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MILE Wealth

Making It Look Easy

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Everyone Deserves To Be Comfortable With Their Finances

There is nothing easy about real wealth management. I use my experience, teaching background, wise use of technology, and "smarts" to work through your financial situation. This leaves you with a greater understanding and comfort level with your finances, so you can focus on what’s important in your life.

If you are looking for an advisor, you can check off the boxes:

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

Teddy Roosevelt

About ME

Mark Wilson, APA, CFP

Hello. I am Mark Wilson, APA, CFP®

I’m the proud father of two teens, the lucky husband of one wife, founder of MILE Wealth Management, and “old man” soccer player.

MILE is an acronym for “Making It Look Easy.” Most financial advisors are “Making It Look Complex” (they are MILCing their clients), hoping they look smart and justify their high fees. It’s no wonder their customers are feeling overwhelmed, not sleeping well at night, and not reaching their financial targets.

I work very hard behind the scenes to help you understand your financial situation and think through your goals. I've mixed the science and art of financial planning and investment management for more than 20 years. My goal is to help you be organized, accountable, educated, and comfortable with your finances so you can focus on the things that matter most to you.

Building a Firm With 20 Years of Hindsight

I started as a computer geek guru. While attending high school, I was hired to write software for the pension industry. I learned a lot about retirement plans, and after several years, I co-founded a software company that sold pension software to firms all over the country. I was reading pension regulations, writing code, writing user manuals, copying and mailing disks, and providing technical support.  

While securing my degree in Computer Science from UC Irvine, a co-worker turned me on to the world of investing, and I began reading all that I could on the subject. After several bad experience with a stock broker, my boss asked me to take over the management of the company’s corporate retirement plan. I knew I needed a more formal education, so I enrolled in some financial planning classes at UC Irvine. After taking my first course, I was hooked on the value of financial planning.

Those classes led to an opportunity to join a (then) small financial planning firm that is now one of the top wealth management firms in the country. Over my 19 years at that firm, I worked my way up from my intern position to financial analyst to financial planner to Director of Financial Planning to Chief Investment Officer and to Partner.  It’s been over 20 years since I took those first classes; I’m still hooked!

After leaving that firm, I knew I didn’t want to work in a brokerage environment where success is defined by product sales. I surveyed several established fee-only advisory firms and found none that met my goals to provide wealth management that is customized, accessible, integrated, continuous, and understandable. I decided to start MILE Wealth Management.

It’s not often we get a “reset” in our lives and businesses. I got to rethink everything and have built a new practice using 20 years of hindsight. I’m so excited to show off what I'm doing.

Well... I do like to brag about myself.

  • I’m one of only 11 people in the nation that has both the Certified Financial Planner® and Accredited Pension Administrator designations.  

  • I taught Retirement Planning courses for more than a decade to future CFP® Practitioners at UC Irvine and Northwestern University.  

  • I served a three-year term for the CFP Board’s Council of Examiners helping write, build, and review several comprehensive CFP® exams.

  • My career has always been on the fee-only side of the business.  I have never received a commission, incentive fee, or referral bonus.

  • I’m an active member of the Financial Planners Association (FPA), the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the XY Planning Network (XYPN), and the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA).

  • I’m a frequent speaker at the award-winning “It’s Your Money” seminar series with a focus on teaching financial planning principles to seniors.

  • I served as Planned Giving Advocate for the Orange County Chapter of JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).

I have the following well-respected designations:

Certified Financial Planner

Certified Financial Planner®, CFP Board

National Institute of Pension Administration

Accredited Pension Administrator, National Institute of Pension Administrators

I am an active member in the following membership organizations:


Financial Planning Association - FPA

XY Planning Network

Fee Only Network

Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change.

Barbara Mikulski

Working Together

Planning is not one-size-fits-all.

On Demand Planning

I enjoy working with disciplined, do-it-yourselfers, who want a professional look at their finances. I offer a Financial Review that involves initial data gathering, an in-person discussion (live/phone/virtual), and an “accountability checkup.” I charge between $750 and $3,500 for this service.

I can also work with you on an hourly basis for specific financial projects.  (Maybe you are considering a Roth conversion, Social Security drawing strategies, or have questions about pension draws.)  Contact me and I will provide a quote for your project.

