A Message from Our Founder

25 years ago on a bright and crisp September morning...

We opened our 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 toolbox—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*. At that time, LPL provided research, technology and back office support services to about 1,000 financial advisors 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 25 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 $540 million in assets through LPL Financial.

  • Our team has grown to 3 financial advisors (Bert Languet, CFP® joined us soon after we opened and became a partner in 2006 and Katie Brann, CFP® joined our team in 2019) along with 5 support staff totaling over 150 years collective experience in the financial industry.

  • LPL Financial has grown from 1,000 financial advisors to more than 19,000.
  • In 2020 and 2021, we were honored as a member of Forbes Best in State Wealth Advisors for Maine.***

  • We are now serving the children and grandchildren...(and even some great-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 the 2021 LPL Executive Council, a status reserved for less than 1% of LPL advisors.**

  • The owners are still in the shop (during covid, the virtual shop) every day, still drive their pickup trucks to work and still prefer to wear sweaters instead of ties in the office… and, yes, they are still lousy golfers.

I encourage you to explore our 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, Katie or me directly by phone or email.

Brian Bernatchez, CFP®

*As reported in Financial Planning Magazine, 1996-2020, based on total revenue
**Executive Council- This distinction is based on an annual production ranking of registered financial advisors supported by LPL Financial
*** The Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisor ranking, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on in-person and telephone due diligence meetings and a ranking algorithm that includes: client
retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, including: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Portfolio
performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK Research receives a fee in exchange for rankings.