"It Was Twenty Years Ago Today..."
So starts the Beatles classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Yes, it was 20 years ago this month that I started L.K. Benson & Company! The song continues….”I’ll get by with a little help from my friends.” Our “friends” have meant everything to the success of our firm over these 20 years and now seems like the perfect time to thank each and every one of you.
I felt extremely lucky to have almost all of my clients at my former CPA firm follow me when I started L. K. Benson & Company. This gave us a great start and we continue to build on that base of wonderful individuals and families over the years. We are grateful for the relationships that we have with you. Helping our clients address the wide range of issues that impact their personal finances is why I founded the firm and continues to be our driving mission. Whether it is personal financial planning, investment advisory work, or tax planning and compliance, we strive to be the best that we can.
I have always tried to create a “family” atmosphere in the firm. Many of our clients comment that this is one of the things that makes us different. They feel like we really do care about our clients and each other, because we do! We all work hard, but enjoy each other’s company which hopefully is evident in our work with clients and others. I am truly grateful to have such a wonderful group of employees!
The firm has grown over the years almost exclusively through referrals from existing clients and other professionals. Those who understand our services, the way we deliver them, and the kind of relationships we build with our clients have been eager to refer others to us when they see a good fit.
Early in my career, when I realized that I wanted to focus my efforts on providing fee only personal financial planning to individual clients, my goal was to become a leader in the CPA Financial Planning profession by getting active in local and national organizations, networking with other professionals, and trying to be on the “cutting edge” of best practices in this area. The relationships I have built through these activities have been a critical resource for me and the firm as we grow and hopefully have also benefited the profession as a whole.
Last, but CERTAINLY not least, I need to thank my wife, Ellen. It took a leap of faith to leave my old firm and start off on my own and I could have never done it without her unwavering support. Plus, she has continued to do the firm's bookkeeping since day 1…. in addition to all her other behind the scenes roles.
Looking back at my notes from when I made the decision to leave as a partner in my old firm, the reasons still ring true today, 20 years later! I wanted our firm to offer personal financial planning, tax, and investment advisory services with a high level of personal service to our individual clients. Helping clients set their financial goals, develop a plan to reach them, and monitor their progress toward those goals continues to be the core of our work in this area.
We continue to think about what the future holds. As you have seen, we continue to advance our technology (maybe not fast enough for some in the firm and perhaps too fast for others!) and focus on how to better serve our clients. The demographics of our population will drive a continued focus on the importance of retirement planning – both in preparation and planning during retirement. That is a key focus area for our firm and profession. We are also seeing the critical importance of the integration of tax planning with investment strategy, especially in light of the recent ATRA tax changes. Putting our clients’ interests first will always be the centerpiece of our firm.
This Thanksgiving week, I want to thank all of you for helping us along this journey. The Beatles really were right, in all aspects of our lives, we do need a “little help from our friends”. It is great to look back on our success over the past 20 years and the "friends who got us here" while continuing to focus our attention on serving our clients for the next 20 years and beyond!
The views expressed represent the opinions of L.K. Benson & Company and are subject to change. These views are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person.
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