On August 27th, Acropolis turned 20 years old.
We’re not great about celebrating that kind of thing, so it took an email from Bob Schramm to even raise the subject. I’m embarrassed to say that I knew it was at the end of August but thought it was either the 26th or 28th (and being right ‘on average’ doesn’t work with dates).
In some ways, it feels like just the other day. I vividly remember going to Office Depot with Chris to get some supplies and how Dannelle (rightfully) got mad at us when we returned with an expensive flat-screen TV.
Then I think about all of the events that transpired over those 20 years, from the bear market when we started to the one that we’re in today and everything in between, which included recessions, negative interest rates, fears of deflation, inflation, negative oil prices, a few flash crashes, quantitative easing, quantitative tightening, and a whole host of things that I’ve forgotten about, despite how important they seemed at the time.
And through all of that, stocks and bonds fared reasonably well. For the 20 years that ended in August, the S&P 500 returned 9.7 percent, the MSCI EAFE of developed international stocks gained 5.8 percent, and the Bloomberg Aggregate bond index earned 3.4 percent. None of it was a straight line – there were plenty of drawdowns along the way.
Maybe even more impressive is that despite everything that happened, we didn’t age a bit, as you can see from this photo!
Okay, maybe we’ve aged a little. The logo in the background is round now instead of square, and we don’t have Registered Investment Advisor in the logo block anymore because it was too hard to read. But I also laugh when I see that we still have that same chair and we haven’t changed the fabric (and have no intention to do so anytime soon).
That photo is actually from 2004, two years into our tenure as an independent firm. By that time, we had hired John McClelland, Stacie Brost, Bob Schramm, Minjung Son, and Ryan Craft. Since then, we’ve hired many wonderful folks and now employ almost 45 people.
We chose the name Acropolis for several reasons, and one of them was that the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis had, and still has, stood the test of time at almost 2,500 years old.
I confess that I didn’t think much about lasting for 20 years when we started – I mostly just wanted to make it to the next year. Thankfully, those days are long over.
Now I’m most excited about being part of a team that includes everyone at the firm, from those who have been here from the beginning to a few people that were toddlers back then.
Acropolis exists to serve clients, so even as we continue to adapt and evolve (and endure, in the case of tough markets), we plan to continue to meet the test of time and serve you well in the decades to come.