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Deciphering Your Statements

Need help reading your financial statements? Here’s a quick tutorial. 

Every quarter, our office receives about 10 phone calls from clients who are having trouble understanding their quarterly or monthly statements. The call usually goes something like this: “I got my Pershing statement in the mail, but I also received a statement from Reits/Atel/Business Development Company (BDC) (alternative investments), and I’m not sure if these extra statements are in addition to my Pershing account, or if they’re part of what’s reflected in my Pershing statement. Then, when I log into eMoney, the values don’t match up with what I’m seeing in my statements.”

Now, I know that 10 phone calls usually means that at least 100 of you are probably also wondering “What the heck?” when you open those statements. Those other 90 of you either don’t have time to worry about it, or you’re disregarding your paper statements and only looking online.

Let me try and help clear up the confusion. First, your quarterly or monthly statements are printed at the end of the quarter or month, and they take three to five business days to hit your mailbox. So, they’re always a little dated. That’s why the balances will not exactly match what you see in eMoney, as those balances are updated in real-time.
Secondly, if you hold some alternative investments within your Pershing retirement account, you’ll receive separate statements from those companies (Reits, Atel, BDC, Cole etc.) in addition to your main Pershing statement. Those balances are part of your Pershing retirement balance, not in addition to it. You’re simply receiving a separate statement for that part of your Pershing retirement account holdings.

These investments will also be broken out into separate lines when you log into eMoney. So, let’s say you have $35,000 in a Pershing IRA – this is made up of $10,000 in a Money Market, $5,000 in Amazon stock, and $20,000 in alternative investments. When you log into eMoney, you’ll see a $15,000 balance (Money Market and Amazon), and a separate line for the alternative investments.

For anyone who’s made it this far, hopefully we’ve helped clear up some of the confusion. If you would like further clarification or have questions about your statements that we didn’t address here, please, give us a call and let someone in our office know that you’d like us to review your statements with you during your next planning meeting. We’re always happy to help. 

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