Jason Hare, CFP, H.Bsc., OD and President and Founder of Cornerstone Wealth Planning, understands that the financial world can seem confusing to those who have not dedicated their lives to studying it. As a result, he is hyper-focused on sharing his expertise to help generate wealth for clients both big and small.
There are many paths that one can take in life. As for Jason, he initially earned his education in the sciences, specifically in optometry. Then he checked his own sight and found that such a career would leave many of his interests and skills untapped. As a result, he focused his vision on what he really wanted – and began his journey into the financial realm with passion. That dramatic change in his personal life has led him on an adventure of knowledge and experience spanning well over 20 years.
He dedicated an incredible amount of time and effort to a profession that he felt was important, but that ultimately would not have made him happy. He saw the opportunity to attain his dream career.
“Pursuant to graduating from optometry, moving to Kingston, marrying my wife and having our first son, I came to the realization that my driving interest in financial markets was finally achievable,” he says. “With the support and agreement of my wife, I chose to leave optometry to chase my passion.”
He transitioned the energy he had focused on his optometry patients over to financial planning and fully committed himself to his new clients.
“The last 22 years have been filled with education as well as success in creating multi generational relationships and trust,” he says.
Shining a light on misconceptions
Industry misconceptions seem prevalent in the world of finance, and particularly with financial planning.
Jason explains that contrary to popular belief, proprietary mutual funds from your banking institution may not be the best option for your long term retirement plan.
Another example of a common fallacy is the inaccurate belief that portfolio managers cannot outperform the market, which causes clients to buy ETFs.
“We have three funds that have outperformed the market by 4%, compounded annually after fees,” he says.
Jason is passionate about financial education and that investors should harness the skills and knowledge of certified financial planners in order to pave the way for a better future for their families.
Certified Financial Planners essentially eat, sleep and breathe finance research. Efforts to help clients generate and protect wealth are often incredibly collaborative. They spend hours upon hours a day learning from others in the industry.
“People mistakenly believe they can do this job on their own, part time, after work,” he says. The knowledge CFPs acquire and accumulate over years should not be discounted.
“The team of analysts and traders that help me manage my clients’ money invest thousands of hours weekly to accomplish the results we achieve for our clients,” he says. “The power of the team that I have backing me in supporting our success extends far beyond our Canadian borders.”
Everyone needs at least basic financial education
While the old adage “better late than never” certainly applies, he believes that financial education is a process that should begin in high school.
“More than 500 times in my career I’ve been told that their financial well being would've been better if they would have met me at an earlier time in their lives,” he says.
He has spoken to introductory business classes at the local college and was given a compliment by a 33-year-old student: “That was the most informative hour of education I've ever had in my life.”
It is a point of fact that wealth generation is made easier the earlier a person begins saving and investing.
That experience at the local college solidified his belief that financial education needs to be started sooner, for all Canadians.
Why he finds his work fulfilling
Jason believes the lack of financial acumen leaves the public remarkably naive and vulnerable.
“The greatest professional joy I've ever had has been helping people who trusted us to take care of them or their family,” he says. “Their belief in our team makes me proud to be involved in their lives.”
Families call into the office to offer letters of recommendation because of how well the team treated their parents. That, according to Jason, completely reinforces his career choice.
Of all the paths Jason could have taken in his professional career, he finds incredible joy and purpose in his work as a CFP. Building relationships with generations of families, protecting their assets and helping them acquire more, is why he greets each workday with alacrity.
At the end of the day, life is all about finding purpose. Jason finds his driving force in his profession by providing guidance to his clients that makes dreams possible and allows for them to follow their own visions of the lives they want to live.
Ellen Posner has spent over a decade in the field of news and media,
covering everything from business to pop culture and more.
Her passion for writing comes from asking the big questions that get to
the heart of every story.