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.
In July, a US appeals court upheld two new consumer protection regulations by the Department of Transportation. The first one requires airlines to prominently display the total cost of a ticket, including taxes, when advertising airfares. The other allows consumers to cancel a reservation within 24 hours after purchasing a ticket and also prohibits airlines from changing the price of a ticket after purchase by increasing baggage fees or fuel surcharges. The government fees and taxes that were left off price quotes often added 20% or more to the final cost of an airline ticket.
Before these regulations were passed, travelers could spend hours comparing ticket prices on travel websites only to find out that the ticket they purchased was actually far more expensive than advertised! What's worse, even after you bought a ticket – weeks or months later the airline could decide to raise a surcharge and bill you any amount they deem necessary, essentially saying that the price you agreed to at the time of purchase no longer applies and you owe them the difference. These new rules protect against this ridiculous practice of post-purchase price increase, and the traveling public is better off because of it.
The opportunity to cancel reservations within 24 hours of purchasing a ticket is also an important part of these new regulations. I can't help but compare this to my recent refinancing on my home loan. I was required to sign several hundred pages no less than 18 times. There's no possible way anyone could read that information in a half hour meeting. That’s why the law requires a 3 day right of recision on refinances, so you have time to read and analyze the fine print. The same is now true for airline tickets; you have 24 hours to read the terms and conditions and cancel with a full refund for any reason. And that’s far more palatable to being at the mercy of an airline.
These regulations are far from earth shattering, but they do represent an example of the government doing what it was intended to do – protecting citizens from making decisions based on misinformation or deceptive business practices. Too often government oversteps its bounds by regulating prices or mandating services. But in this case it took important steps to protect the public, proving not all regulation is bad!