By Richard W. Stout III

This year, the holiday season is a time for friends and family to come together for a much-delayed convergence, albeit with lingering precautions and a hint of concern as the country and the world adjust to our new “normal.” With festivities and cheer, this time of year invariably brings reflection on the past year and a sense of renewal with a new year on the horizon.

A Time to Reflect

As part of our planning process, our Benchmark team gets to know you, our clientele, intimately, which leads to participating with you in the good, the happy, the unexpected, and sometimes the sad that each year brings.

As we look back on 2021 and ahead to 2022, we are reminded how each year unfolds along its own path—with short-term predictions that often prove incorrect, and surprises (both good and bad) that rise and pass. Every year, this realization reinforces Benchmark’s commitment to our informed, cautious, common-sense approach to shepherding the financial plans of our clients, our friends, and their families, all of whom we view as extensions of our own family. It is an honor to earn a spot at your “holiday table,” so to speak.

Undoubtedly, when this next year passes, we will marvel at what transpired during 2022. At the same time, we will be reassured, just as we are today when we reflect on 2021, that our disciplined focus on the long-term and reasoned planning assumptions will serve all of us well—despite news headlines, economic cycles, and the inevitable unpredictability of the markets.

In closing, please accept our well-wishes for you and your families during the holidays and our gratitude for the trust and confidence you place in us. We look forward to serving you in the new year.

Let’s Connect

If either Tom or I can answer any questions, offer our insight, or if you’d like to check in on your financial plan before the end of the year and make sure your finances are prepared for a successful 2022 and beyond, reach out to us by calling 860-434-6890 or emailing us directly at or

Happy Holidays!

Rick, Tom, Aileen, and Heather

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