Resides In

New Jersey


Harvard College, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania


Economics, finance, market research, business strategy


  • Investor and market watcher since the 1970s. Education and work experience in economics, financial analysis, quantitative methods, and market research
  • Author of the case-based career management handbook Career Confidential: An Insider’s Guide to Business. The financial careers expert for from 2008 to 2016
  • 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


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. These systems 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. While at Merrill Lynch, he obtained a FINRA Series 7 license.

Earlier, at AT&T, Mark was part of a team planning for the 1984 Bell System breakup, his role being developing models to forecast the post-divestiture financial performance of the Baby Bells. He then moved into project analysis and product pricing. As a management consultant with Touche Ross, which later merged with Deloitte, bank operations and mutual fund accounting were his particular areas of expertise. He offers career advice based on his experiences in this podcast.


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.

Quote from Mark Kolakowski

"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."