Why I AM working at Collar Capital Management (as opposed to Greg Smith’s, “Why I’m Leaving Goldman Sachs”)

am sure all of you have either read or at the very least heard of former Goldman Sachs employee, Greg Smithʼs, scathing resignation letter denouncing the culture that he feels is now permeating one of the largest investment banks on Wall Street. This is why, we at Collar Capital Management, have always taken great strides to build trust and earn your business. I want to take this time to highlight how we have set up our business to insure we are always aligned with you and your interests first and foremost:

1. We custom manage your portfolio exclusively for your benefit. This is a big distinction.  Patrick and I, spent 12 and 10 years respectively at Smith Barney and then Morgan Stanley, two of the largest financial companies in the world. Early on in our training we saw that many brokers usually fell into one of several categories:

 

 Transactional Commisions – The old way of buying or selling an individual stock where one couldnʼt positively be sure if the sell or buy was to make money for the client or the broker.

 

 Asset Gatherer – the broker acts as a middle man for a larger portfolio manager and fees would have to be higher because there are are three people taking a slice of the pie (broker, firm and outside management company).

 

 Product Sales – Pushing products of the firm (i.e. when you have a 401k there are usually a fund or two run by the very company advising you)….how are you sure this is the best fund for you or for the firm?

 

 Needless to say, Pat and I almost never recommended our firm’s products and, consequently, never got invited to company retreats or feted by outside mutual fund companies.

 

 2. Our entire salaries are linked in lock step with the performance of our clientsʼ portfolios. We charge a flat fee. As all of our current clients can attest to, if the level of your portfolio goes down…our salary goes down by the same percentage. This ensures that we are always concerned with the long-term success of our client. Whether it be sitting on the sidelines (cash) or buying a stock that is undervalued or a bond we feel provides safety, our decision ONLY benefits us if the decision increases or preserves the value of our clientʼs portfolio.

 3. We solely grow from the word of mouth and referrals of our clients and our reputation which precedes us when making a new introduction. In my job as relationship manager of current clients and also seeking new clients, I surely would love a $100 million dollar marketing budget to hire a celebrity spokesperson, create a snappy commercial with a talking baby and sponsor Tiger Woodsʼ next charity golf event. This takes money, which comes from client fees which goes to a marketing campaign. We would rather see your money in your portfolio, which in turn, can produce better portfolio performance.  Producing excellent results for your account usually leads to the best kind marketing in the world – a positive word of mouth campaign.  The best potential client is a client who is referred.

 

 4. Lastly, ALL of our clients are treated equally…precious to our growth and part of our family…literally in some cases. You have probably heard of Wall Street “taking the other side of a trade” as in the case of a firm selling a product that they have bet against or wealthier clients getting first dibs on a particular stock or bond deal. At Collar Capital if Patrick feels a stock is right for our clientʼs portfolioʼs and we feel it is right for your portfolio, whether you have $200,000 with us or $5,000,000 everyone gets the same price execution (yes, even you, Mom and Dad!). And if we feel a stock or bond needs to be sold we donʼt sell out our top client at 8 am and others at 1pm. Again, everyone gets sold at the same price at the same time.

 

 In this day and age where the financial markets move faster than they ever have in the history of investing it is important to stay on top of your investments. However, how do you balance that when your top priority is providing for your family and your future and securing a retirement when we as Americans need to work harder than ever to preserve and grow in something that takes up over one third of our time…our jobs?

 

 Now I am sure if I had the time I could fix my own car or if I had the courage I could do my own dental work (maybe not). Now I donʼt know about you, but when I pop the hood of my car or look at my teeth in the mirror I have no idea what I am looking at. I was referred to my mechanic and my dentist by a person I trusted. It benefits my mechanic and my dentist to do good work always to keep me as a client for 20 years and any business I refer them down the road and not just be concerned with making a “quick buck”. Now, through years of being the beneficiary of their good, valuable and honest work, I donʼt constantly worry about my car when I drive long distances or that my teeth will be with me throughout my lifetime. We have set up our business like the good mechanic and the knowledgable dentist because you do have a long distance to drive and you want your teeth to be there when you are older. We want you to enjoy the drive with us on this journey as worry free as possible and know that we are going to be with you throughout your lifetime.

 

 Thank you for taking the time,

Sincerely,

 

Joseph R. Cacia

 

Collar Capital Management