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Anchors Away

Anchor Financial owner Ben Grimsley is the third generation business man working out of his office on the corner of Washington Avenue and Holmes Street

Ben Grimsley sits in his office in downtown Detroit Lakes, doing his best to give out economic advice that is worth its weight in gold.

The 2004 Detroit Lakes grad turned financial advisor may be on the 'fresh' side, but he's not exactly 'green' when it comes to money matters.

In fact, you could say it's in his blood.

"My grandfather owned this building," said Grimsley, referring to the current ERA Northland Realty building on the corner of Washington Avenue and Holmes Street where his office is located.

Grimsley's grandfather, Paul Schiller, started Schiller Insurance around 1951 in that building -- a business Grimsley's uncle, Dave Schiller, took over after his grandfather's death.

Following that was Grimsley's uncle, Gerry, who started 'Schiller Financial Services'.

But since Gerry Schiller retired a few years back, the office itself has been void of any bloodline -- until now.

Family history is certainly repeating itself as Ben Grimsley has now acquired Schiller Financial.

But you can bet your bottom dollar that this young entrepreneur wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

He worked, saved and bought the business from a third party -- not his uncle.

"I started my own business four years ago with a national insurance and financial company as a representative," said Grimsley, "and I worked hard -- in my first six months I set a record for having the most clients."

Wanting independence and more investment options for his clients, Grimsley then started his own independent business, and named it 'Anchor Financial'.

"The name fit the area well, and it's also something I've always liked -- ships," said Grimsley, "and it comes from a feeling of security...that people can feel secure about their investments and know that there's somebody looking after them."

With the logo 'secure your future,' Grimsley continued worked on securing his own as well.

He says he's been saving money his whole life, but never knew for what exactly -- until the opportunity came up to buy Schiller Financial Services. (Not to be confused with the current Schiller Insurance down the road, which still bears his grandfather's name but is no longer owned by his family)

"I didn't know it would be for this," he said, "that was never my plan, but it's sentimental knowing my family has worked out of this building -- out of this very office -- I didn't see that coming."

Grimsley says his uncle Gerry is very happy his old clients are now with his nephew, and being a Detroit Lakes native, Grimsley also gets to work in what he calls a 'warm market' where people know him and his family.

"There are clients that remember when my mom was really young," said Grimsley laughing, "so I'm complimented when they're able to put their trust in what I do."

Grimsley no doubt hopes his clients are laughing too -- all the way to the bank.

He provides them advice on retirement and brokerage accounts and offers insurance on life, health, disability and long-term care.

His broker dealer is Allied Beacon Partners, which he believes offers some of the best variety of investment options in the area.

So is it a tough business to get into during a hard economic downturn?

"Yes, but I knew it was going to be tough when I got into it," said Grimsley, "but the fact is that people still need a place to plan for retirement; they still have investments and still need to protect their families with insurance, so it hasn't been impossible."

Despite some suggestions that our region has been a bit insulated in terms of economic hardship, Grimsley says he sees how hard it's actually been on locals.

"Housing is a big part of our economy in Detroit Lakes with construction, retirement, lake homes... and when the bottom fell out of the housing market, that's been really tough on people here," said Grimsley.

But a penny for his thoughts still reveals optimism, as Grimsley maintains now is the time to buy shares or stocks.

"Because we know they were worth more and they're going to go up again," said Grimsley, who is also hoping to grow and expand his own business, as he admits there is a little pressure to make his family proud.

"I want to do well and accomplish as much or more than what my family was able to do," said Grimsley.

To find out more on Anchor Financial Services, call Ben Grimsley at 2180849-2911 or email him at