Sontag Advisory Blog

What You Need to Know About the New AMT

Posted by Zachary Gering on 19 Jun 2018

The AMT remains in-force following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), but it will impact far fewer taxpayers beginning this year. This is welcome news for many households that are concerned about the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions.

The alternative minimum tax was enacted in 1969 as a parallel tax system to ensure a small group of high income earners paid some federal…


Unfreezing Credit Reports

Posted by Martha Santiford on 18 Jun 2018

Equifax 

Call: (800) 685-1111, NY residents must call: (800) 349-9960

Online: visit www.freeze.equifax.com – Users will be prompted to input personal information and submit online form. (Equifax is waiving fee to temporarily lift or permanently remove a security freeze through June 30, 2018; any requests after 06/30/18 may be subject to the fees provided by state of residence.)

Mail: Send request in writing…


Why Duration Isn't Always a Dirty Word

Posted by Michael Moriarty on 30 May 2018

Recent events around the political mess in Italy provide a good reminder of why we often say fixed income, and in particular its “duration,” is the “flight to quality” component of your portfolio.

For this exercise I used two US Treasury bonds, each maturing on different dates.  Since they are both issued by the US Treasury which is viewed as “risk free,” any changes in their value…


What to Do When You Lose a Loved One?

Posted by Richard Yam on 23 May 2018

When a loved one passes away, you will face many responsibilities, from making funeral plans to closing out financial affairs.  These responsibilities will add stress to what is already a difficult and emotional time.  Getting organized and knowing what steps you need to take will help reduce some of that added stress.  Below is a chronological checklist to help you organize and close your loved one’s affairs.


Basics of Federal Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer (“GST”) Tax

Posted by Nicole Hart on 18 Apr 2018

The bad news is that there is a Federal tax on assets that you give away during life, at death, and to individuals two or more generations below you. The good news is that this tax will only apply to the wealthiest Americans and, even so, there are strategies you can use to minimize or avoid its application. The Federal estate, gift and GST tax only kicks in above a…


An Unconventional College Savings Account

Posted by Zachary Gering on 18 Apr 2018

If you are looking to set money aside for your child or grandchild’s education you are likely considering a 529 plan, a custodial account, or possibly a trust. Each of those accounts have positive and negative qualities, which my colleague, Eric Dostal, highlighted in a previous blog post. However, there is another account that is a bit unconventional for college expenses – a Roth IRA.

I…


2018 Q1 Investment Letter

Posted by Michael Moriarty on 18 Apr 2018

Key Takeaways 

  • Equity and fixed income markets were both slightly negative in Q1 2018, while alternative managers were slightly positive.
  • Risk and volatility are increasing, so are fixed income yields as the US Treasury issues significantly more debt.

Performance Recap

What a difference a (new) year makes.  With a rise in volatility and headlines about macro and market…


Understanding New York’s Estate Tax “Cliff”

Posted by Nicole Hart on 26 Mar 2018

Understanding New York’s Estate Tax “Cliff”- Revised March 2018

It has been over three years since some dramatic changes were made to New York’s gift and estate tax law. For many clients, the subject of the New York estate tax “cliff” continues to remain a source of confusion. This is for good reason. The New York cliff is not easy to understand, nor is it easy to…


Estate Planning in Light of Tax Reform: Your Questions and Our Answers UPDATED March 2018

Posted by Nicole Hart on 26 Mar 2018

This post will help you unpack some of the estate and gift tax provisions of the 2017 Tax Reform Act, as well as answer some of the most pressing questions raised by the changes.

In a nutshell, what stayed the same and what changed?

One major item that stayed the same is the simple existence of an estate tax. The initial tax reform bill…


CEO Note: 2018 Priorities

Posted by Michael Delgass on 02 Feb 2018

CEO Note: 2018 Priorities

Dear Clients and Friends of the Firm:

I am pleased to report that our firm grew at a healthy, consistent pace in 2017. This was partially driven by the markets, but mainly thanks to a steady stream of client referrals.  We appreciate your trust in us, and there is truly no higher compliment than a referral, so:  Thank You!