Be a steward of the market and geopolitical events to give sound advice, but explain things in layman’s terms.
Mark Tudor, a 22-year professional in the financial services industry, specializes in comprehensive financial planning – including wealth management, estate planning, retirement planning, insurance analysis, risk management and investment allocation, as well as solutions for high-net worth corporate executives.
An Orlando native, Mark Tudor grew up in central Florida, attended Valencia College and began his professional career at age 20, becoming the youngest ever to be employed by First Union Bank as a licensed bank broker. He was responsible for covering five bank branches throughout central Florida, training branch personnel in properly profiling and identifying prospects for investment and retirement planning opportunities.
Upon leaving First Union Bank (later known as Wachovia Bank), Mark was recruited by Regions Bank and Morgan Keegan. It was during this time that Mark built a client base that reached over 100 million dollars in assets by working closely with the bank’s top business and private wealth bankers. After working for 15 years in the banking industry, Mark Tudor set off to start his own independent wealth management firm, Tudor Wealth Management. After five years of owning his own practice, Mark sold his firm and was acquired by Collaborative Wealth. He decided to stay on with Collaborative Wealth and is now Vice President of Business Development.
When not working, Mark, a dedicated husband, and father of two young daughters, enjoys cooking classic French and Italian cuisine, traveling and playing golf. Mark is also a wine enthusiast and founded the wine society at his local country club. He enjoys volunteering his time with various charitable organizations including working as an assistant chaplain at a local nursing home. One of Mark’s goals is to set up a foundation for homeless children in his community.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
While working as a Publix bagger and stock person, I enjoyed reading sports magazines during my lunch break. One day, he noticed a colleague of his reading the Wall Street Journal and inquired about it. After a lengthy discussion, I was pretty intrigued and at age 16 began watching the business channel CNBC for three hours every day after school. I opened my first investment account at age 18 and knew this was going to be a future career path. A friend working at a local brokerage firm got me an interview and so began my professional career.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Each day starts with getting informed on the stock and bond market while reading publications and watching various business channels. I communicate with other brokers to discuss trends in the financial markets, share ideas and gain any insight from their perspective. I then meet with my team (a client service associate and fellow advisor) to discuss client accounts, any servicing issues and prepare for client meetings/reviews by running asset allocation reports, performance tracking and cash flow analysis. After client meetings I recap with my team so we can address any changes in the client’s objectives or any other concerns. In between meetings I return client calls and emails and meet with money managers/wholesalers to stay apprised of the best products for my clients.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am a researcher. I constantly look for new ideas based upon different changes in the economic and investment environment. I reach out personally to money managers and fly to their headquarters to perform the best due diligence I can, to come up with new ideas for my clients. After finding new ideas, if I see a fit for a client I immediately start a communication campaign to deliver in an effective manner.
What’s one trend that excites you?
When there is a shift from investing in growth style versus value style stocks I get excited. Understanding this rotation develops opportunities for investors and can steer you towards the right direction in a company sector i.e. technology, utilities, financials, healthcare, telecommunications and oil.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Relationships are the key to any industry. I excel in this industry because of the relationships I build with my clients. Some of my clients have been with me for 20 years and have come with me each time I changed firms. These clients don’t just know me, they know my family and my family knows theirs. I get to know them on a personal level outside of business through golf, dinners and other social events. Through these relationships a sense of trust and friendship is established. This allows the client to be open to investing more with me and also refer their loved ones and close friends.
As an example, one client that I had for 15 years had knee surgery and I wanted to assist them in anyway I could. I decided to cook them one of my classic French dishes and brought it to them. The husband was so overwhelmed that he called me the next day and wired two million dollars to invest in their account. This is what has grown my business over the years, not just being a voice on the other end of the phone but rather being a trusted friend to my clients.
What advice would you give your younger self?
As a young advisor, I felt I had something to prove. I needed them to know I was capable and knew what I was doing. In meeting my clients in my early days, I tended to do all the talking and not ask enough open ended questions. I really didn’t get to know my clients because it was all about me, not them or their needs/wants. To be successful in any career, you need to understand your client, who they are and where they want to be. Knowing them, asking them questions and just listening will help you get them there.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
We are on the cusp of longevity where people’s life spans will extend past age 100. It is for this reason people need to have a focus on their health/wellness and prepare for the third and fourth phase of life. Retirement could last longer than their careers did and no one is planning for it. When I bring it to their attention they don’t agree with me. This is a real scenario that needs to be planned for.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be a steward of the market and geopolitical events to give sound advice, but explain things in layman’s terms. Having this process and system in place will relay good recommendations to the client.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Building strong and lasting relationships with my clients. It is so important to show clients that you care about their well-being – develop a professional relationship while adding a personal touch. When your clients trust you, they know they can trust you with their money.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Early on in my career I flew to Miami to meet one of the biggest clients of a bank I was working for. He asked for an analysis of his stock portfolio and I told him he needed to get rid of one of the companies in his holdings because it was junk. It turns out he was on the board of directors and took great offense to my comment. I decided going forward to contain my choice of words when making recommendations to prospects and KNOW the client to the best of my ability. It taught me a level of professionalism I needed at a young age.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
With the growth of social media and how people are interconnected to it, as a young person I would highly recommend a consumer product based network marketing business. The distribution method works and the residual income are two great factors to consider. Research the history and sustainability of the company.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A few weeks ago I took a potential high-profile client out for a round of golf. He was on the fence about having us manage his investments, but after he got to know me on more of a personal level, he was much more comfortable and signed on as a client.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
SalesForce is the most helpful and organizational CRM tool I have ever used. It’s one place where a whole team can stay organized with notes, tasks and events. I use it to segment my clients, monitor servicing issues and plan my calendar.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
‘Intentional Living’ by John Maxwell. Being intentional with others helped me become a better leader and understand people and their own path in life.
What is your favorite quote?
“Don’t confuse activity with achievement” – John Wooden.
- Experience has taught me that listening and asking the right questions creates the foundation for a strong, trusting relationship with a client.
- Besides understanding the financial markets, my greatest strength is building rapport with my clients. I know them as individuals and they know me in the same regard. This drives me to be more of an advocate for them and their interests.
- Every experience is a learning opportunity. Whether success or failure, with every experience I reflect upon it and find a way to improve. What could I have done differently?
- Always be learning.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.