Darren Morgan was born in Ironton, Ohio in 1968. He was adopted into the loving family of Bill and Sharon Morgan of Coal Grove, Ohio. He has two younger sisters, Denise and Kari.
Darren met his wife, Jennifer, in 1998 and they married in 2001. Their son, Galvin, was born in 2005 and their daughter, Madison, was born in 2007. The Morgan Family resides in the Cleveland, OH suburb of Olmsted Township.
Darren attended Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant Schools from 1st through 12th grade. While in high school, Darren played football, wrestling, powerlifting, baseball, and enjoyed bowling, playing guitar, and art.
In 1987, Darren attended Youngstown State University (YSU) in Youngstown, Ohio where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1992. While at YSU, Darren was a placekicker on the Penguin football team, which was then coached by former Ohio State Buckeye coach, and now YSU President, Jim Tressel. In 1991, Darren's senior season, the Penguins won their first of four I-AA football championships, beating the Thundering Herd of Marshall University, 25-17.
In 1993, Darren got a job teaching science in the Chagrin Falls, Ohio school system, where he spent two years. During this time, Darren worked part-time in the financial services business, laying a foundation for a future career.
Darren earned his Series 6 securities license in 1994, and in 1998 passed his Series 26 test allowing him into management. In 2006, Darren passed the Series 65 exam, propelling him to be a licensed Financial Planner and Investment Advisor Representative*. For the first 13 years, Darren laid the groundwork for his greatest business achievement - the opening of darrenMORGAN Asset Management in 2007.
Since launching darrenMORGAN Asset Management, the office has had tremendous growth. In 2017, Darren's branch office reached a company milestone of reaching $100 million in client assets under management. According to Darren, the growth was driven by loyal clients, great relationships, business building initiatives, and plenty of competitive drive to ensure client satisfaction and quality investment advice. The office serves nearly 300 households in 14 States, and Darren's personal clientele includes teachers, small business owners, and retired citizens.
Humble beginnings started in this commercially-zoned home in Bedford, Ohio. From 1994 thru 1998, Darren rented the first floor for $600/month, living in the back half and with a three room office in the front. Darren met clients and held financial seminars in this location for more than three years prior to leasing his current office space in North Olmsted, Ohio.
"I remember I had two large French doors in the middle of the apartment, so I could close them and have meetings with clients and prospects in the front 'office' area. Behind those French doors were my kitchen and my bedroom that I don't think anyone knew was there. We had parking for about six cars. I had posters and other business-type decorations on the wall, a desk, filing cabinets, and a meeting table. I also had a meeting room that could only hold 12 people, but it had a white board and TV stereo system in it. It is really fun to think back on those days."
In 2017, Darren's branch office surpassed $100 million in client assets, and today serves nearly 300 households in 14 states.
One of the early highlights of Darren's career was receiving an award in July 1999 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Hollywood, California (the site of the Academy Awards ceremony for many decades).
Pictured here with his future wife, Jennifer, Darren receives his $100,000 Ring on stage, signifying annual earnings of $100,000 or more. Darren recalls, "I remember looking back at the crowd and the four levels of mezzanines and thinking, 'goodness, movie stars walked up here.' It was a feeling I know we will always remember."
On November 22nd 1994, while still a school teacher, I sat for my Series 6 securities exam and passed the test. Little did I know where it would lead me, but here I am today with a nice little business near Cleveland, Ohio. Since that first exam, I have passed the Series 26 exam (1997), the Series 63 (1998), and a rigorous securities law exam - the Series 65 (2006). I am far from what I consider a “success”, but definitely feel that we are on the right path.
First, my wife Jennifer. She has been beside me since we met in 1998. And she was all I needed for motivation. Exactly 365 days after she and I met, I learned that I had “qualified for the ring”, an award given to those with earnings over $100,000/yr. Coincidence?
Since then, like any business, we've had our ups and downs, but my loyal and faithful wife has been there with me from Day One. Thank you, Jennifer Haddix-Morgan. I love you so very much!
To my dad, Bill Morgan, who died in 2018 from a long battle with Alzheimer's. Thank you, dad, for your life-long guidance and for directing me to Youngstown State University to play college football for the Penguins. A fortunate chain of events while at YSU led to a career in investment management. The contacts I gained there are invaluable, both in business and in life. While entertaining a few colleges for scholarship offers, it was my dad who said, “You're going to YSU because of the football staff.” Mind you, this was 13 years before Jim Tressel and the whole staff coached the Ohio State Buckeyes, before Mark Dantonio coached at Michigan State, and before Mark Snyder coached at Marshall. What a prescient view my dad had of the staff there! Thanks, dad! I know he's watching.
To my mom, Sharon Morgan. Mom's love for teaching children is likely the reason why I got my degree in education and first became a teacher. That guidance and her love for family made me a better person. And though she expressed surprise (and maybe some disappointment at first) at my career change 25 years ago, she always showed interest in my growth, knowing that I needed to find my path and whatever career I chose, that it was important that I love it. I do. Thanks, mom!
To my long-time business partner, Brian Olah. In 1994, he and I first had lunch together in a McDonald's after meeting at a business conference. We soon shared an office the size of a closet, and each had a desk in opposite corners. The room was so small that our chairs backed up to each other, and only one of us could get in/out at a time! With two desks, two chairs, and two phones, we both were so fiercely independent that we wouldn't even share paper! But we shared ideas, and we do to this day. Thanks, Brian Olah! We are only half-way done, partner.
To my other business partner, Jerry Goldberg, whom I've known for 20+ years. Thanks, Jerry! I truly enjoy our collaboration. We continue to build a great business together. As an office, Brian, Jerry, and myself are licensed in 14 states with nearly 300 households served. Collectively, we have over 87 years in business, with the most being 37 years and the least 25 years. I am proud that we work together on ideas and better ways to serve our clients.
Thanks to my clients! Though I am not allowed to name you here, you know who you are, and I greatly appreciate your business. My partners and staff work hard to provide quality investment advice and investment direction for your hard-earned money. Long ago we set out to build our business model on the service side rather than the transaction side, because we believe that yields a much better investment experience. Thanks, clients!
I must also thank a very special woman, without whom I may literally not be here, Marilyn Moore. She is my birth mother. We connected in 2014 after the state of Ohio released adoption records. The complete story is quite amazing, and I suspect will be made into a TV movie someday. For the sake of brevity here, let me just simply say I am so grateful to her and the several difficult choices she made on my behalf. Thanks, Marilyn!
We serve middle-American families of modest investment accounts, focusing on retirement savings. We seek out like-minded clients with good attitudes on accounts as small as $1000, and yes, we serve a few millionaires. Our average household account size is about $300,000, and probably half our client base is education-career related. The other half are small business owners, friends, and family. We carefully interview our prospective clients, and will gladly do the same for referrals that are provided to us.
But enough of the commercial.
A quote that has always been in my mind is “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” - Confucius. I feel like I am living this quote every day. I am grateful to have found a career that I love, and one in which I control the direction and success (or lack thereof). I feel honored to have known, worked with, and learnt lessons from you all. Here's to the next 25 years and far beyond!