WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
The roots of what is now Financial Strategies Group began in 1988 when Mark Carter and his wife, Tina, lived with their two babies in Flint, Michigan. To say things were tight for them would be putting it nicely. Coming from a blue-collar family in Ohio and being on his own since he was 17, Mark dreamed and hungered for a better life for his family, but he didn’t know how. A strong work ethic was necessary for survival; being on his own had taught him at least that much.
That is when an insurance sales job was presented to him. He didn’t know much about insurance but knew it was a chance for a better outcome for his family. Tina bought Mark some suits from a secondhand store that “almost” fit, and he went to work. Back then, the job was commission only, so your potential was limited only by your work ethic, which Mark knew he could handle. With a bit of luck, he was “almost” confident things would work out.
Over 35 years later, we can confidently say that things worked out. In that time, many things evolved, and after several years of mainly providing insurance Mark began to realize there was a much greater need for investing and financial planning needs. So Mark started to provide those services to clients, and business swelled.
As business swelled and our team grew, we became increasingly focused on holistic financial planning and investment management. We felt that the only way to engage clients was holistically by focusing on comprehensive financial planning, not selling products. This model served our clients well, and our team experienced great success.
In 2008, Mark’s oldest son Brandon joined the team as an advisor, and in 2011 his daughter Brittany (our current CEO) and his son Brice (our current CIO and advisor) joined. Since they joined the team, all three of his children, along with partners Kyle Cooper, Justin Meyer, and the entire FSG team have pushed to improve us by providing additional services and improving our technology system. This led to our expansion, and we opened our Flint Township office.
In 2016 the Financial Strategies team finished number two among their broker dealer’s teams. This was a major milestone and was something that we were very proud of. But, unfortunately, the celebration did not last long. It had become clear to our team that our path was diverging from the life insurance company we had partnered with for so long.
As we became more and more focused on providing fiduciary advice and top-notch investment solutions, our broker-dealer was still, at its core, an insurance company. In July 2017, Financial Strategies Group filed directly with the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a Registered Investment Advisor.
As an SEC Registered Investment Advisor, we are free to truly operate independently. We have no sales quotas, no proprietary products, and significantly more control over our services. FSG was born anew in 2017, and this fresh start allowed us to provide better service, improved technology, greater transparency, and broader, more cost-efficient investment strategies.
We live in a constantly evolving world. None of us drive the same car or wear the same clothes we did in the 80s. Similarly, FSG is committed to continually evolving to offer our clients the very best that we can. We will continue to adapt, improve, and strive to become a better company for our clients and those who have chosen a career with us.