About Brock Waterman

Brock Waterman's life has been a testament to motivation, flexibility, and leadership. His background, work experience, and traveling have combined to give him a breadth of experience that is not often found in one person anymore. He grew up in rural Wisconsin and is from a family of business owners, farmers, and construction workers. He is also a second generation entrepreneur. His parents own a unique business repairing forage / chopper boxes. All of this makes it possible for him to work with almost any business in a consulting or business funding capacity. Listening and analytical skills allow Brock to learn about and understand the business or investor that he is working with. Brock is an avid reader and is always looking for ways to expand his knowledge. He truly loves working with small businesses and gives the job everything he has often working nights and weekends. An ethical upbringing and desire for complete transparency give him an advantage in an often difficult business environment.

If you are interested, feel free to read on about the story of the owner's life written by and about Brock Waterman. It is a long read but will help give you a feel for how his businesses came into existence.

Early Years:

Since I was young, I have been interested in the area of finance and principle of delayed gratification. Instead of spending my allowance, like most kids, I saved my money. I did odd jobs and worked summers to make money. Furthermore, I was involved with my parent's chopper / forage box repair business working in various capacities. This allowed me to buy my own 4X4 truck (a 1979 Ford F-150) at 15, which my parents and brother helped me to rebuild so I had it when I turned 16. By taking large course loads and advanced classes at an earlier age, I graduated high school a year early. As part of the agreement for the school allowing me to graduate early, I was required to enroll in college. I chose to attend the local Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (SWTC) in Fennimore, WI.

College and My First Internship:

While at SWTC I was a Student Senate class representative, tutor, and was the Local and Wisconsin State President 1997/1998 for the Business Professionals of America (BPA). I was also a finalist for Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Ambassador Award which is choosen to represent the college, and is nominated by teachers. Additionally, I earned the Ambassador, Statesman, Diplomat and Executive Torch awards for BPA, given based on community activities, leadership, and participation in student organizations. As the Wisconsin State President for BPA I spoke to rooms of hundreds of people and was the opportunity I had been looking for my entire life to grow into the person I knew I could be. I won numerous state and one national first place in contests dealing with topics like computer programming, software, speaking, economics, and other topics. It was great to be recognized for my hard work and to be pushed for even more. Through BPA, I developed a volunteering spirit which led me to coordinate and participate in Special Olympics events, blood drives, Relay for Life, highway cleanups, and other events. This mindset is still evident today through my work with various charitable organizations and donating blood.

In my first "summer vacation" at SWTC, I worked as a Client Support Technician at Financial Independence Network Limited (FINL) in Boscobel, WI through an internship. This was a great opportunity to put my computer knowledge to work and taught me so much thanks to the great people I worked with there. I was also an Associate Programmer for FINL during the following school year, but this was tough due to my school year and was only for a short-term project.

Lands' End:

Since I was attending SWTC for two degrees I was scheduled to need 2.5 years to complete both degrees. During the second summer, I was able to attain an internship at Lands' End through a general career night they had which was mostly used to hire hourly workers. Through my life I had to earn what I have gotten. This was no different having to interview with numerous groups and finally got hired by the merchandising group. While this was a three-month internship I was hired full-time after a little more than two months. So I spent the next year finishing my degrees at SWTC while working full-time at Lands' End as a computer programmer. I attained two associate degrees at SWTC graduating with a 3.767 GPA:
(1) Computer Information Systems Microcomputer Specialist
(2) Computer Information Systems Programmer Analyst

From when I was hired in 1998 to 2000 I was mostly a mainframe programmer working with languages like COBOL, JCL, EZT+ and DB2. In this time, I earned two promotions and began training the interns that would come through each year because of my ability to communicate with and help people. The next section of my time until 2002 was spent supporting StyleManager which meant supporting the design and quality departments. In this time I worked with Oracle, Windows, Adobe PDF, HTML and Microsoft Office. I was promoted twice again during this time. A major reason for this was a project that I took on which saved the company $500,000. Instead of just doing the project as asked simply purchasing the option that was given, I took a larger view and created my own system. The last part of my six year career at Lands' End was spent working as a Java Programmer and CM Synergy (Build Manager). In this time I worked with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, DB2, MS Access and Erwin. I was promoted for the fifth time in six years at Lands' End during this time to a Senior Programmer Analyst.

GeNext Software:

While working at Lands' End and living in Dodgeville I successfully launched my first company called GeNext Software. The main idea of the business was doing software programming and designing/hosting web sites. I worked with numerous businesses in my free time and enjoying helping people get online. My focus was to make sure that we designed easy-to-use and informative web sites that their customers would like. For instance, www.chopperbox.com is a web site that I designed many years ago for my parents' business. I have asked them to let me change it, but their clients love it and talk about how it is so easy to navigate. So they have had me leave it as is, even though we have added content throughout the years. I have a lot of experience writing content for sites and understand how to design web sites in the best ways for search results and usability.

The Next Chapter - Traveling the World:

During my time working at Lands' End in Dodgeville, I had accumulated some items and bought a house. But as people who know me would attest to, I am quite frugal with my money, so I had done a great job building my savings. Changes in ownership of the company and some personal life events caused a dramatic change in the projection of my life. I realized that material items would not make me happy and that I wanted to grow as a person. Plus, I did not have much faith in the housing market because it had been going up way too long. As it turned out, I was early on this call, but would be proven right in 2008.