Ongoing Proactive
Wealth Management

Wealth management is most effective when it's done proactively.  I will act as your family financial officer, working with you to reach your financial goals and managing your investments. 

Subscription Based Fees: I don't require a minimum portfolio size to work with you. If you have solid earnings, little/no assets (yet), complex needs, and the desire for proactive wealth management, I offer ongoing planning based on a monthly subscription fee ranging from $250 to $500 per month.

Asset Based Fees: For clients with more than $600,000 to invest, I offer ongoing planning paid as a percentage of assets managed. Fees for full proactive planning and investment management start at 0.60% and move down to 0.20% based on assets managed.

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

Zig Ziglar

Wealth Management

Wealth management integrates financial planning and investment management.

Real wealth management is hard. This is the reason most advisors only do investment management and bare minimum planning. Real wealth management integrates your situation, preferences, and goals to help direct the short- and long-term steps in your financial life.

I do not do financial plans; life changes so quickly these are often obsolete before the plan is printed and bound. I do PLANNING; we’re constantly updating your financial picture, your goals list, and your upcoming planning items. You’ll be organized, educated, and comfortable with your finances, so you can focus on the things that matter most to you.

Planning Areas:

cash flow planningCash Flow Planning

Review your inflows and outflows (without strict budgeting) to help plan your saving, spending, and withdrawal strategies

protection planningProtection Planning

Look for uncovered risks, so your family is protected (but not overprotected) against negative events

retirement planningRetirement Planning

Use advanced tools and realistic assumptions to “run the numbers” that’ll help you navigate your path through retirement

education planningEducation Planning

Design a plan that will get your children (or grandchildren) through college without overburdening everyone

tax planningTax Planning

Incorporate your cash-flow planning to look for opportunities to reduce your overall tax burden

estate planningEstate Planning

Ensure what you have is handled per your wishes when you can no longer control everything yourself

charitable planningCharitable Planning

Explore strategies to help you effectively support causes that are meaningful to you

investment managementInvestment Management

Build and maintain an investment portfolio that incorporates your personal goals and circumstances

Financial planning is not calculating how much
you need to save to retire at 65!

I break financial planning into multiple steps. 

Asset Map: “You Are Here”

I put together your financial picture in a one-page view, showing your income items, assets, and insurance coverages.  Seeing everything together is an eye-opener for most clients.

Single doctor early in career

Asset Map - Single Doctor

Family nearing retirement

Asset Map Family near retirement

Couple enjoying retirement

Asset map couple in retirement

Tasks and Actions List: "My Photo Album and Itinerary”

I put together a planning agenda that integrates your financial picture and goals list. This lists items I will be covering with you quarterly and their status before/after we act. You’ll see what’s been done, what’s in process, and what’s coming.

Sample Family investments initial thoughts

A properly built investment portfolio considers your goals, tolerance for risk, and financial ability to take risk. Without these, you might be driving a hot-rod to the corner store or a tractor in a drag-race. Getting this integration right is the most important factor in your investment success.

Your mix of assets determines virtually all the reward you’re expecting and risk you are taking. I'll work with you to determine a mix that makes sense for you. The more educated and involved you are in this process, the better you’ll handle those fear/greed times that the stock markets frequently provide.

Learn as much by writing as by reading.

Lord Acton


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If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough

Albert Einstein


I love teaching, sharing my experience and explaining tough financial concepts. Over the years, I’ve been quoted in several outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, Barron’s, CBS MarketWatch, New York Times, CNBC, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. 

Here are some highlights from places I’ve been interviewed and quoted:

16 Big Estate Planning Mistakes Clients Make: Advisors’ Advice (Sep 2020)
Ginger Szala, ThinkAdvisor 

What is a profit-sharing plan? (Sep  2020)
James Royal, Bankrate

7 Best Balanced Funds to Pick Right Now (Sep  2020)
Barbara Friedberg, US News and World Report

Should You Change Your Savings Account Strategy Based on Rates? (Aug  2020)
Taylor Moore, Time's NextAdvisor

CDs Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All. Here are 7 Types You Should Know About (July  2020)
Kendall Little, Time's NextAdvisor

How to apply for Social Security (July 2020)
James Royal, Bankrate

Best Personal Finance Books (2020): The Must-Reads About Managing Money (July 2020) Mom Money Map

