Most financial planners follow a typical process, but Chris Hobart has never been one to do things the “typical” way. After all, 9-year-olds don’t typically start a restaurant in their parents’ basement. But entrepreneurship and hard work has always made sense to Chris – and that drive led him to create a financial planning firm that does things a little differently.
Chris has always been one to dream big, for himself and others. He’s dedicated his life to helping people imagine and create for themselves that goes beyond typical. He’s also made it his mission to help clients make smart decisions for their future by providing honest, thoughtful advice and service that always exceeds expectations.
Chris even helps other advisors build their own better-than-typical practices, believing that every individual deserves access to trustworthy financial guidance. His wise counsel has been featured in national media publications, including CNBC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He’s also a recurring expert guest for Charlotte Today on WCNC in Charlotte.
As an avid supporter of his local community, Chris donates time and resources to Charlotte’s local organizations. He and his wife, Renee, are avid supporters of the performing arts, and they have a joint passion for making arts education and musical theater accessible to all young people. Chris has also served on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas, a local organization that helps young people unleash their true potential.
Family means everything to Chris. He credits his hard work ethic and positive life outlook to his parents, Randy and Arlene, who taught him valuable lessons about being a great husband, dad and leader. He spends most of his time outside of work with Renee and their two daughters, Sloane and Blythe, and he loves nothing more than traveling with his girls and seeing the world through their eyes.
How did you get started in this business?
I wanted to embark on a career path helping others and dreaming big. I’ve dedicated my entire career to helping others grow their wealth. As a financial advisor, I view myself as my client’s wealth advisors and someone who is helping them achieve their goals.
How do you make money?
Our firm, Hobart Wealth, makes money through charging our clients for our financial and wealth management services.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Our company was fortunately profitable fairly early on as many professional service type businesses are.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I think every entrepreneur has doubts. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs I know still have doubts today. I personally did as well but I knew that if I worked hard and focused on the task at hand, while building a company that focused on clients and results first and making money second, that we would succeed.
How did you get your first customer?
I believe my first customer came by word of mouth. It’s funny, so many people today want to form a “scalable marketing plan” and turn to all the latest and greatest in marketing and advertising but they forget about the power of a referral. We take pride in that our clients constantly are giving us referrals and helping to market us.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
This is a funny question considering the answer to my last question. I really believe in delivering a superior client experience and generating referrals. Beyond that, I believe the internet is a fantastic tool where people can do research and learn about services, so aside from referrals I would say make sure you have a good, strong online presence to help generate new business.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
We hire our employees based on whether or not they fit into our culture and have the right mindset and background to fit in our business. Like any business, sometimes bad apples fall through the cracks, but our philosophy is to fire those employees immediately before they can ruin the culture we have worked so hard to create. Just a few months ago that happened and it is always a decision you question but in time you are shown you made the right call.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Consistency and drive. I believe anyone can be successful if they are driven, focused, and consistent.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There have been many highs and lows, and tons of satisfying moments. I am satisfied constantly when a client of ours reaches retirement age and is happy to see the wealth they have accumulated over years of working with us. I’m equally as happy when a younger aged client invests with us for the first time and we have a review meeting and they finally understand the importance of generating wealth and money management. In short, the most satisfying moments are when we see our clients win.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Our business will continue to grow which excites me. We’ve seen crypo currency and blockchain bring some disruption to our industry which has been fairly stagnant for years, and to many advisors they are scared of what that means, but to us we are excited and embracing this as yet another means for us to assist our clients in managing their wealth.
What business books have inspired you?
The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham. I am not a huge reader as I need a book that is an easy read that I can consume easily and quickly to get ideas flowing. For a business owner however, this book is a must read, as it has had a huge impact on myself and my business and is loaded with impactful ideas that will challenge your thinking.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Build it smart from the beginning to prevent having to rework or redo it over time. I’m a big believer in doing things right the first time.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Anyone who wishes to contact me can reach out to me via Hobart Wealth (Previously Hobart Financial Group) at hobartwealth.com