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fiduciary

John Oliver & The Fiduciary Standard

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In his most recent episode, John Oliver did a great job uncovering several issues that plan sponsors and participants might find in their 401k plan.  We are proud to say our approach to advising retirement plans addresses all of these issues: Fiduciary– Many “financial advisors” do not act as a fiduciary to their clients, meaning they can act in a sales-like capacity (broker) rather than acting in their clients’ best interests.  Simply put – find someone who, both in practice and by law, must act in your best interest.  Sontag Advisory acts as a 3(38) ERISA fiduciary to our corporate retirement plan clients,…
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alternatives

Alternatives & Individual Investors

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Alternatives are often a source of confusion for our clients and the investing public, and with good reason: there is no uniform standard for the definition of an alternative, and there is no investable benchmark to represent the asset class. How to Define Alternatives If there is one thing everyone can agree on, it is that "alternatives" are not old-fashioned stocks (think S&P 500) or old-fashioned bonds (think treasuries, high grade corporates, and the Barclays Aggregate index). I consider this the "smell test definition" - does it smell and taste like a stock or a bond? If not, it's an…
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behavioral finance

Our Habits Matter

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My five month old daughter is just beginning to understand the concept of cause and effect. She is learning that when she shakes her rattle it will make a sound and that when she giggles mommy and daddy will make a big fuss. In these small ways she is starting to form her first conceptions about the world around her. These initial observations will create the foundation for the development of her very first habits. While we have more control over our actions than a five month old, the reality is that our habits evolve in exactly the same way. When we observe…
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