Ben Carlson is a Paraplanner at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, Ben works closely with the firm’s wealth advisors, collaborating throughout the planning process to deliver comprehensive financial plans to clients. He is responsible for collecting, tracking and monitoring related data, preparing presentation materials and assisting with portfolio management. Ben also facilitates client-advisor communications and works proactively to monitor and complete client-related servicing activities. In addition, he is responsible for a strong working knowledge of and leveraging of firm technology to best serve clients.
Ben graduated magna cum laude from St. Olaf College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and History with a concentration in Finance. While at St. Olaf, Ben participated in four years of varsity tennis, served as team captain and was selected to the all-MIAC team for three years. In his junior and senior years, he participated as a peer tutor in principles of Accounting. Pursuing an entrepreneurial spirit, and after winning a start-up grant, Ben founded and operated Jolly Fly Fishing, LLC for three years, guiding summer fly fishing expeditions in western Wisconsin. Prior to joining CCM, Ben worked as an account representative for a large Twin Cities reinsurance brokerage company. When not at work, Ben continues to enjoy fly fishing, playing tennis and going to the cabin. He also enjoys being involved in the community and serves as a volunteer coach for an inner-city tennis program for their “Super Saturday” programs. Ben grew up in Hastings, Minnesota and now lives in St. Louis Park.
At CCM, we take a great deal of care in learning about the personal background and financial goals of the clients we work with. As a part of this process, a question we often ask is, “Tell us about your first memory of money.” My first memory of money goes back to the lemonade stand I had when I was five years old. The house where I spent my childhood was situated in an oddity of city planning, the double cul-du-sac. One day, I decided to have a lemonade stand at the end of my parents driveway. Needless to say, it was not very successful being tucked away in the back of a cul-du-sac. Somewhere along the line, I decided to put the lemonade stand on my red wagon and move it to the nearby street corner and out of the cul-du-sac. With the increased car and foot traffic on an actual road coupled with the generosity of passersby and an overly enthusiastic five-year-old attitude, my revenues increased substantially. I tucked every dollar bill away into an old leather wallet my grandfather passed down to me. The wallet was so old all the dollar bills stored inside the folds came out smelling like an antique store. At the end of the summer, I had had put $144 into that wallet, a number I still remember. One day, I asked my parents to bring me to Hastings Family Service (the local food shelf), where I plopped on the counter the entire sum I had made that summer.
When I think about this first money memory, for me it's reflecting on what I decided to do with it, and also about seeing money in action and experiencing the joy of hard work coming to fruition. With busy lives, we can all fall into thinking of money as strictly a financial, quantitative asset that we have worked hard to accumulate. While quantitative elements are of course, very important, part of the delight of working at CCM for me is experiencing the qualitative aspects of our approach to integrated wealth management. In looking at financial assets not only relative to their quantitative value, but as a tool to accomplish our goals in life, it helps our clients to experience the joy of seeing their money in action. And while I have grown and aged since my lemonade stand days, my enthusiastic attitude and passion in my approach to work has not.