- SUZEN FROMSTEIN
JASON HOWES, Certified Financial Planner®, Financial Advisor, HollisWealth, Kingston, Ontario
Jason Howes, Certified Financial Planner® Financial Advisor, HollisWealth, a trade name of Investia Financial Services Inc. & Hollis Insurance Kingston, Ontario
“Going to the Mat For Clients”
According to Grammarist, the expression, “Go to the Mat” is a metaphor for taking on the hard fight by bringing all of one’s passion, determination and experience to bear on the matter at hand. Grammarist goes on to explain that this expression evolved “…from the sport of wrestling, where the contestants compete while standing on a mat. During a bout, there is a period of grappling and positioning. However, the contest is not won until one of the opponents fall to the mat, and one of them is pinned.”
In his role as a Financial Advisor with HollisWealth, a trade name of Investia Financial Services Inc. & Hollis Insurance, Jason Howes, “goes to the mat” for clients, family and friends on a daily basis. Inspired by his grandfather, a Merrill Lynch Vice President, Jason graduated from Queen’s University in 2009 with a degree in Economics (he also wrestled for the university while he was a student there). After graduating he entered the financial advice business working as a Junior Advisor in Trenton, Ontario.
“My dad died unexpectedly, a week into my new career. Unfortunately he did not have a will or insurance for the family farm,” Financial Advisor, Jason Howes, explains. “He didn’t prepare or plan properly. This sad event inspired my belief that regardless of your age or stage in life, it’s important to plan.”
Jason augmented his university education with his Certified Financial Planner® credentials, which, according to FP Canada, “…is the most widely recognized financial planning designation in Canada and worldwide. The designation also provides assurance to Canadians that the design of their financial future rests with a professional who will put their clients’ interests ahead of their own...” There is also a requirement to complete 25 hours of continuing education each year so that clients can be confident that they are receiving the most current financial planning advice.
“It is important to me that I have the educational grounding necessary to provide the best and most current financial advice. My academic studies and industry credentials equip me with the knowledge to help clients build, manage, protect, and tax-efficiently pass on their wealth. This reduces stress and increases confidence about the future, despite what’s happening in the external environment. Clients appreciate this,” he adds.
One client says, “Jason has provided me a diverse set of financial services for over a decade which have been continually tailored to my personal and professional requirements and desired level of involvement. His ability to act and to make recommendations in my best interest followed by exceptional results has helped grow my portfolio with a stress free approach.”
Philosophy & Approach
"Every championship sports team has a great coach and a well thought out game plan. Our finances are no different," Jason explains. Today, a person can get advice on investments from a variety of human (and robo) financial advisers. “But, there's more to our financial lives than our RRSPs. Estate taxes, income taxes and education funds for our children are just some of the other aspects that must be considered in a financial success roadmap,” says Jason.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, once said, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” Jason’s Total Financial Planning Process, formalizes the planning process and consists of six distinct steps, namely:
1. Understanding the client’s current financial situation.
2. Identifying the client’s financial and personal goals and values.
3. Pinpointing any stumbling blocks to goal achievement.
4. Providing a written Financial Plan without undue emphasis on specific products.
5. Implementing the approved strategy.
6. Reviewing/revising the financial plan to respond to any changes in the client’s personal and financial circumstances.
As a result of his willingness to go to the mat for them, clients consider Jason their go-to resource for anything finance related, whether buying a new car, getting a mortgage or renewing insurance. He is known for his client-centric approach especially his willingness to meet with clients in the comfort of their own homes. “Although COVID social distancing has temporarily curtailed personal visits, through technology, we can still all sit around the kitchen table. Clients, especially seniors, appreciate this,” Jason explains.
Jason has a young family of his own which is why he can relate to other young families. “We all have to start somewhere. It is not necessary to have a certain dollar value in your portfolio to become a client. I believe everyone deserves good financial advice regardless of their age and stage in life,” he adds.
A different client describes Jason as a “… trusted resource for any of the major financial decisions and investments we make for our family. When we first became clients, we discussed our short and long term goals with him and he put together a financial game plan for us with a holistic approach that took into consideration each of the various life stages we would be at as we worked towards these goals. Jason's plan and advice helped us achieve our goal of becoming first time home owners, has helped us save for an annual vacation through our TFSA's, and gives us peace of mind knowing that we are investing in our long-term retirement goals every month…When we pick up the phone to call Jason, it's like phoning a friend or family member for advice that we know we can count on and it's reassuring to know that we have someone in our corner.”
Recently, Ameen Aghamirian, fellow wrestler, McMaster graduate, and Financial Advisor joined Jason’s wealth management team. “Because of our background, we are both disciplined and focused. Our collaboration is a great learning experience and a lot of fun for us both,” he adds.
Up Close & Personal
In June 2014, Wealth Professional Magazine designated Jason as a Top 35 Under 35 Wealth Advisor. In order to give back to the industry that has been so good to him, for the last nine years he has served on local Advocis (advisor professional association) boards, in a variety of different roles. Jason is also currently the Vice-President of the Kingston Olympic Wrestling Club.
Jason and his wife, Kristy, who works at a local dental office, recently celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary. The couple has three kids, Eden (12), Grady (9), and Savannah (7). Both Eden and Grady wrestle and have competed internationally under the watchful eye of their dad, who both coaches them and also accompanies them to all their wrestling tournaments. This past fall the family planned to go to Ireland to compete, but COVID got in the way. Daughter, Savannah, has broken with the family wrestling tradition – and plays hockey. When he is not at a wrestling tournament with one of the kids or weight training to ensure he maintains his own levels of physical fitness, Jason can be found riding his motorcycle.
As a last word, Jason says, “As Iowa university wrestling coach, Dan Gable, once said, ‘Once you’ve wrestled everything in life is easy.’ I can think of no better sport to learn necessary life and business skills including Time Management, Mental Toughness and Perseverance, Discipline and Confidence, and Self-Reliance. Putting on a singlet and stepping out onto a mat in front of a crowd while preparing to go to war with someone has a way of putting things into perspective. When I was going to university, in addition to my full academic caseload, I worked security at a bar, and was an active member of the Wrestling team. These experiences taught me how to manage time effectively, to deal with pain and discomfort and to be accountable for my results; and every wrestler knows that if he or she fails to maintain discipline and to plan their performance will be affected. Wrestling also instills Confidence and Self-Reliance. All of these skills are essential training for life and for business and have equipped me with the attitude and fortitude to help clients achieve their financial goals.”
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Catagory.
HollisWealth is a trade name of Investia Financial Services Inc.
Jason Howes, CFP
863 Princess St. Unit 205
613 546 8847