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“I went with Harris Bank first,” Eitel said. “But people kept talking about how much they liked Ben and that he doesn’t hide things when things aren’t going well. Ben doesn’t just trade. I pay about 1 percent a year. I’ve never lost any sleep because of my investments with Ben Marks.”
Marks, whose composite equity portfolio has a lot of Minnesota and Midwestern names such as Fastenal, Mosaic and Medtronic, has produced competitive returns over the years. And his conservative approach, he said, has limited portfolio losses to about 75 percent of the overall market during downturns. He or another partner try to meet at least quarterly with clients. Marks personally visits Paris, Ill., every two months for client meetings.
Advances in technology and efficiencies in the distribution of financial products over the past 20 years have given independent advisers the same tools as the large financial complexes. But financial advisers usually are selected because clients are comfortable with them.
“Most of our clients are at or near retirement, ran a small business, or worked for a company for 30 years and rolled over a $2 million retirement to us,” Marks said. “They don’t see themselves as rich. They want us to be successful, too. But not too successful.”
Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144 • email@example.com