Welcome to Snap’s first ever user spotlight! Today, we’re doing a deep-dive with Renee Hawk. You can download the full case study down below if you want the numbers and business impact information. Let’s start with some questions.
What is your background?
I’ve been working in the industry since 1990. I started with one of the big banks and followed my desire to have a greater impact on people’s lives by making the switch to independent and personal financial planning in 2002. In 2018, I created Innovate Financial Group, formerly Hawk Wealth Management. I’ve held my securities, mutual funds, branch manager, and insurance licenses and most recently received my Responsible Investing Certification. I started my business just like everyone else in the industry did back then, with phone calls and knocking on doors — not a format typically used these days! Almost all of my clients come through referrals now, for the last 8 years my business has grown strictly through referrals. Even through the pandemic, I’ve been able to grow thanks to my happy clients sending their friends and family my way. With the adoption of more technology, I’ve been able to continue to serve my clients virtually and still connect through video meetings and screen-sharing.
What’s your process?
We co-create plans for each client’s unique future. We believe co-creating the plan with the client is the most effective approach as each person has unique goals, dreams, and aspirations. We develop investment strategies designed around the client’s specific risk tolerance and time horizon, as they expect to earn a competitive rate on their investments as well as preserve their capital. By following our planning process, as developed by the Financial Planning Standards Council, we help minimize tax, protect assets, and build wealth. We believe this planning approach meets the client’s unique needs, keeps them on track, and maybe even more important, provides peace of mind.
But what does working with you look like? How do you really help your clients?
We’re turning dreams into numbers which brings reality to those hopes and dreams of my clients. With my clients, when I sit down with them, the first thing that we do is have a discussion about their goals and dreams. It’s a very client-specific approach that always starts with understanding their goals and aspirations. Afterwards, we move into the numbers and product, which at the core are nothing more than tools to help us accomplish those goals. We’re taking their goals, quantifying them and then modelling those numbers and products to show my clients what their dreams look like. When I show my clients what their dreams look like in numbers, they are simply blown away. Because I am able to produce a financial plan that my clients can genuinely understand, it’s a very different conversation — right on the spreadsheet you can say, “See? This is what your retirement looks like.” One recent story that comes to mind is a long-term client that I recently had the opportunity to work through my process with. He came in and said he wanted to retire early, so we got to work seeing what the possibilities were. When he first asked me if he could retire earlier than planned, I really didn’t know, but once we looked at it and modelled what it would look like to sell his property and invest, plus account for everything that comes along with that, including tax implications, it become clear what the optimal solution for him was.
What do your clients have to say after working with you?
As a dual-licenced, independent Financial Advisor, I have a well-established practice and client-base. The cornerstone of my success and growth has been the fact that my happy clients continue to send me new business. It’s phenomenal to have the kind of impact on a client where they talk about our co-created plan with their friends and family. I’ve noticed a substantial increase in referrals, this year in particular, which I can attribute in part to my adoption of newer technologies and processes that are aligned with the new ways we all need to work. For example, the client in the above story sent me two referrals after that meeting. It is so rewarding when happy clients walk away from our meetings and are excited to tell their friends and family about what we created – really, the best compliment I can receive.
Renee has a true passion and drive to help her clients establish a solid financial plan. She takes the time to understand people’s goals and dreams and doesn’t take a one size fits all approach that you sometimes see.
–Blair Greenwood, Debt Consultant | 4 Pillars
As a public servant I feel secure knowing I have a great job that allows me flexibility and provides security for my future. As a working woman, wife and mom, I need to have that same flexibility and security for my future where my investments are concerned. Renee Hawk has provided that peace of mind for me and my family. She is a dedicated professional, she keeps us informed and most importantly, she ensures we understand every element of how our investments are handled. I would – and have – recommended her to many friends and family.
–Lisa Marie Seeger, Public Servant