With a new year on the horizon, many of us will be glad to look at 2022 in the rearview mirror.
While this year has provided challenges, I think it will also set up some opportunities in the year ahead. I thought this might be a good opportunity to share some updates on the firm from the past year and what we we’ll be working on in the coming year.
In January, Sharon and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary. We plan to spend some time in the Caribbean on a remote island, far away from phones and computers. Our travels were limited over the past year, but we saw Sarah graduate from Colorado College in May and move to St. Louis to start a new job at Washington University Medical School. She is working in a lab, under the direction of a renowned professor, studying the genetic characteristics of zebra fish. Please don’t ask me what that means. We saw the lab, the fish and the professor and feel our “science girl” is in a good place! She has a lovely first apartment and plans to apply to graduate schools next year.
Our July trip to Barbados was a blast. Sarah and her boyfriend Noah joined us at a lovely home in a golf community. We went to the annual Crop Over Festival with the locals, played golf, spent time at the beach, toured a rum distillery, ventured below ground into a cave (except for Sharon who does not do caves) and spent a few days on snorkel trips. Barbados is lovely country with very warm people and beautiful beaches.
Last month I organized the annual Stamp Family Thanksgiving. It generally occurs the week before Thanksgiving because we know everyone can get together. The added bonus is that the travel is usually less expensive, and the airports are far less crowded than they are during Thanksgiving week. This year, we rented a house in Barrington, IL near my brother and my mother. My father and stepmother joined us from Iowa along with my brother’s mother-in-law, his wife Kettisha and our youngest niece Delilah. I found a great chef who came to the home and made Thanksgiving dinner, cleaned up and left after dinner so that we could play games and watch funny blooper videos on YouTube. I highly recommend watching Family Feud bloopers with host Steve Harvey.
CS & C TEAM UPDATES
Jack & Christie Schanne were married in August and celebrated with a honeymoon in Hawaii. The week after their honeymoon, I made Jack work with me on our visits to clients in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. The following week, the newlyweds packed up a U-Haul and moved to Jupiter, Florida.
Austin Kuyrkendall recently graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in computer science. He joined the team in April and is serving as a financial analyst. Austin makes frequent trips to Gainesville to visit his girlfriend Kendall who is still attending Florida.
Ryan Swenson, Jack Schanne, Matt Mellusi, Josh Weller, Rob Taylor, and yours truly all completed the coursework to earn the Retirement Income Certified Planner (RICP®) designation from the American College of Financial Services. The course work was over 90 hours and required each of us to pass 3 different exams. We believe this designation, and the continuing education that is required, is vital to our continued work with retiring and retired clients.
STATE OF THE FIRM
Forbes Magazine again named us a “Best in State” financial advisory firm and we were again a finalist in the Palm Beach Post “Best of Palm Beach” awards. Most importantly, we were referred to 18 new families by our current clients.
In December, we celebrated 20 years as an independent advisory firm. Originally formed in Chicago in 2002 as Lincoln Park Financial Group, the firm became Cary Stamp & Company following my move to Florida.
OUR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT & PHILANTHROPY
We continued our beach cleanup efforts this summer in partnership with Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach. We also sponsored and participated in the Cornhole Challenge with the Friends of Jupiter Beach. Our teams did reasonably well but we ran into some ringers, literally professional cornhole players who cleaned our clock!
After a 10 year stint on the board of the Edna W. Runner Tutorial Center, I decided it was time to make way for some fresh leadership and left my board seat at the end of the term. I have been involved on the board of the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce and along with Rob Taylor, we have continued the Cary Stamp Scholars program through the Chamber Foundation. Each year we select 2 deserving high school seniors with a financial need to receive a grant from us through the Foundation.
At Thanksgiving we participated in the “Pie-it-Forward” program with Meals on Wheels of Palm Beach County. We purchased and distributed pies to raise funds for meal delivery.
Sharon continues as an active volunteer at the Furry Friends animal shelter. Our three shelter pets, Gracie, Grady & Theo, keep us occupied at home.
We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year!
– Cary B. Stamp