimensional Fund Advisors was founded in 1981. Today, the firm has $460 billion in assets under management (as of December 31, 2016). Dimensional’s story was featured in The Wall Street Journal article “The Active-Passive Powerhouse” by financial author Jason Zweig.  

Why Indexing Is Good but Dimensional’s Approach Is Better for the Long Term

While indexing is an improvement over active stock picking, Forum predominantly uses Dimensional funds because Dimensional’s approach is better for the long term. 

Quarter-End Summary

Throughout December, there was no shortage of stories looking back on 2016. Whether to serve as a reminder or for nostalgia, we are drawn to best-of lists and year-end recaps. With that in mind, we have assembled a list of four major events, each of which affected global financial markets in 2016.


Caution! Predictions Ahead

What inevitably follows year-end retrospective season are commentators speculating about what might unfold over the year ahead. These prognosticators have the power to distract us from our goals with loud predictions. Whether dire or optimistic, such comments should not convince us to change our plans.




At the Intersection of Art and Investing: An Article from Jason Zweig

Financial author Jason Zweig grew up in the dusty and sparkling world of art and antiques in the 1970s. For those who delight in tales of discovering hidden works of art, this recent article is an excellent find.

Note: True to his calling as a veteran investing columnist, Zweig also points out the striking similarities between the antiques market and the financial markets. 

Season of Giving: Four Organizations That Inspire Us

As we look back on 2016, we want to acknowledge four organizations whose year-round efforts strengthen our community. We are inspired by their unwavering commitment to helping others.  

Forum is proud to support the following organizations.  

Q&A Series: Protecting Tomorrows with Mary Anne Ehlert

For the first time in history, people with disabilities have a greater likelihood of outliving their parents and guardians. This is why it is essential to plan for a loved one’s future. Families need to make sure everything is in place, so when they are no longer able to act as caregivers, their loved one can still live a high-quality life.

Planning begins by asking family members about their hopes, dreams and fears regarding their loved one with special needs. The next crucial step is to review the key planning steps and complex legal and financial issues related to planning. The following questions and answers address some of those issues.

Forum Partner Mary Pat Wesche Receives the 2016 DuPagePads Spirit Award

Forum Partner Mary Pat Wesche has been named the recipient of the 2016 DuPagePads Spirit Award. Since 1985, DuPagePads has been providing interim and permanent housing as well as ongoing support services to individuals in crisis in an effort to end homelessness in the local community.