Greg Heller is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HCR Wealth Advisors. His entrepreneurial acumen has steered the phenomenal growth of the company over the last 30+ years, from a two-person, family operated financial services boutique to a multi-faceted, SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm whose client investment portfolios total over a billion dollars.
Under his leadership, HCR has expanded their advisory services and client roster to include many high net worth individuals in entertainment, sports and the technology sectors as well as, private corporations and non-profit organizations.
Greg has guided HCR to make clients’ lives the focus of the company’s work. HCR’s involvement with clients is in any way that money touches their lives. The more Greg and his team are able to discuss with clients all aspects of their lives, the more they can help and service those clients.
The firm has earned a reputation for objectivity and empathy in the financial planning and investment management space. With its independent comprehensive services, underpinned by extensive experience and a commitment to cultivating lifelong relationships with clients, HCR has proven itself as an exceptional advisor in both life and wealth.
Greg received a B.S. in Finance from the University of Southern California.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Greg Heller: I’ve been in the business for 30 years. 30 years ago, I saw the demand for what I envisioned us doing – being fiduciaries, providing customized care to our clients, and educating them about their financial lives. The market has changed, but the demand for that level of assistance remains strong. Each client is unique, and it’s our job to guide them towards financial freedom. Here at HCR Wealth Advisors, we utilize an innovative financial management framework called The Clarity Formula® to help us do just that.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Greg Heller: There is nothing like experience in times like these. Those without it duck and cover, but those of us who have been through disconnects before are very clear on what happens during the reconnects. Being able to walk clients through what the new norm/reality will look like is very comforting. Disconnects also shake things up, so it’s only the good business operators who will survive and thrive after trying times.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Greg Heller: First off, whether they occur every 5 or 10 years and whether they be health, financial or real estate related, there are always going to be disruptions to the economy. Focus on what matters: making sure you build your house out of bricks, not sticks and straws. Since we all know that disruptions are going to arise, it is imperative that you have a really good plan/vision and good people around you. It’s also important not to become over levered, because you’ll need to deploy capital during the tough times. Sometimes, people can be overly concerned or reluctant to use their instincts. Rather than seeing these disruptions as obstacles, look at them as opportunities to grow.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Greg Heller: When there is inflation (too many dollars and too few goods), it leads to an overexuberance (ex. what’s been happening in the tech world). Technology has evolved by leaps and bounds over recent years, and as a result, so have client expectations, and rightfully so. You can order groceries, food delivery, ride shares and anything else you can imagine from the palm of your hand, so why shouldn’t you be able to open investment accounts in a similar manner? Although it has become an even more important layer to our business, I don’t think technology will ever replace us, because clients still want the customized and personalized service we provide. I do think advances in technology give us the opportunity to provide more enhanced, faster service to clients, and we should all do well to keep up with it.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Greg Heller: I wish I would have realized what an “all stop” really meant. I also wish I would have invested far more in technology pre-pandemic to ease the transition into the remote world.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Greg Heller: The genie has been let out of the bottle, and that’s not likely to change. We will see more and more of this sort of activity moving forward, and I expect variations to continue on until the end of time.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Greg Heller: Phone screen or TV screen? I spend most of my day at least near my phone screen, connecting with clients; but the TV screen, very little.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Greg Heller: I’m not sure that I would say that I use stories to persuade. I prefer to use stories as examples or learning tools in the workplace.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Greg Heller: Human capital has always been a major factor in a company’s success, and we’re seeing a convergence of multiple issues colliding together to produce a job market unlike anything we’ve ever seen. These unprecedented attrition and retention trends are a result of multi-generational approaches to work + a global pandemic isolating all of us and providing an atmosphere to think about what is really important + technology advancement making remote work possible for many industries + social equity issues gaining more mainstream attention + a focus on work/life balance, etc. Another challenge in our industry in particular is figuring out how to utilize technology to create new channels for business development. It is a relatively newer concept in our industry and I think we’re all trying to ascertain the best methods to leverage technology without losing the personal touch.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Greg Heller: As a business owner, I’m always interested in learning more about how to achieve my end goals. It’s always helpful to have a good working knowledge of topics like these, so it is important to stay generally aware of what’s going on in the world around you.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Greg Heller: I think one of two things happen here. Either
1) leaders don’t see the data, or
2) for those that do see it, they probably don’t think it’s about them (because no one has an ugly child or dog, right?).
Communication is very important. You need to know what’s going on at your firm and with your people. Having an open door policy has really helped us keep a pulse on how our people are feeling and what obstacles they’re encountering so we can help to ameliorate them. The bigger your business grows, the less likely you’re going to be able to do this on your own, so you need to hire the right people and empower them to help manage human capital.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Greg Heller: Cloning myself!
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Greg Heller: Success in 2022 to me would be a mixture of business growth, creating new channels, meeting our projected goals and making sure we have a strong operational foundation to support it all.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Greg Heller for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Greg Heller or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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