It all started back in the mid-90s, in the basement of a Brooklyn wine factory.
Two CPAs were feeling stuck and unfulfilled, and decided to come up with a business idea to liven things up. They hit upon the idea of starting a 1-800 toll-free vanity business, like 1800FLOWERS or 1800Mattress. For days, they took turns trying to secure a vanity toll-free number, and finally, after what felt like a million rejections, they struck gold: 1800ADVISER was available!
At first, they had no idea what kind of advice they would provide, but eventually, one of the accountants (Michael Porcelain) had a breakthrough. He realized that as a CPA, he could use the number to offer tax and financial planning services to clients. And so, in 1998, The Independent Adviser Corporation was born, with the web site The-Adviser.com (which later became TheAdviser.com). And the rest, as they say, is history!
Back in the day, the original web site, The-Adviser.com was hailed as the absolute best place on the whole internet to get 401(k) advice. Infoseek.com said so, and it was even hand-picked by the editors of Lycos as a top pick. In addition to all that love, the company was featured in some pretty impressive places, like Ticker Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine, Newsday, Crain’s Business News, and TheStreet.com. Initial growth capital was raised from outside investors. Talk about a company on the rise!
While juggling a full-time job and working with a few partners, Mike spent his nights building and growing the company, eventually amassing a network of over $1.1 billion in assets. But when the dotcom crash hit, outside investors wanted to immediately cash out. Undeterred, Mike took matters into his own hands and bought back 100% ownership of the company.
But the real adventure began after that. Mike became a dad to a son and daughter and made the unconventional decision to put his company on hold for over 20 years. Can you believe it? No marketing or advertising, just a classic website that stood the test of time.
In the meantime, Mike took on several C-level leadership roles at Comtech (NASDAQ:CMTL), a public company that developed lifesaving 911 systems for first responders and satellite equipment to support critical global communications. He loved his job and the 2,000 plus employees and consultants he led. He also found himself juggling those responsibilities as a single dad to two children.
Fast forward to late 2022, Mike set the groundwork for Comtech’s next stage of growth, but he was ready for a break. He wanted to spend more time with his family (along with his beautiful fiancée) and figure out his next career move. And what did he decide to do? Help people, of course!
In 2023, Mike modernized and relaunched TheAdviser.com, consulting with FEE-ONLY professionals and digital marketing experts along the way. He also poured his own money into creating a family of new websites including:
Each web site is intended to provide individual investors, families and businesses with access to FEE-ONLY financial professional by offering them ultimate control over when and where they obtain specific financial planning advice. Mike’s goal is to create the ability for individuals to receive direct honest answers to specific personal financial planning or investment questions and without any sales pressure. Free consultations are available, and anyone can browse the only 1800 toll-free directory for FEE-ONLY professionals in the country at 1800Adviser.com.
In 2024, TheAdviserMagazine.com, the first and only national digital and print magazine that connects individuals, families and businesses to Fee-Only professionals including financial advisers, accountants, attorneys and college guidance advisers is expected to launch.
Follow our journey as we combine our founder’s passion for helping others with his love for financial planning, investments and technology.
The Independent Adviser Corporation maintains virtual offices, but its headquarters officially remains at the home of our founder, currently located in Huntington, New York.