Get at least 4 to 5 testimonials from their prior clients about their experience with the advisor so you get a range of examples of the client’s work. This will allow you to know what to expect and if they are truly credible.
As a part of our series about what one should look for when hiring a financial planner or adviser, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Holder.
Chris Holder is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, financial advisor, and sits on the board of multiple organizations. At the age of 25, Mr. Holder was able to retire from the traditional 9 to 5 where he went from making an annual salary of 28k to earning a six-figure income in less than one year. He is the CEO and Founder of the 100 Million Dollar Run Live Event where he aims to help 1000 individuals build 6 figure empires, and Co-Founder of the exclusive Investment Education Group “The Phoenix Circle”. His most recent venture, People’s 360, is a financial wellness program aimed at strengthening couples’ relationships by eliminating financial stressors.
Chris Holder is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Tips to Success, a self-help book that walks readers through a process to achieve their personal life goals, and Secrets to Quarterly Success, a 90-day journal designed to help individuals maximize their time and increase productivity. Chris is President of Rejuvenetics, an online-based health company, and Vice President of CaptureMein3D, a 3D body scanning, and printing company. Chris is behind brands including Heineken, Cardi-B, 50 Cent, Floyd Mayweather, Nya Lee, and Tammy Rivera. You’ve seen Chris in Business.com, Business News Daily, Business Insider, Cheddar News, As Told By Nomads Podcast, Wall Street Journal, NBC, and Fox Business.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit more. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, my parents educated me on numbers from a young age doing accounting work with my mother. She used to pretend it was a game. As I began learning math and the power of numbers, I started wondering why people are constantly struggling with money.
There was a big divide where I grew up. I would see some people in my community making money and having nice cars, seeming like they were living the life then I would go to church and see members of my community that were hard working, but still struggling.
I started asking questions and realized that most institutions do not teach even basic finances and money management and the consequences this has on our society.
I soon realized that this is the problem: Most people do not have the knowledge to build something that is their own and have little understanding of how to manage their own money. I believed I could help solve that problem. By the age of 14, I had started financial education groups in my neighborhood with other kids. As I learned, all the other kids with me learned. We are still together to this day.
Can you share a story about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting in the industry? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that?
Yes. This was me trying to be a financial advisor to my mother. Yep that’s right — and by the way she was a session accountant. She wanted to support my new business so she told me “I will be your first client.” The biggest thing I learned is that when people have to talk about their money, especially with those they know personally, they feel naked and exposed so they need to feel comfortable and without judgement. Mixing business with family can be a tricky thing.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, right now I am working on a project called the 100 Million Dollar Run Group. Not only is this a personal challenge for me to increase my own revenue, the goal is to help 1,000 people make a minimum of 100 hundred thousand dollars of new revenue in their own businesses. My inspiration is helping others grow their business and meet their life goals. When I do that successfully, when I help others realize their potential and meet their goals, the reward is invaluable to me. My 100 Million Dollar Run Group is designed to support small businesses and entrepreneurship, especially within the minority and female-led business community.
I am also getting ready to launch a new product and service called “People’s 360.” People’s 360 takes a new approach to relationship building and is designed to lower one of the leading causes of divorce: financial conflict. It is a comprehensive program that includes coaching, counseling, financial services and products that are aimed at strengthening relationships with a focus on the couple’s financial needs — something that is often overlooked.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lesson that others can learn from that?
The tipping point for me was around the time the joint ventures I had been working with for years finally started to make me the right connections and pay off. That really opened the door for me. As I started to establish my name in venture capitalism, I started garnering clients who saw my worth and were willing to pay what I was asking for my services and not complain about it.
This is what I learned, and this is what I can tell you: Success does not come overnight. It is going to take months, most likely years, of consistently doing what you’re doing before the work comes. I have felt defeated, I have felt like I’m going nowhere, but I had to be patient and consistent. Consistency is key. But when you just focus on the work, eventually you will get to where you want, and it will be the best feeling ever.
What three pieces of advice would you give to your colleagues in the finance field to thrive and avoid burnout? Can you give a story or example?
I can remember when the market crashed around 2007 to 2009. All I did was work, with a crisis orientated mentality, constantly fixated on the few clients I had left.
I did not have my own hours, I had client hours, so every call and every email were always answered immediately because I felt I needed my clients more than they needed me. I made myself available 24/7. My health suffered tremendously. My friendships suffered. I was low on energy and eventually the burnout was the reason my remaining clients left me.
When I think back on this, I realize it was one of the most important learning experiences in my career. If you take care of yourself, protect your energy, and set boundaries with your time, you will always have the opportunity to recharge and stay focused on what you need to do — no matter what is happening around you.
Once I got my energy and focus back, I started attracting clients again because my confidence was there. Not only that, my energy towards the situation was way more positive and people wanted to work with me.
Three Things I Would Tell Them To Avoid Burnout Are:
Set Your Hours And Stick To Them — Nothing is worse than taking your work home with you. Start by learning to respect your time and set boundaries. Unless there is an absolute emergency, do not respond to emails and calls after a certain time, or on the weekends. I have found clients will try to push these boundaries, but if you maintain them, they will eventually get the picture and respect them. It is important you still have “you” time to rest and recharge and enjoy life.
- Get A Hobby — It is essential to have something outside of work that you are passionate about. It helps you forget when you’re having a bad day and reminds you that work is not your only purpose in life.
