As seen in
Atlanta Five Star award winner

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

Mark DiGiovanni

President
Marathon Financial Strategies Inc.
1792 Bristol Farms Ct
Grayson, GA 30017
Office: 770-985-0650
Cell: 678-227-8142
mark@marathon-forthelongrun.com
www.marathon-forthelongrun.com

I'm a Missionary, not a Mercenary.

My work is a mission first, a profession second, and a job third. While determining if a financial planner is a missionary might be difficult, determining if they're a professional isn't:  

PROFESSIONALS HAVE A FIDUCIARY DUTY TO PUT THEIR CLIENTS’ INTERESTS FIRST.

The only individuals who are held to a fiduciary standard in financial planning have the designation of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ or CFP®. The only firms that are held to a fiduciary standard in financial planning are Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs), which earn only fees, never commissions. Mark DiGiovanni is a CFP® practitioner and Marathon Financial Strategies Inc. is an RIA.

PROFESSIONALS ARE PAID DIRECTLY BY THE CLIENT.

Whoever pays the piper calls the tune. You may pay an adviser to advise, but brokerages, insurance companies, mutual funds and others pay that adviser to sell. If those advising you aren’t paid directly by you and by you alone, potential conflicts of interest exist. Our only sources of income are fees paid directly by the client. 

PROFESSIONALS DON’T HAVE OUTSIDE BUSINESS AFFILIATIONS.

At a minimum, outside business affiliations can be a distraction to the professional trying to do the best work for the client. Worse, such affiliations could demand that your adviser serve another master. Marathon Financial Strategies has only one affiliation – to its clients.

PROFESSIONALS HAVE PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION AND CREDENTIALS.

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation or CFP® is the gold standard of financial planning designations, yet only about seven percent of those who claim to do financial planning have earned the designation. Mark DiGiovanni has been a CFP® certificant since 1997 and was appointed in 2010 by the CFP Board of Standards to represent the profession to the public as a CFP Ambassador. He has also authored seven financial advice books.     

PROFESSIONALS ARE INDEPENDENT. 

Client abuses and other actions by many large financial firms led to the financial crisis of recent times and to greater distrust by the public. No outside firms or individuals have any ownership interests or decision-making influence on Marathon Financial Strategies, nor will they.    

Meeting these five standards is difficult, which is why so few in this business meet them and can therefore be considered true professionals. Yet meeting these standards is required to meet the one standard most important to clients – the Standard of Trustworthiness.

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*Winners appearing on this page do not pay a fee to be considered or to win the Five Star Award. Professionals with a digital profile have paid a promotional fee.
The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), is based on 10 objective criteria. Eligibility criteria – required: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Actively licensed as a registered investment adviser or as a principal of a registered investment adviser firm for a minimum of 5 years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (As defined by Five Star Professional, the wealth manager has not; A. Been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine; B. Had more than a total of three settled or pending complaints filed against them and/or a total of five settled, pending, dismissed or denied complaints with any regulatory authority or Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process. Unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process; feedback may not be representative of any one client’s experience; C. Individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint; D. Filed for personal bankruptcy within the past 11 years; E. Been terminated from a financial services firm within the past 11 years; F. Been convicted of a felony); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal standards; 5. Accepting new clients. Evaluation criteria – considered: 6. One-year client retention rate; 7. Five-year client retention rate; 8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9. Number of client households served; 10. Education and professional designations. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. Award does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. Once awarded, wealth managers may purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products. The Five Star award is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. Wealth managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their client’s assets. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by Five Star Professional in the future. For more information on the Five Star award and the research/selection methodology, go to fivestarprofessional.com. 3,254 Atlanta-area wealth managers were considered for the award; 265 (8% of candidates) were named 2021 Five Star Wealth Managers. 2020: 3,314 considered, 268 winners; 2019: 3,197 considered, 285 winners; 2018: 3,248 considered, 287 winners; 2017: 2,378 considered, 301 winners; 2016: 2,210 considered, 526 winners; 2015: 3,620 considered, 546 winners; 2014: 4,433 considered, 560 winners; 2013: 2,852 considered, 592 winners; 2012: 2,660 considered, 607 winners.