I own a pair of L.L.Bean boots. They are commonly called duck boots. I’ve had them for over 25 years and they are a little worn, still work great and super comfortable. Over those 25 years I have had a few pair of high-tech boots and all of them are now in a trash heap. Soles delaminated, seams burst, you name it; they didn’t last. But my duck boots keep on truckin’.

ll-bean-photoOn a rainy fall day when I was just starting my business, I put on my duck boots and paused to think about them. I wondered how L.L.Bean was able to have a thriving business when they had a customer satisfaction policy unlike any other store. If you had any, and I mean any, problem with one of their products you simply sent it back and no questions were asked. If the product failed, they sent you a new one or returned your money. Heck, if you simply changed your mind, they would give you your money back.

After some pondering I realized that L.L.Bean not only survived but succeeded because they believed in quality and servicing their clients. What a sharp contrast I thought they were to a company like Nike. Nike had various levels of quality, outsourced their servicing to retailers, and relied on a superstar marketing campaign. The question I asked myself was: which business model did I personally associate with? Well, I still have my duck boots, but no Nikes in the closet.

So, I decided to follow the L.L.Bean approach to business and, like L.L.Bean, it has taken a while to build up the business. But slowly, through quality, Garrison Asset Management has started to be recognized and this year was selected by Five Star Professional as one of the top wealth managers. We could not receive this distinction without having great clients who value quality over marketing glam. So, I would like to say thank you to all our clients. Without you and your appreciation for quality we could not receive this distinction.

On a final note, Garrison Asset Management will be listed in the September 12, 2016 Florida edition of theWall Street Journal as a Five Star Professional finalist. And, for someone in finance, being in the WSJ is a bucket list item that is rarely achieved. Thank you again to our clients.