Mark joined WHAM in January of 1998 when his weekly call in financial show "Money and More" first aired. The show ran for eleven years and became one of the stations highest rated programs. Recently Mark has returned to provide daily commentary and analysis on the WHAM afternoon news. His segment can be heard at 4:26pm Monday through Friday, with an extended appearance with Randy Gorbman on Thursdays.
Mark started his financial services career in 1986 with IDS/American Express. He is a Certified Fund Specialist and Certified Long Term Care Specialist with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Management from SUNY Geneseo. He has designed, authored, and presented retirement and long term care workshops for clients, corporations, and non-profit organizations such as Xerox, Kodak, Agway, and the United Way.
In 2007, Registered Rep magazine listed Mark among the Top 100 Independent Advisors in the country. He lives in Geneseo with his wife Susan and has four children. Mark is an avid fisherman and enjoys spending time at his family cottage in the Thousand Islands. Mark also collects Civil War and Underground Railroad memorabilia for a museum he keeps in the basement of the historic Henrietta office.
As professionals skilled in retirement planning, the partners of The Horizon Group have helped hundreds of people in the Rochester area since our founding in 1993. We specialize in helping clients invest and protect their retirement assets with a straightforward and down-to-earth approach through open and honest communication.
We are proud of being able to help clients make difficult decisions necessary for a successful retirement. We are dedicated to the highest level of professionalism and ethical standards in our practice, and we honor the individual circumstances facing each client.
When faced with providing income and security for a lifetime, retirees are comforted by our "Bucket Approach" and half-century of combined experience. Our formalized review process and frequent communication through newsletters, e-mail, and seminars provide our clients with peace of mind and keeps them focused on what is truly important.
Working with The Horizon Group affords our clients a level of service and unbiased advice that can be delivered only by a small independent practice. At the same time, our client accounts are offered the same FINRA and SIPC protections through our broker-dealer, Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., as they would be at a large brokerage house.
We take the time to understand all the questions and concerns our clients have about the future. Aiding them in dealing with these concerns often means going above and beyond the duties of the average financial planner, something we are always willing to do. Helping a child, buying a second home, or dealing with long term care are all issues we assist clients with regularly. At The Horizon Group, we know it's about the quality of your life, not just your portfolio.
The views expressed in Mark's commentaries are to be considered for informational and entertainment purposes only. Before making decisions based on any content in Mark's commentaries you should always consult your financial or tax professional.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of this station or of Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
Mark Congdon is a registered representative of Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.
Few countries in the world put as much importance on home ownership as we do. In the U.S., we have long treasured the ideal of home ownership as part of the American Dream. For many that dream became a nightmare when the real estate bubble started to burst in 2007. Here in Rochester, we’ve been blessed to have a relatively stable market, but let me paint a different picture for you around the country.
For most of us, a home is the largest purchase we’ll ever make. Forget the people who flip houses, or the ones who are on the late night infomercials with “Other People’s Money Real Estate Strategies.” Bankers tell us it’s the right thing to do. Financial publications and commentators tell us it’s the right thing to do. And we purchase homes because our parents tell us the best investment they ever made. We put our money in, we pay our mortgage off in 30 years and then we have a major asset to fall back on if needed in our golden years. This is why most people think of it as an investment. Only, many people are starting to realize it’s not the golden goose they thought.
According to AARP Public Policy Institute, 3.5 million homeowners over the age of 50 are “underwater” on their mortgage – they owe more than their property is worth. 600,000 loans to people over age 50 were in foreclosure last year and another 625,000 loans were 90 or more days delinquent. For these people, a home is an anchor that’s forcing pulling them into deep water, not the life vest we’ve been trained to think of it as.
Now we can argue that these people made some very poor decisions. In many cases, I’m sure they were lured by the prospect of easy money and ever increasing home prices. But these people are our family, our neighbors, and they’re in trouble. When I see Robert Wagner hawking his reverse mortgages on TV, besides thinking about Natalie Wood, I can’t help but wonder how many people need this tool but can’t get access to it. And reverse mortgages are a great tool in the right situation. But you can’t get a reverse mortgage when you have negative equity in your home. You can’t take a home equity line of credit because once the bank sees the debt to value ratio, they won’t touch it. The asset that was supposed to save retirement is now ruining it for many seniors. Like so much these days, that’s just not the way it should be!