Adam Hoffman – Senior Financial Advisor at Xcela Wealth

Many people think that we have to be in the grind all of the time, but I have noticed that I can help clients and efficiently work with my teams best when I feel centered, healthy and energized.”

Adam Hoffman is the Senior Financial Advisor with the Melbourne based, Xcela Wealth. Before accepting his current position, Hoffman worked in wealth management for high net worth individuals. He specialized in capital gains planning particularly for real estate investors. Hoffman transitioned into his role with Xcela Wealth in 2015.

Hoffman grew up in Byron Bay. He received his Bachelors of Commerce from the University of Melbourne in 1997, graduating with honors. He then left Australia for an internship in London, where he discovered his passion for understanding finances on a deeper level. Hoffman returned to the University of Melbourne, this time as a student in the Melbourne Business School where he graduated with his Masters of Management in Accounting and Finance.

Hoffman began working in wealth management soon after graduation. He was invited to return to London, where he served as a consultant for top private wealth management companies and led classes part-time at the London Business School. Through teaching, Hoffman became known for his unique perspective on applying the wealth management practices of high net worth individuals to ordinary citizens. He wrote and published several papers on the subject. He was recruited by Xcela Wealth, which inspired his move back to the Melbourne area.

Currently, Hoffman continues to share his theories on financial planning for individuals. He resides in Melbourne with his wife, Jessica, and their two daughters. Hoffman enjoys surfing, running, and reading. He also travels extensively, both for work and pleasure, and often attends weekend long retreats with his family.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

A typical day for me starts with a quick shot of exercise. I like to jump into the pool and swim twenty laps, or if I can manage it, I’ll sneak out to the beach and surf for a half hour. That gets my body and nervous system into a peak state so that I can tackle the tasks of the day. I try to do the tasks that require the most attention and effort early on in the day. I find that I work best from about eight to twelve. After lunch, I meet with my team, clients, and perhaps wrap up any tasks left undone in the morning.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I talk about them. I’ve heard people say that you should keep your best ideas private so that no one can shoot them down, but I disagree entirely. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by plenty of imaginative, positive people. Talking to my business colleagues or my wife Jessica seems to breathe fire into my ideas so that they are more likely to come to fruition.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I am excited about sustainable investing and socially responsible investing. I think people can really get excited about finances when they recognize how much power the dollar can have on the environment, or any number of things. Today there are index funds related to gender equality, clean energy, cybersecurity, healthy foods, clean energy, and more.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?

I am meticulous about the language that I use. I picked up this habit years ago when I first left Australia to work in London. I met a gentleman there who was really into personal development, and since I didn’t know a lot of other people in the area at the time, we spent hours together. He was very careful about the words that he used, and I thought it was strange at first. But I picked up the habit and saw for myself what it could do in my life.

Instead of saying, “I’ll try to be there,” or “I should meet that target,” I say things like “I will be there,” and “I am excited to meet that target”. This allows me to get much more done with my time because I’m not subconsciously sabotaging my efforts.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would say don’t let other people influence you. As a kid I was always very clear about who I was and what I wanted, but as I grew I started to let peer influence change my behaviors. It wasn’t until I was well into my thirties that this dropped away, and I wish it had happened earlier.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

Recreation is just as valuable as work. Many people think that we have to be in the grind all of the time, but I have noticed that I can help clients and efficiently work with my teams best when I feel centered, healthy and energized.

What is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I call people instead of shooting out an email or text messaging. I do this whenever I can. It’s not always possible, but when it is, I much prefer to have that one-on-one conversation. I think it is important because allows relationships to become personal, instead of being cold and informal.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I treat everyone that I meet like they could be a potential client. No one is beneath me. That attitude leads to many interesting conversations and is this word of mouth, relationship-based marketing technique that I find to be very effective.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Early on in my career, I wanted to do everything on my own. I had a hard time working with a team because I was so driven and enthusiastic about what I could get done on my own. I overcame this by trying to pick out strengths in my teammates that I clearly don’t have. It can be very humbling and tough to do, but it helps me see the direct value of working with a team.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I have always felt that if I weren’t a full-time financial advisor, I would be a teacher. I see a real lack in personal finance educational material on today’s market. I believe that there is a business opportunity there for someone to come up with a program, perhaps online, that delivers sound personal finance strategies. The education would need to provide the user with a foundation in economics because that is what I think so many people are missing. They know how to spend money, but they don’t know what money is or where it comes from.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

My wife and I took the kids out to dinner for my oldest daughter’s birthday. We all had a great time. I love hearing my daughters laugh.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

My team and I use an online app called Trello to collaborate on complex projects. It is great because it gives all of us one place to ask questions, post targets, and hold each other accountable.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Read “The ONE Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. You’ll never think about time management in the same way again!

What is your favorite quote?

“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” It is my life’s motto.

Key Learnings

  • Bring ideas to life by talking about them with other people who are imaginative and positive.
  • Call people instead of texting or emailing to foster a personal relationship.
  • Take time out for recreation so that you perform at your best while working.
  • Treat everyone that you meet as a potential client.