Broker Check

Q&A- The Elm Tree Capital Difference

Why should I use a financial planner?

In today’s hectic world, most people do not have the time, expertise or desire to actively plan and properly manage certain financial aspects of their life. A qualified financial planning expert will help you get started and provide you the objective, third-party perspective on what are often emotional, difficult decisions. The financial planning expert will also help ensure that you stay focused and follow through with your financial plans and avoid making those mistakes with potentially significant consequences.

What is the difference between an investment adviser and a financial planner?

Most financial planners are investment advisers, but not all investment advisers are financial planners. Some financial planners assess every aspect of your financial life—including saving, investments, insurance, taxes, retirement, and estate planning—and help you develop a detailed strategy or financial plan for meeting all your financial goals.

Aren’t all financial planners the same?

No!  Many people call themselves financial planners, but they are not.  Be wary of those sales people who appear more interested in pushing specific financial  products at the expense of your real financial needs and goals.  If a strategy or product appears too good to be true, then it likely is.  

A genuine financial planning expert can help you address a variety of financial needs, not just investments, insurance or taxes.  Moreover, not every financial planner is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional or an Attorney.  Look for those professionals who have the education, credentials and experience to handle all aspects of your financial life coupled with the ethical obligations to act in your best interests.  We encourage you to click here, to review Eric Zine's profile.

What can a financial planner help me do that I can’t do on my own?

A lot! The rapid proliferation of technology has led to sophisticated product innovations and financial information is more accessible than ever. But navigating through and translating these exponentially increasing amounts of data into useful information is no easy task and stokes analysis paralysis. A financial planning expert will be able to differentiate the viable product innovations from the gimmicks and will sift through the good and bad knowledge to help avoid knee jerk reactions and help protect you from missing the big picture.

What is the added value of using a financial planner to plan and manage your portfolio?

Portfolio planning is just one component of holistic financial plan and its overall benefit has been difficult to quantify, at least until recently. In 2012 investment researcher, Morningstar, Inc., performed a ground breaking study*, which found that “the potential added value of hiring an adviser for counsel or Gamma (the additional retirement income that could be generated by making better financial decisions) was worth an extra 1.8% per year.” In this study, Morningstar considered a portfolio financial planning strategy, which included asset allocation, withdrawal strategy, tax-efficiency, product allocation, and liability investing. Through simulations, Morningstar’s researchers found that a hypothetical retiree could generate nearly 30% more income using a Gamma-efficient retirement-income strategy; equal to kicking up the annual arithmetic return by 1.82% compared to the average person making those same decisions on their own.

* Blanchett, David, and Paul Kaplan. "Alpha, Beta, and Now . . . Gamma." Morningstar, Inc., September 8, 2012

What services do you provide?

Elm Tree Capital provides comprehensive tax planning, investment management, retirement, education and advanced estate planning. We serve individuals and their families, as well as provide personal financial counseling for business owners and retirement plans for their businesses.

What is your fee structure?

We structure our fees to suit each client engagement. Elm Tree Capital generally charges a flat, annual financial planning fee. Investment management fees are based on a percentage of assets under management, and are very competitive for the high level of service and expertise.

What is the minimum portfolio size you manage?

We do not have a stated minimum and generally work with clients who have interests that are aligned to our planning philosophy. Our preference is to have a preliminary conversation, to see if we can be helpful. Our goal is to fully understand the financial circumstances of prospective clients, to ensure the relationship is suitable and fair for all parties.

How do I know my money is protected?

Elm Tree Capital’s clients have their assets held with our trusted clearing and custodial partner, Pershing LLC, the world’s leading correspondent clearing firm. Since 1939, Pershing has been a leading provider of financial business solutions focused on the segregation, safekeeping, servicing, and reporting of client assets in their custody. Please refer to Pershing’s Statement of Financial Condition for additional information.

Pershing’s parent company, The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY) holds $26.6 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.3 trillion in assets under management with locations across 6 continents in 36 countries and a worldwide staff of more than 47,800 employees. BNY, member FINRA, NYSE, SIPC, was recently voted safest U.S. Bank, for the fourth year in a row, by Global Finance magazine (April 2012). Please refer to The Bank of New York Mellon’s website for current financial statements and reports.