Mark Garfinkel CFA, MBA

Senior Contributor

Mark is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Owen Graduate School of Management with a Bachelors degree in Economics and Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting.  Mark has spent the bulk of his career in the investment world.  He has managed HNW and Trust client assets, as well as institutional client accounts.

Mark has a long history of developing quantitative investment strategies and processes.  Mark worked with the predecessor company now known as Truist Bank from 1990 - 2006.  After several years as a HNW and institutional portfolio manager, he developed and launched a Small Cap Growth investment strategy for an internal mutual fund in 1998.  This strategy delivered top-tier results that enabled it to raise nearly $3 billion in assets within 7 years.

Mark continued the success of this strategy in 2006 when he co-founded an investment advisory boutique firm named Perimeter Capital Management.  The firm was built upon the success of this same Small Cap Growth strategy.  The strategy continued to deliver top-tier results, enabling their team to raise $2 billion in assets starting from zero in mid-2006, within 5 years time.  His Small Cap strategy was best known for the delivery of top-decile risk-adjusted returns with a high batting average, demonstrating consistency in outperforming the benchmark on a quarterly basis.

Retiring from this firm in 2014, Mark pursued other endeavors, becoming the CFO and COO of a startup fintech firm in the payments space, leading the firm by helping to build a sustainable business model and platform.

Itching to get back into the investment management field, Mark has joined a startup wealth management firm as the Head of Investment Policy and Strategy, setting the tone for all things investment.  Mark has continued to do what he does best in developing investment strategies and policies for their wealth management clientele.  In addition, he has taken on the lead role of managing the firm’s alternative investment platform.  Lastly, Mark is charged with developing and formulating the firm’s financial markets and macro-economic outlook, providing regular monthly and quarterly updates.

Macro-Optics looks forward to sharing Mr. Garfinkel’s regular thoughts and opinions on the financial markets, investment strategies, and other short, intermediate, and long-term investment ideas and concepts.

Johnny Szerdi


The burning drive to understand how systems work in order to improve them is what led Johnny to pursue engineering. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2017, he soon realized that the same principals for understanding physics and mechanical systems can be applied to non-physical systems such as the world of finance.

Just as he observed how nature is always trying to achieve equilibrium while also trying conserve as much energy as possible, he also observed this in our financial system. The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be converted from one form of energy to another.

If a zero sum game is found in nature, it made sense to Johnny how markets move in a similar way. After this realization, Johnny started looking for markets with the most “potential energy” which led him to begin studying and investing in the cryptocurrency market in 2017.

After observing and benefitting from the dramatic appreciation in cryptocurrency valuations from 2018-2021, Johnny became obsessed with understanding why this happened in order to capitalize on it again in the future.

This quickly pointed to a need to understand the macro cycles and the relationship it has with all markets. Aaron and Johnny had met during their undergrad years at the University of Florida, but it was the 2021 bull market that brought them together again.

The combination of Aaron’s macro background and Johnny’s crypto background helped them come to the conclusion in December 2021 that the crypto market and other risk assets faced large headwinds ahead as the Federal Reserves started aggressively hiking interest rates due to their “inflation is transitory” failure.

Aaron and Johnny relayed this message to their communities which helped save millions of dollars in portfolio losses during the 2022 melt down. From that point, Aaron and Johnny have been on a mission to help more people and share what they’ve learned along the way.

Johnny looks forward to continuing this mission through Macro Optics alongside Aaron, Mark, the rest of Macro Optics team, and the entire community.

Aaron Garfinkel, MSRE


Mr. Aaron Garfinkel is a graduate of the University of Florida and received a Bachelors degree in business management (2019) and a Masters degree in Real Estate (2019). Aaron has four years of experience working in real estate capital markets as an associate for a large bank in the US. Mr. Garfinkel’s Real Estate experience has been focused on financing Multifamily and Senior Housing.

He has supported the commitment and origination of approximately $1 Billion in loan proceeds. During this experience, Aaron has learned the fundamentals of underwriting commercial real estate, transaction management, and the ability to create investment proposals. 

Beginning in 2021, Mr. Garfinkel has acted as an independent consultant and macro analyst. Investing has always been one of his passions from a very early age and he began over 14 years ago following the first Bar Mitzvah checks (2009). Following graduate school in 2019, Mr. Garfinkel started actively managing his portfolio and building an investment strategy. He attributes much of his early success to the foundation of investment knowledge that was learned from his father, Mark Garfinkel.

During a 2-year period as an investment consultant, Aaron discovered the importance of participating and sharing basic financial/ investment related knowledge with nearby communities. There is always something new to learn; the more we share, the more we grow. He views this as a means to create freedom and personal independence.

This culmination of events has led to the creation of Macro-Optics. The foundation of Macro-Optics lies within simplifying the complex, taking years worth of diligent study, and condensing the information into the baseline knowledge presented throughout the course.

Aaron is excited to build the Macro Optics community alongside his long-time friend, Johnny Szerdi, and father, Mark Garfinkel.

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