This investing pro learned there’s more to financial planning than money

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Mark Boujikian woke up one morning in March 2017 with no feeling in his left arm. Even though he couldn’t type and battled headaches, he made it through his workday.

By the evening, his condition worsened. A visit to a local urgent care facility led to an MRI and an appointment six days later with a spinal specialist. The diagnosis startled him.

“You’ve got a broken neck,” the spinal expert said.

At the time, Boujikian was about to launch his financial advisory firm. But first, he needed neck surgery.

A certified financial planner, Boujikian underwent surgery in April and opened his firm in late May — in a neck brace and weathering severe pain.

When prospectve clients asked what happened, Boujikian told them. The 30-year-old described the anxiety that comes with a sudden health crisis.

“At my old firm, I was taught to use stories but don’t get too personal,” said Boujikian, founder of Keymark Financial in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. “They couldn’t be more wrong. I never held back my story, and now my client relationships are stronger than ever.”

Granted, his story proved unusually compelling. In 1998, a preteen Boujikian suffered two skull fractures and significant brain trauma in a serious car accident. He has struggled with muscular discomfort ever since, seeking relief from chiropractors and massage therapists.

He had no idea that lingering fractures in his neck were threatening his spinal cord until that fateful day when part of his body shut down.

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