- Work Together — If your business is not booming and you find you are experiencing burnout; I recommend considering joint ventures with other individuals that have networks you can be exposed to. Also, no one ever goes far alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Ok. Thank you for all of that. Let’s now move to the core focus of our interview. As an “finance insider”, you know much more about the finance industry than most consumers. If your loved one wanted to hire a financial advisor (not you :-)), which 5 things would you advise them to find out about before committing? Can you give an example or story for each?
The 5 things I would have them find out before committing are as follows:
- Get Testimonials — Get at least 4 to 5 testimonials from their prior clients about their experience with the advisor so you get a range of examples of the client’s work. This will allow you to know what to expect and if they are truly credible.
- Do Online Research — Most reputable financial advisors have websites or social media nowadays. Take the time to read through who they are and how they run their business to see if it is a good fit for you. Working with a financial advisor is a two-way relationship, you want to make sure you pick the one for you.
- Fact Check– It’s always good to see the success and track record of an advisor, so look them up on the internet and see what other people are saying about them in online reviews or on social media. If you cannot find anything that should raise a red flag. Feel free to ask them directly if they have been featured anywhere or have a track record that will show you they can get you to where you want to be.
- Make Sure They Have Commitment To Their Advice- I am a big believer that the best person to work with is someone who has got their skin in the game. Meaning, the advice they are giving to you they themselves are using as well. What is the point in working with someone who is only giving you advice from a book or another person? It is better to know they are invested in their own practices as well.
- Interview At Least 5 Advisors Before You Choose — Never settle on the first advisor you meet. I always recommend interviewing at least 5 candidates before deciding so you have a truly good comparison before you make your decision. Remember, this advisor is who you are trusting with your financial future. You want to be as thorough as possible.
These are all steps I learned from my father as I learned how to pick people to work with. But I have had a lot of first-hand experience with this as well. When I was 15, I knew I wanted to continue my education in finance, and I decided to seek out advisors so I could learn from someone in the industry. However, I went into the process without having a checklist. I met with several advisors who all had great stories about money and were book smart, so I ended up working with all of them to some extent, but as time went on, I started to realize they all were charging for book knowledge. By this I mean, none of them had real world experience that they had utilized to build their own success. They just tested on clients to get practice and didn’t have a lifestyle that matched what they preached. Since seeing this firsthand, I always refer back to the checklist my father taught me to use when I was young.
I think most people think that financial advisors are for very wealthy people. This is likely not actually true. Can you explain who would most benefit from hiring a financial advisor and why? Can you give an example?
Financial advisors are not at all just for “wealthy people.” This is a common misconception that needs to end. While yes, it is true that those with considerable wealth and assets should always have an expert advisor they work with to leverage and increase their wealth, those who can benefit from it most are those who need to turn their finances around and build their financial future. Even just an individual 1 on 1 session with a financial advisor is something everyone should have to help them increase their financial literacy. For instance, someone who works a “normal paying” job, but wants to save up to buy a house, has “Okay” credit, student loans and credit card debt, which is the average American’s situation, they would be able to learn strategies to help them reach their goals faster they ever could by themselves, mainly because the language of money is not one the majority of the world speaks.
A financial advisor can help you better prepare for the future, set up an IRA, explain investment accounts, how to increase your credit score, and things like credit utilization and leverage. Unfortunately, these are all things that are not taught in school and need to be.
When I was around 15 and started my little financial group with my friends, everyone came from a variety of educational and socio-economic backgrounds. Each week we would bring a different financial advisor in to give us different tips and strategies. The people in our group that benefited from this the most were not the wealthier ones at all. They were the everyday person whose financial foundation was limited. That’s when I really learned first-hand how important the role of a financial advisor is.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, I was blessed to have parents who always challenged me to be great. And of course, they were great with numbers which they worked hard to pass down to me. When I was as little as 5, I remember every Saturday morning my father giving us money when we completed different activities around the house and did well in school. Then he would teach us the different dollar amounts and what they were worth, so we learned early the value of a dollar. He would explain to us purchases that had no value versus ones that were good investments. My parents would always tell me throughout life to know what you want, how you will have to pay for it, and to then pick a career path or business that will allow you to afford it. He would say “You cannot work at a fast food restaurant if you want a Lamborghini. But if you owned the place you could.”
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The movement I would love to inspire is a financial literacy movement within our youth. One that teaches our children in the school system the importance of saving and investing money and how to do it in the real world. From middle school children should be taught basic business development skills and what life looks like if you learn and use this information versus if you do not. I would love to have field trips that show kids the good, the bad, and the ugly of being financially literate versus not. I do believe that for the next generations to make the impact we know they can, money needs to not be a restraint. I believe this will inspire the next wave that, no matter what their situation is, they can be financially in control and make changes that affect the world for the better.
Such a big reason there are so many people struggling financially, with low credit scores, high credit card debt, unable to get approved for loans or mortgages, and no savings or investments is the simple reason that it is never taught. Unless you go to college and choose to study it, you are really out of luck unless there is someone who can teach it to you on their own. The majority of teenagers and young adults have no idea the impact their credit score has on what their future will look like. Many don’t know what an IRA or high yield savings account is. They don’t understand the consequences of running up a credit card and treating it like cash. This is devastating, not only to our economy, but to the future generations as a whole. That is the movement I would like to see brought into fruition, and that is what I work towards doing every day.
How can our readers follow you on social media?