From the February 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Starting Early

Ask a group of 10-year-olds what they want to do when they grow up and you're likely to get answers like, "Play in the NBA," or "Fly the space shuttle," or "Be a movie star." At that age, Ben Marks was already on the road to becoming a financial advisor.

"When I was 10 years old my father bought me 10 shares of General Mills stock," he recalls, noting that he still owns those shares, which have split many times in the last three decades. "It sparked an interest in me that caused me to have an interest in the financial markets, which has always stuck with me."

When he graduated from college in 1982 he got a job with E.F. Hutton. "If you remember that era, it wasn't unlike today where we were coming out of a recession and there was very high unemployment. A lot of investors in the previous 10 years had not had a good experience in the investment markets and there was a strong need for advice. People needed help," says Marks. "It was a good opportunity for me to get in the business. I started in the business in August 1982, and coincidentally that happened to be the month and the year of the beginning of the bull market. A little bit of luck helps too."

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