A famous British Navy saying goes, “it’s truly an ill wind that blows no good.” Thirty years ago, a 20 something professional got caught up in the politics of a corporate merger during an economic recession and decided to hang out his own shingle. He would have been content to continue to work for others had not two events changed his life. Having recently started a new position at a prestigious CPA firm the political winds conspired to create a work environment ill-suited for this ambitious young man. Professional firms are politically driven. Career advance happens with long hours, hard work, and the active encouragement of partners/superiors within the organization. Without this partner backing, advancement beyond a given level becomes nearly impossible.
A month after starting his new job, this young man found himself in a no-man’s land as the merger created a work environment where partners of each of the firms supported those they considered “their people”. Leaving the newly hired out in the cold. No support and therefore no room to advance within the organization. For a hard charging, ambitious 20 something, an unacceptable situation. In most times, switching firms is relatively painless and jobs are available if not plentiful. But during a recession, all bets are off. Jobs are scarce and those that are hiring are generally tight with fiscal resources. Simply put, willing to hire but not always willing to pay. This was the environment of the early nineties.
Having studied finance in college and having work experience with estate tax/planning, business succession, tax matters and having dabbled with investments, this young man decided to take the plunge and begin working for himself. Having no clients, no assets, no sales nor marketing experience and a young family did not deter this foolish young man from walking off the cliff. Anyway, what could possibly go wrong? For the first two years into this venture, hours were long, stress was high, and income nearly non-existent. But he persisted, making every marketing mistake possible, after two years he had a few clients, a growing reputation and enough income to pay his family’s living expenses.
For thirty years, we have worked to assist clients with their financial planning needs. Always understanding that they and their families are the focus. Take care of your clients and income takes care of itself. But if two unlucky events didn’t change my life, none of this would have happened. It truly is an ill wind that blows no good.
Today’s economic environment is at a crossroads with global supply chain issues, inflation levels not seen in 40 years, falling bond and equity markets, rising interest rates, a war in Europe, and whispers of recession in the air. The economic global ordering of the past thirty plus years is being reconfigured as we speak. But with change comes opportunity. Just like that young man learned 30 years ago. Capitalism will prevail and prosper, creating a better life for our children and grandchildren as it has for all of us.
As always, we thank you for your business and for your continued trust.
Jack P. Cannata