Alex Martinez, founder of mortgage consultancy Warisan Advisors, was only 14 when he left home to strike out on his own, which meant not finishing high school or going to college.
Although he lacks a formal education, self-education has always been one of his chief avocations -- and something he hopes to instill among his clients, as well.
"Some firms put an emphasis on sell-sell-sell," he said. "But a mortgage shouldn't be all about sales. It should be about education – providing people with enough information to make decisions on their own."