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.
Here’s something that will get your undies in a bunch. It turns out the world’s greatest fabric, cotton, is in the middle of some rather heated lawsuits. And it won’t take you long to figure out who’s behind a lot of the nonsense.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with how it works, cotton is a commodity that is traded just like oil and gold. There is a party who agrees to buy the cotton at a certain price and there is a counter-party who agrees to sell the cotton at a certain price. In between is a middle-man who is trying to coordinate everything and satisfy both parties. Sounds as easy as walking into Macy’s and buying some flannel pajamas.
But wait just a cotton-picking minute, (sorry, I couldn’t resist) it turns out there’s a large list of participants who’ve been stiffing each other on both sides of the trade. Worse yet, nobody has any recourse to satisfy the broken promises. Last year, there was more than a 300% increase in the amount of complaints filed to the International Cotton Association, or ICA.
Typically, a farmer will break the contract because cotton prices have shot up from the time he agreed to sell at a price, or a textile mill will renege because prices have dropped since the agreed upon price. And folks, if you think we’re talking about cotton being grown in the South and shipped to mills in the North, those days are long past. Today, most textile factories are in countries like China and Vietnam. While this means they can produce the goods very inexpensively, it also means there is very little enforcement of arbitration rulings. So companies can back out of agreed upon contracts and then not pay the penalties imposed to them for such foul behavior.
So where does this leave you? Well, first of all, when a middle-man gets stuck with a broken contract, he’s forced to fulfill the promise he made to the counter-party. That may sound good, but it if you think he’s just going to eat that cost, think again. He’s going to pass that cost along to the next buyer as quickly as he can, and of course, that will eventually trickle down to you and me when we buy our socks and tee shirts. Also, I sometimes get people in my office who want to dabble in futures or commodity markets. Folks, this is dangerous territory. The description I just laid out is for one commodity, but don’t think cotton is alone in dealing with this type of behavior. How is a typical retail investor supposed to navigate these situations? Not only that, but what effect does one big, blown up contract have on a thinly traded ETF? Many people are curious how an ETF can run counter to the market it represents. It’s because many people don’t understand the instruments that underwrite an ETF. This is just one of the many ways over-zealous, under-informed investors can find themselves in a lot of trouble.