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.
This month’s issue of Wealth Management magazine brings up an interesting question…Can Financial Advisor training programs redeem themselves? It’s a dirty little secret that’s been well-known for years- big brokerage firms are more interested in hiring salesmen than financial experts.
It costs these wirehouses a great deal of money to get an advisor up and running. According to Wealth Management magazine, some firms spend up to $300,000 to fully train a recruit. That’s a lot of dough. And frankly, they want their money back. The problem is, less than 20% survive the training program after two years.
Why is the success rate so low, you might ask? Because in a nutshell here is how the program has worked for decades: we spend a lot of money on you to get licensed, provide sales training on cold calling and overcoming objections, give you an impressive title, and expect you to sell something! Depending on the firm you joined (Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, UBS etc.) they put sales quotas on you that mandated certain assets or you were fired. For instance, they might say, you need to bring in $10 million in assets and $80,000 in revenue by your one year anniversary or you’re fired. No exceptions. That’s a heck of a lot of pressure to put on someone and it certainly shows what was important to the firm. There’s no customer satisfaction survey or credit for doing the right thing. It’s X dollars in assets and Y dollars in revenue, or you can hit the bricks.
The new trend in the industry is to team new advisors with old ones to try and teach them the ropes. Honestly, this should have been the trend decades ago. Handling other people’s money is an awesome responsibility that has been taken for granted by large institutions for far too long. You can’t just give a trainee a briefcase and tell him to go knock on doors and make revenue for the firm. People work hard for their money and the advice financial advisors give to their clients should be honest and competent; not some canned sales pitch that puts the company’s needs ahead of a clients.
When it’s time for you to look for a Financial Advisor, trust your gut. Ask the person sitting across from you how long he’s been in the business. Why is he qualified to manage your hard-earned money? If she can explain her answers in an honestly and sincerely, that’s a great sign. If you’re being given a scripted pitch, or feel pressured or manipulated in any way, head for the door!