Jason Hare

Founder of Cornerstone Wealth Planning

Jason Hare, CFP, H.BSc., OD and President and Founder of Cornerstone Wealth Planning has over 20 years of business and financial experience. He helps families and business owners achieve financial goals by harnessing his decades of expertise to mitigate risk and properly plan.

He emphasises finding the best solutions for business planning and family wealth creation and protection, and is continually researching new investment and insurance opportunities for clients.

Jason and his colleagues understand the importance of an exceptional administrative team in order to provide the best possible service at Cornerstone Wealth Planning. They are proud to have hired a remarkable team that is committed to client satisfaction.

Jason Hare obtained a degree in optometry, and an Honours Bachelor of Science degree before earning his Certified Financial Planner designation, which is the highly sought-after benchmark of financial knowledge, competence, and professionalism.

Jason focuses on doing good in the world. He has contributed time and money to many nonprofit organisations, including the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston; the Shop with a Cop charity; and Cataraqui Golf & Country Club’s Rose of Hope Charity Golf Tournament.

When not working or volunteering, Jason spends his free time with his wife and two sons on Kingston’s west end, which they are proud to call their home. He can also be found on the golf course or at the Leon’s Centre, supporting the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.

Where did the idea for Cornerstone Wealth Planning come from?

Cornerstone was selected because the name implies a solid foundational piece in the construction of buildings—a stone that forms the base of the corner of the building, at the corner of two walls.
When financial planning, financial security and wealth is created in stages, and started from the bottom up.
Wealth Planning was added to encourage people to increase their net worth over their life times by seeking help of a certified financial planner.

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

My day begins with the queries of clients who have contacted CWP and addressing their market concerns, deposit investment requests, and any other questions that they might have.

Once the team has addressed our clients’ urgent requests, we shift our day to more proactive client interaction. We often have fund recommendation changes that need to be shared with the entire client base at CWP, those conversations happen one-on-one, so that each client can learn at their own pace.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Clients are becoming more involved in understanding their wealth creation and management. They are more discerning and educated about our industry, fees and what their expectations should be of their on-going relationship with a financial planner.

This leads to a far more educated client than was generally the case two decades ago.

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

My self-expectation business talent, which has become a habit, is a commitment to client interaction, education, and guidance. I always share with my wife that I have had a successful day if I have exhausted the battery of my cell phone, due to the number of client interactions achieved during the business day.

People do not want to be sold financial products, and as such I prefer to teach or even coach my clients in helping make their own financial decisions to make sure they are in line with the client’s goals.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Allow quality employees to have greater independence once they have proven to me that they are capable and to have more frequent, direct interaction with my clients.

Most entrepreneurs are extremely capable at their principal business function and as such consider themselves essential in the day-to-day dealing with clients. I would liken the structure of interaction at CWP to that of a dentist’s office: Other specialised staff play instrumental roles in the care of clients just as the hygienist plays an essential role in a typical dental examination. This does not make the dentist less important, but allows the dentist to do more of what they do best.

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

Fees associated with investment management are not compared closely enough in social media. A national brand financial institution just released a TV advertisement, suggesting that clients should care more about the total return they have earned after fees because cheaper fees do not promise a good total return.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

All of my interactions are about the needs of each individual client. I do not have goals, quotas, sales objectives that interfere with guidance or direction that clients and I agree on in every meeting.

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

The single most important strategy that has allowed me to grow is the introduction of my extremely capable staff to my clients. This allows junior associates to earn the trust of clients and it also teaches them confidence in their abilities when they can share and implement ideas with clients more directly. My total capacity is significantly larger thanks to my incredible team. We would not be thriving if not for the skill, trust and support of my team.

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

I stole this idea from an international credit card company, so I cannot take credit for it:
The client relationship must be cultivated. I try to contact clients two /three times more per year than my peers. In doing so I believe that my clients know that they matter and more importantly that the contact is not just to obtain a new sale. Through these interactions, clients become friends and do not feel like customers.

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

As a CFP, I have to say the best money is not spent, it is saved.

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

CRM – Client relationship management tool.
The most important piece we use is our CRM tool, CWP happens to use Salesforce. It is our Rolodex, scheduling/ calendar, file notes and reminder system for our entire team. It allows us to keep on top of future tasks but also supports us from our national compliance team regarding our client interactions and business activities. We could not manage half of our current volume without this tool to assist us.

What is your favorite quote?

Clients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Key Learnings:

  • Energy spent on finding, educating, and retaining quality people should be a greater commitment to all entrepreneurs.
  • Business owners should frequently take time to work on their business because it is extremely easy to get tied up working in your business.
  • Business owners should try to always remember that the business exists and grows because of the satisfaction of the client. If we continue to remember that the client comes first everything else should take care of itself.