Brokerage firm repurposes Little Silver hardware store

Staff Writer

 The family-owned Little Silver Community Hardware Store has moved to a new location in Church Street in Little Silver. The family-owned Little Silver Community Hardware Store has moved to a new location in Church Street in Little Silver. LITTLE SILVER – A family-owned brokerage firm with deep roots in the community has moved into a space on Church Street that was long occupied by a popular hardware store.

“We are definitely happy, I think we are the only broker dealer in Little Silver, so we are definitely looking forward to serving local clients and building our client base here and looking forward to helping people save and plan for their kids’ college education and retirement,” said John “Chip” Buckman Jr., managing partner of Buckman, Buckman & Reid.

The firm recently moved into the former home of the Little Silver Community Hardware Store from its previous offices in the borough of Shrewsbury; where it had been since 2004.

“I’ve known Dan Levine for probably 30 years. His family ran the Little Silver Community Hardware Store since my wife and I moved into town,” said John “Jack” Buckman, chairman and CEO. “But it was time for him to retire and his children didn’t want to go into the business, so he was looking for a buyer and it was a good time for us to go out and purchase the building.

“It is just about 7,000 square-feet and we have enough room for growth which is good, but we are in good shape and very happy with how the building turned out.”

Chip Buckman said the firm has flourished since its founding.

“My father and his good friend, Jack Reid, founded the company back in 1988,” Chip Buckman said. “It started with just the two of them and one assistant back in 1989 and now we have more than 70 employees and have a branch here and a branch in Boca Raton, Florida.”

Jack Buckman added that he began his Wall Street career in 1969 at an independent investment banking and brokerage firm called Tucker Anthony.

Leaving the firm after nearly two decades, he joined his long-time friend John Reid and the two formed Castle Financial Services.

Twenty-six years later, the firm, now Buckman, Buckman & Reid, has clients in approximately 45 states and the District of Columbia and approximately $750 million in client assets.

Jack Buckman said the firm has come a long way since it first opened its doors in 1988 on West Front Street in Red Bank.

“It is amazing because the business changed the most in the first 15 years we were in business and in the last 10 years, even though we’ve gone through some very tumultuous times, the business was fairly constant with how the markets worked,” he said.

“The business went from more buying individual stocks to now doing money management and using exchange traded funds in a basket so that you can do massive allocation portfolios for your clients.”

Despite the many ups and downs he has seen in his more than 40 years in the business, Jack Buckman said he is thrilled to be back in an area that has meant so much to him and his family over the years.

“It is just nice to see the growth,” he said. “My wife and I moved into borough in 1971 and the difference from when we moved in to the way it is now is really quite remarkable.

“It is a great town to raise kids in and it is a great little area to be associated with, so we are really happy to be back here and I think the people that run it have done a nice job.”

Chip Buckman said he is also happy to be back in the town where he grew up.

“We are very excited to be back here,” he said. “I grew up in Little Silver, my father was actually a councilman here [from 1987 to 1995], we knew Dan Levine who started and ran the hardware store probably even longer than we have been in business, and when he decided he was going to retire and sell the building we thought it would be a great place for us to fit into.”

“We closed on the building in February and have just finished renovating it from the hardware store to the office building that it is now. The second floor is an institutional trading desk where we have 17 traders and the first floor we have about 30 individual registered representatives and wealth managers.”