Wealth Professional Jason Hare on How to Build a Career in Financial Management

Jason Hare is the President and Founder of Cornerstone Wealth. He has over 20 years of experience in financial planning and wealth management, specializing in business planning, family wealth creation and protection strategies. 

Having started his career as an optometrist, Jason chose to follow his passion and pivot to financial planning. He earned his Certified Financial Planner designation and has gone on to help dozens of families and business owners achieve their financial goals. 

Q: Thanks for joining us today, Jason. We appreciate you sharing some of the lessons you’ve learned in your career journey. You have a unique career arc, in that you shifted from one high-achieving profession to another. Can you walk us through your decision to make that shift?

JASON HARE: Sure, and thanks for having me. When I was in high school and college, I think I had a preconceived notion that the best way to be successful and stable was through a health-related field. I’d always been interested in optometry, and I liked the business model flexibility of the profession, in which you could combine some entrepreneurial interests in the practice of eye care. I don’t regret completing the training and embarking on that career for a brief time – but it did make me realize that I’d be much happier and successful as a wealth manager. I talked it out with my family and made the decision to pursue a different profession, and for me, that decision has been very rewarding. 

Q: Did you feel an urgency to get caught up in the profession when you first made the switch?

JASON HARE: I did, and I still do. I think that’s the key to success, really, is never losing that urgency to stay on top of all the current trends and to continue to educate and improve yourself in your chosen industry. For me, as a financial planner, it’s about continuing to research new investment and insurance opportunities for my clients at Cornerstone. I want them to know they have a diligent and determined partner in mapping out the best financial path for their families. 

Q: Can you walk me through the services you offer as a financial advisor?

JASON HARE: Sure. As financial advisors, we offer planning and guidance that covers the complete personal financial spectrum – from saving and investing, to insurance, retirement, to estate planning and taxation strategies. We try to see ourselves as coaches, helping our clients make informed decisions based on the unique circumstances they’re bringing to us. We emphasize long-term thinking, and we want to pair our clients with advisors who share their vision of the future. We also think it’s important to steer clear of any arbitrary goals or quotas that put undue pressure on our team to sell products. We maintain an atmosphere of authentic guidance that’s focused on revealing a clear direction for our clients. 

Q: What advice would you give our readers about an ideal approach to client service?

JASON HARE: I think the main thing is to learn to have guided conversations when you’re handling consultations. These are opportunities to learn everything you can about your client’s goals and priorities, while also educating them on options available to them. It’s about relationship building, and establishing trust – and in this case, with financial security on the line, that trust is imperative for carrying out our duties as wealth managers. You want to demonstrate that you live and breathe this stuff, that you’ve spent countless hours honing your expertise and you’re ready to put it all to work in service of their goals. 

Q: What’s your approach to establishing a healthy work/life balance?

JASON HARE: Just like my clients, my priority is my family. I spend most of my time outside of work with my wife and our two sons. I can relate to our clients’ concerns and priorities because I share most of them. We all want to ensure we’re planning correctly and doing everything we can to establish financial stability. Some other important things, I think, is to find ways to get involved in activities that benefit the greater community. For me, I work with the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston (ON), as well as with the Shop with a Cop charity. These give me great satisfaction in doing things that give back. I also love golfing, and as a family, we support the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. All these activities help keep me balanced and mentally healthy, and focused on what’s really important in life.