So I sold my house and possessions, quit my job and on September 23, 2004, I started a 14-month trip of the world. I went with only two bags, several airline flights, and a booked dorm room on my first night in Fiji. When I left I had no idea what to expect and did not have plans to see anyone from home for the entire trip. As it would turn out, I did see one friend from home for one day in Australia, and my parents and aunt/uncle visited me when I was in Australia for three weeks of my six months there. During the 14-month trip, I visited Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia, Bali (Indonesia), Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Japan. I met people from all over the world, saw things I had never imagined and learned more about the world than I had in the previous 24 years of my life combined. It is safe to say that this trip completely changed who I am as a person. From 2004 to 2010, I toured 30 countries and spent 3 full years in foreign countries. My girlfriend Becky accompanied me on the last two trips. This mid-20's "retirement" was achieved by sound investing and financial decisions.

While I was on the road, I spent time learning about how business is conducted, and I made contacts all over the world. I made it a point to learn the geography, culture, and politics of the countries I visited. Having been there gives me a huge advantage to understanding global markets and how products will be received. Many people from the United States want to understand other people's cultures, but just have not had experience and this can be a huge problem in a business setting.

Brock Waterman and Becky in Thailand at Mae Ya Waterfall in 2010
Brock and Becky in Thailand at Mae Ya Waterfall in 2010

UW-Platteville and the Pioneer Investment Club:

In the fall of 2007, I started attending the University of Wisconsin - Platteville (UW-Platteville) to attain a bachelors degree, which was a desire I had developed after working at Lands' End and, in a way, had always been a dream of mine. My eventual degree was business administration with a finance emphasis and a Spanish minor. In December of 2010, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.869 after only 3.5 years.

While at UW-Platteville, I was very active outside of classes. I was first the CIO of the Pioneer Investment Club before eventually becoming the CEO. This club was a completely volunteer effort where we managed a $250,000 portfolio for the UW-Platteville Foundation. We were a long-only stock fund that was started with $150,000 in 2001. By the spring of 2012 the club has brought the portfolio to almost $300,000 in a time where the S&P has been mostly flat over the same 11-year period. I have stayed involved in the club helping recent CEOs and attending numerous meetings. It is great to be able to help the new investors find their way. I have always enjoyed mentoring others. It was the main reason that I tutored students while I was at SWTC and UW-Platteville. I was also involved in the Kickboxing Club, Swing Dance Club, and Ballroom Dance Club. I was a member of three honor societies: Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma. Lastly, I studied abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico in the spring 2009 semester and was a Gilman Scholar.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation:

Upon graduation, I earned the opportunity for a 3-day interview in Washington, DC with the Financial Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). According to recruiting staff, there were over 2,000 people who had applied for the job, and I was one of the 54 selected for the process. In the end, I was one of the 21 people hired as a Financial Institution Specialist with the FDIC. The hiring class is still one of my favorite things about the job because many of them became friends, they were a diverse group, and I learned so much from their experiences. I spent a little less than a year with the FDIC examining banks for compliance and risk management. I was a key member of the asset support team that completed the bank closing of the $2.2 billion dollar Integra Bank National Association of Evansville, IN. However, this job was located 3.5 hours, 232 miles one-way away from my family and friends, so when I had the chance for a job back in Platteville, WI working in finance, I went for it.

Futures and Options Market Specialist:

I have also worked as a Futures and Options Market Specialist for efutures.com, which is now a division of Knight Capital Group. I wrote weekly for the company newsletter and advised clients. I passed the Series 3 exam after 2-plus weeks of studying on my own time, with a 95% in futures and options info and a 94% in regulation. I went after the opportunity that I had on the order desk to learn how to take customer calls. Even before the end of my 90-day probationary period I was on the phone calling customers starting to try to build my book. In over one month, I was able to open a $10,000 account and had verbal commitments from many other customers for account openings all from leads that had not been contacted in most cases in five years, and were considered dead leads. I was told by my boss that I was great on the phone. I spent my own time, often nights, pursuing customers and had even been developing various other avenues of promotion outside of work for myself like a web site. On my own time, I read six books covering topics like financial psychology, commodity fundamentals, options strategies and technical trading, plus others. I also developed an in-depth commodity guide for sugar which was going to be used for promotional purposes. Lastly, I wrote an article which was to appear in July's SFO (Stocks Futures and Options) Magazine and was scheduled to do a webinar covering the fundamentals of the "Softs" markets in conjunction with that article. It would have been the first one that was done in the history of the Platteville office, from what I was told.

As you can see, I was fully dedicated to the job before Penson Financial starting having debt problems and was eventually sold to Knight Capital Group which brought about my resignation. This job helped me to understand risk management and get a better feeling for the key commodities that drive the global markets. I worked in both hedge and speculation capacities, and spent time learning how to talk to potential customers on the phone all of which are valuable skills to have.

Fundunity LLC & Business Consulting:

All of this brought me to my ultimate goal, which you learn about on this site. In the past I have done general business consulting and helped several companies through financing their operations. Now I have turned this into my dream company which is a small consulting and debt financing business called Fundunity LLC . Fundunity LLC facilitates a process that allows the everyday investor and community businesses to connect to fund a better community. We enable business to get advice and funding they otherwise could not attain through researching them. We inspire investors to obtain a better rate of return while helping the local economy to prosper. We always strive for integrity and transparency.