Broker Check

A Message from Our Founder

Twenty-two years ago this September...

Golden Pond opened its doors in a tiny two-room office in Belgrade Lakes village. My objective in starting the company was to build a fiercely independent firm staffed by extraordinary people who shared my passion for helping families and institutions pursue their financial goals and dreams.

Although I was just 29, I had been in the financial services industry for 8 years and had already seen the devastating effects that financial advice and products which are tainted with greed and conflicts of interest can have on a family or institutions' wealth. As a small firm we needed a big partner with a big tool box—but one which allowed us to select the tools which were most appropriate to customize solutions for each client. My search led me to affiliate with LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent *broker/dealer headquartered in Boston. At that time, LPL provided research, technology and back office support services to about 1,000 financial advisers throughout the USA.

Unlike the major Wall Street firms, LPL had none of its own proprietary products and did not provide investment banking services to corporate America—both major profit centers which when exploited and abused, had played a big factor in derailing both the economy and the hopes and dreams of millions of families.

In 20 years, a few things have changed:

  • From just a handful of dedicated but slightly nervous clients who joined us in Belgrade Lakes, to more than 500 families and institutions who entrust our advisors with the care of serving over $350 million in brokerage and advisory assets through LPL Financial.
  • Our team has grown to 2 financial advisors (Bert Languet, CFP® joined us soon after we opened and became a partner in 2006) and 5 support staff with combined experience in the industry of over 100 years.
  • LPL Financial has grown from 1,000 financial advisers to more than 14,000.
  • We are now serving the children and grandchildren of many of our longtime clients.

But a few important things have not changed:

  • Our passion for working as a team to provide prompt and personalized service and time-tested, old fashioned plain vanilla investment advice.
  • We are still affiliated with LPL and have been selected to their Chairman’s Council each year since 2014—a status reserved for less than 2% of LPL advisors**.
  • The owners are still in the store every day, still drive their old pickup trucks to work and still prefer to wear sweaters instead of ties in the office… and, yes, they are still lousy golfers.
  • We still make house calls and like nothing more than getting out of the office for a couple of hours to visit with a longtime client at their kitchen table.

I encourage you to explore our new website to learn more about how our services might benefit your family or institution. To start a conversation, please don’t hesitate to contact Bert or me directly by phone or email.

Brian Bernatchez, CFP®

*As reported in Financial Planning Magazine, 1996-2017, based on total revenue
**Chairman’s Council - This distinction is based on an annual production ranking of registered financial advisors supported by LPL Financial