On August 1, this past Tuesday, Alex and I celebrated 12 years since the day we first turned on the lights at our old office and opened Family Financial Partners.
It's funny how, as we age, we tend to forget certain things. But one thing I'll never forget is the couple of weeks after tendering our resignation at our old firm, and the numerous hats we weren't so much wearing as tossing on and off of each other's heads every 30 seconds!
We spent that time working on everything from obtaining licenses and registrations to shopping for conference room tables, chairs, desks and other furniture (thanks Carolyn Ridley!), ordering business cards, setting up a website, securing phone and fax numbers, all while playing interior decorator as we picked out lamps, blinds, appliances and color schemes.
Alex remembers staying up for days at a time, working furiously at his kitchen table in his PJs, filling out reams and reams of forms to begin moving clients to our fledgling firm - only to realize we hadn't yet bought a printer! And so, a cheap laser printer became our first asset. Within a month, we had our first 33 client families, and were officially business owners. Today, we are proud to work with 385 client families, and we're still growing.
This year, we're marking another first, as we welcome Jeff Garstka to our firm, and are in the process of welcoming all of his client families into the Family Financial Partners fold. And, as we continue to grow and bring high-quality advisors into our family, we'll also continue to add more staff members to make sure all of our client families' planning needs are met.
One thing I know for sure is that there have been some economic ups and downs over the last dozen years, mostly driven by the economy and/or government regulations. All in all, we've continued to strive to get better every day at our craft, and to recruit and retain the best staff to our team. Just like any professional sports team, we are all highly competitive and have that "next man up" mentality. At the end of the day, all of this is for the benefit of you, our valued clients, as you're never just working with one of us. You get the whole team!
Now for something funny - on Tuesday afternoon, it hit me that it was our anniversary. We were in the throes of a typically bustling Tuesday, which meant a full-steam-ahead workday for our crew here. We didn't have the balloon drop or champagne toast, and we certainly didn't have any cake. There seems to be a new rule that the staff has enacted barring me from eating any cake. It's like those signs you see in national parks - Don't Feed the Bear!
That said, it is a birthday month - I'll be celebrating mine on August 11, followed by an even bigger celebration for Alex's birthday on August 18. Rumor has it that while I'll be celebrating just another year in my 40s, Alex still apparently doesn't age. I'm jealous of his genes!
As for all of you, here's another sign of how much we've grown - there are 41 client birthdays this month, and 12 wedding anniversaries. On behalf of the whole team, we wish you a wonderful birthday and anniversary month, and hope you make the most of these last few weeks of summer.
PS - Save a piece of cake for me!