Despite pandemic, some CFPs are ‘awash’ in CE credits. Here's why. (July 2020)
Erika Wheless, Financial Planning

Interest Rates on CD Accounts Are Falling. Are They Still Worth It? (June  2020)
Kendall Little, Time's NextAdvisor

Steps To Take If Your Employer Stops Matching Your 401(k) Contribution (May 2020)
Robert Powell, TheStreet.com Retirement Daily

401(k) vs. Roth 401(k): Which one is better for you? (Apr 2020)
James Royal, Bankrate.com

Why you should never borrow from your 401(k) to pay off debt (Apr 2020)
Stephanie Vozza, Fox Business

19 Things You’ll Need To Sacrifice Now for a Healthy Retirement (Apr 2020)
Gabrielle Olya, GoBankingRates.com

How To Put Clients At Ease During Market Turmoil (Mar 2020)
Kate Stalter, US News and World Report

Those annoying required withdrawals from your IRAs just got changed (Feb 2020)
Sarah O'Brien, CNBC.com

Advisors’ Advice: What Does the Secure Act Really Mean for Clients? (Jan 2020)
Ginger Szala, ThinkAdvisor

7 Best Balanced Funds to Pick Right Now (Jan 2020)
Barbara Friedberg, US News and World Report

8 Best Podcasts for Investing in 2020 (Jan 2020)
Barbara Friedberg, US News and World Report

Should Clients Take a Lump-Sum Social Security Payment? (Jan 2020)
Ginger Szala, ThinkAdvisor 

Here’s how changes to required minimum withdrawals may affect your retirement account (Jan 2020)
Sarah O'Brien, CNBC.com

Your 401(k) plan: 5 smart moves to make in 2020 (Dec 2019)
James Royal, Bankrate.com

Seven Days to a Better Retirement (Dec 2019)
Ann Carrns, The New York Times

A Tax Trap Many Fund Investors Fall Into (Oct 2019)
Tom Herman, The Wall Street Journal

How to Downsize Your RMDs (Oct 2019)
Miriam Cross, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

'Gen-Z' Or Not, This Behavior Can Be Profitable For You (Sep 2019)
Chris Carosa, Forbes

Top 10 Most Regrettable Mistakes Retirees Made In Their 20s (Sep 2019)
Chris Carosa, Forbes

Retirees may fare worse reinvesting their IRA or 401(k) withdrawals under the Secure Act (July 2019)
Sarah O'Brien, CNBC  

Will raising the age for required withdrawals from your retirement accounts make a difference? (June 2019)
Sarah O'Brien, CNBC 

The Complete Guide to ETFs (May 2019)
Sean Dennison, GoBankingRates.com

Americans’ favorite credit card feature is 3% cash back on all purchases (May 2019)
Barri Segal,  creditcards.com

How to Use an Employer Stock Plan (Apr 2019)
Kayleigh Kulp, U.S. News and World Report

Is A Solo 401(k) Or An SEP-IRA Better For A Small Business With No Employees? (Apr 2019)
Chris Carosa, Forbes

Annuities Sales Set To Soar 35% Over Next Five Years, LIMRA Says (Apr 2019)
 Tracey Longo, Financial Advisor Magazine

New Proposed Stretch IRA Rules Will Have A Big Effect on IRAs (Apr 2019) Leon LaBrecque, Forbes

Funds That Slash Your Taxes (Mar 2019)
Bottom Line Personal

Has New Tax Law Twisted Business Owners Best Interests When It Comes to Retirement Savings Plans? (Mar 2019)
Christopher Carosa, FiduciaryNews.com

Contact me if I might help with your research; I can be reached directly at 949-441-4410.  If I’m not able to provide any insight into your topic, I’ll try to direct you to someone who might be able to help.  

My favorite financial planning topics: integrating plans and investments, behavioral planning, charitable planning, advanced estate planning, tax return reviews.

My favorite investment topics: investment alternatives, behavioral investing, asset allocation, index investing, ETFs, mutual fund taxation, capital gains distributions.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

John F. Kennedy

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I never worry about action, but only inaction.

Winston Churchill

Contact ME

The best way to find out if I am a fit for your needs is to contact me. We'll discuss your situation, goals and needs. I'm happy to provide a qualified referral if I am not a good match for your situation or personality.