A life-long interest in investing led Mark to make a career out of helping others with their money. It all started when Mark was a young child. While sitting at his father's home work desk, he noticed an envelope with his name emblazoned across it. Turns out, that was a UGMA (Uniform Gift to Minors) savings account that his father had set up for him to fund college expenses. It wasn't much, but knowing that he had his very own investment account was the spark that lit the flame. It would take some time for him to realize the dream, however.
In high school, Mark found his first entrée into the world of investing along with a half dozen classmates. The time was the late 1980s, and the 18-year bull market that had started in 1982 was just picking up steam. A classmate of Mark's had mentioned that several friends tried to start an investment club earlier, but the group never found its legs and survived more than the initial discussions. Hearing about the opportunity to invest together, learn about the markets, and maybe even make a little money, was all of the motivation Mark needed to resurrect the idea. From this effort was born Heights Financial that ended up running for eight years, well into their time in college, and six years more than the average investment club.
After college at the University of Michigan where he earned both an AB and MBA, Mark spent time with one of the world's premier Technology firms, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). For nearly five years, Mark worked as a process and software consultant on client engagements with the Department of Defense, Detroit Edison, Chrysler Motors, and Dow Chemical. Although the work was incredibly challenging and instrumental in Mark developing his critical thinking abilities, his true passion final prevailed and Mark soon found himself looking to open up the next chapter of his career.
In early 1999, Mark was hired as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in the suburbs of Detroit. With nothing but a deep desire to succeed and build his financial consulting business, Mark began the monumental task of securing the trust of people who didn't know him. At the onset, the task required long hours, weekends, and a really tough skin.
Then an event happened that changed the world of investing forever.
It wasn't six short months before one of the hardest-hitting and raging bear markets hit; the Tech Bubble had burst, and in a big way. Not exactly a great time to start a career as a financial advisor! Mark persevered, though, and through those tough years, learned the value of true diversification and finding investments that not only can prevent big losses, but can also grow in spite of downward movements in the stock market.
After a successful relocation to the growing city of Denver, Colorado, Mark took on another formidable task of building his practice in a place where he knew all of five people personally. The year was 2003, and economy and markets were just starting to shake off the lagging effects of the Tech Bubble implosion. As a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch in Denver, the effort to build his business once again proved challenging, but not impossible. Life was good in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, but something lie lurking in the financial landscape that would turn the world of investing on its head a mere eight years after the Tech Wreck. The Financial Crisis of 2007-2009 would prove to be the ultimate test for anyone claiming to be a long-term investor and even the largest names in the industry would not be immune. By the fall of 2008 and after Bear Sterns and Lehmann Brothers had failed spectacularly, Merrill Lynch was bankrupt effectively, due to ill-timed corporate investments into the sub-prime mortgage industry.
It wasn't long after Bank of America saved Merrill Lynch from insolvency, and assumed them into its operations, that Mark decided to test his entrepreneurial spirit once again. From this turmoil was born Infinium Investment Advisors, LLC, a full-service and independent Registered Investment Advisory firm. The spring of 2009 was either the best time or the worst time to start a boutique wealth management firm and the stakes could not have been higher. Fail, and ten years of hard work would be wasted. Succeed, and a new path of complete autonomy to design and deliver financial services to individuals and families would be the order of the day.
Fortunately, it worked out.
Mark is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in Denver and the founder of Infinium Investment Advisors, LLC. He earned his undergraduate and MBA from the University of Michigan and focuses primarily on partnering with investors in the Technology industry and advising them on personal financial planning and investment management strategies. Mark is the past president of the Denver Business Series.