In Episode 3 of CEO’s Get Real, Greg Womack, from Womack Investment Advisors out of Oklahoma city, Oklahoma, joins Exemplar Host, Christopher Marston. Greg flew to LA to meet Chris, and is currently in the process of opening a new office in Los Angeles, California.
Womack Investment Advisory firm helps people plan for wealth and plan for life. “Whatever their journey, goals, and ambitions are, Womack Investment Advisors can structure strategies to help them achieve it. From investment management, estate, planning, advanced tax strategies, asset protection is what we specialize in,” says Mr. Womack. Greg started his investment firm in the year 2000, but has been in the investment business for over 36 years.
How Does One Get Started in the Investment Business
“I love art and I thought I was going to be an art major, but I just loved business and interacting with people. I started to work with a big financial firm in the mid 80s, and that’s what kicked it off.
“Starting out it was pretty basic,” continues Mr. Womack, “then over the years, individual securities and some third party money mangers for speciality areas, and using our own tactical models using large exchange traded funds, individual securities, and optional overlays for return enhancement and hedging. I found this a great way to reduce risk. People think of options as scary and more risky, and they can be if you don’t know what you are doing, especially with shorter term expirations, it can be a disaster in some cases.”
“It’s been a good journey, we are more focused now than when I started out. Out clientele is higher-net worth individuals, and we help them with problems that people with higher-net worths face. Thats mainly where I like to spend my time, developing strategies and helping people with that,” Greg explains.
What Advice Do You Have For Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs
Young professionals frequently look up to experienced and accomplished investment professionals such as Mr. Womack. Christopher Marston asks, “What do you say to younger professionals and entrepreneurship, that are leading businesses that are trying to plan for their future but have a big timeline out there, from an investment standpoint”
“Be patient and think big”, Mr. Womack starts out, “Be patient for some opportunities and be looking for them. Then, if you have the cash or know someone who does, waiting for the opportunity and to think big. Look at the trends and where they are going, and make some plays, make some bets.
Greg’s Journey To Creating a Wealth Management Firm
Wealth management or wealth management advisory is a form of investment management and financial planning that provides solutions to a wide array of clients. It is typically a pretty competitive industry. There is ample opportunity to earn a lot of money, but individuals need to be extremely good at what they do. So, what was Greg’s Journey to opening a successful wealth management firm that has been in operation for 20 years?
“ It all gets back to why we do things, I enjoy helping people and I get fulfillment out of helping clients plan and see things come to fruition. Life is a journey, many of our clients have passed, but I get to work with the families and see things settled and be passed on, just like we planned. I am leaving a legacy helping people leave a legacy, so its multiplied. There were early days I just felt like giving up. Things were tough, and I wondered if we were going to make it, but every day I just kept at it.”
Resiliency is Key Success
Christopher Marston asks, “There probably isn’t a CEO that didn’t go through the time you’re talking about, we talk about resiliency and what it takes to get there. Its those hard moments you need to overcome when you’re questioning everything. It takes a power and source of light to get through. What got you through it”
Greg begins to explain, “ I remember sitting with my family, and things were tough. I turned to my faith a lot. I would pray with my family, but prayer isn’t everything. We cut out everything we didn’t need, we cut out cable, and gave up certain memberships. It became a game of challenge, and sure enough, not only did we do our part, the faith we put out there got us completely out of debt and things turned. It takes commitment, and you really have to want it. You don’t do it at that level if you don’t want it.
“Did you know this was your calling, Christopher continues, how did you know this was the right path for you?”
“My dad was a minister, and I noticed that when things don’t go right, some people get called into the ministry.” Greg laughs, “I would see people do that. I think God brought some wise leaders into my life, and one had said to me “your best ministry is your business, you will influence more people in the business world.” Greg was committed to pursuing a career in investments and wealth management ever since.
When CEO’s Get Real…
Thus far, Chris and Greg has discussed business and Greg’s journey in the investment world. However, part of the business talk show is designed to get real, and talk about life, politics, and what is going on in the world around us.
Christopher Marston continues the interview with, “I talk to my wife all the time about economics, to politics, to world dynamics. People are hearing what’s on the media, and most people hear that and that’s what they think is real for people. But then there are hundreds of millions of people not protesting stuff on their mind and heart, and they aren’t talking. It’s so important for people to know what’s real for other people. Whats real for you isn’t what’s real for me. What do you think is currently happening in the world from your lens?
Greg begins, “ We are all trying to figure out from the stuff we hear what is real. From my lens, it’s hard for people to accept black and white that strong because they don’t want to believe what’s happening. There is not a single person that sees through a clear lens, we all need to see each other, not what the media tells us is each other.”
He continues, “We are being constantly fed information for a reason, to give us a perspective and change things. To think there’s not a political agenda behind this, from my lens, there is an agenda, and once you figure it out and start to see everything happening, its good to step back and say, what’s going on here?”
“Someone recently asked me, why do you talk about it when you can’t do anything about it?” “We can,” Greg begins, “We can pray for wisdom and our leaders. We can take a personal step to help protect our families and businesses the best we can. Preserve your well-being and your families well being.”
Do You Think There is a Threat To America as We Know It?
Christopher dives into the freedom of speech issues America is currently facing, and the censorship big tech companies, such as Twitter, has begin to enforce on its platform. “Are you disturbed with what is happening with big tech companies and censorship?” Chris asks.
“Yes, Greg begins, it should be open and free naturally for both sides, but people will figure it out and wake up.”
“It seems like the censorship issues have gotten more bold than explicit, Chris continues, We can censor you and you can’t do anything about it, it seems to me that’s the attitude, is that what you feel”
“Oh yes, I agree, its becoming more and more blatant, especially this year alone with the pandemic stuff, but I think people are waking up,” says Greg, “People feel intimidated to speak out about something out of fear to be hurt personally, in business, or your property destroyed.”
“I didn’t come prepared to talk about this because we are getting real… Freedom of speech and Censorship issues don’t eat away at one side, they eat away at the fabric of everything,” says Christopher Marston.
Greg Womack’s Experience with Exemplar Companies
Mr. Womack has been a client of Exemplar for two years. “We’ve helped with some of the tax efficient offerings of investments with you, and Exemplar has really enjoyed working together”, Christopher explains, “I’d love to hear about your experience working with us..”
“I think meeting Exemplar has been really a godsend,” Greg expresses, “The way you handle compliance, developing strategies, and structuring has been a very big blessing these last two years. We appreciate the help, and you have a great team. They are very on top of it, they get it done. I appreciate someone who says they will do something, and they do it.”
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