Staff Author Title: Author, Financial Careers Consultant Education: Harvard University, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania Location: Greater New York City Area Highlights During his career, Mark Kolakowski has served in many roles including:Investor and market watcher for 40+ years. Education and work experience in economics, financial analysis, and quantitative methodsAuthor of the case-based career management handbook Career Confidential: An Insider’s Guide to Business. Small business consultant, freelance writer, and business school guest lecturer on management, marketing, strategy and entrepreneurship. Developer of study materials related to finance and economics for an ESL course aimed at business professionals and university students Experience In 14 years with Merrill Lynch, Mark had a leading role in designing state-of-the-art systems for profitability analysis and client relationship management, recognized as the most advanced on Wall Street, and which guided corporate strategy. Through this work, Mark gained thorough knowledge of the securities and wealth management products offered to individual investors. He later led market research and data mining efforts aimed at increasing the firm’s market share among high net worth investors. Earlier, at AT&T, Mark developed a sales forecasting system based on financial models of key corporate clients, before moving into project analysis. As a management consultant with Touche Ross, which later merged with Deloitte, bank operations and mutual fund accounting were his particular areas of expertise. "The surest route to building wealth is diligent saving, coupled with a disciplined, long-term approach to investing that ignores short-term market noise. Treat the pronouncements of so-called market gurus with healthy skepticism. Few have long independently-verified track records of predictive accuracy." Education Mark received his MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania in finance and his Bachelor's from Harvard College, magna cum laude in economics. About The Balance The Balance, a Dotdash Meredith brand, makes money easy to understand. We give people tools they need to not only make smart financial decisions but also prepare for the experiences they will have along the way. Our team of expert writers and editors have extensive qualifications in the topics they cover, and many of them have MBAs, PhDs, CFPs, and other advanced degrees and professional certifications. We require our writers to use primary sources in their articles, which are also approved by our Financial Review Board and fact-checked. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.