Gregory J. Sorce, CFP®, MSFSPrincipal, Senior Financial Advisor
As principal of HBKS®, Greg Sorce collaborates with the firm’s partners and senior financial advisors to plan the firm’s strategic direction. As a senior financial advisor, he leads a team of HBKS® licensed advisors and administrators working directly with clients in Pennsylvania and across the country to plot their financial course and help them achieve their financial objectives.
Greg began his career in financial services in 1982 as an advisor with Investor Diversified Services in his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania, where his father had been providing financial advice to Western Pennsylvanians since 1950. He continued with the firm, which was acquired by American Express Financial Group, until 1995, when he and his brother, Christopher N. Sorce, CFP®, also with American Express Financial Group, purchased an historic building in downtown Erie and established their own financial advisory. In 2000, he spearheaded the Sorce Financial Group merger with HBK CPAs & Consultants. He is a founding principal and senior financial advisor for the resulting HBKS® Wealth Advisors, and continues his work with clients out of his offices in Erie and Pittsburgh.
Greg received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University in 1977, his Certified Financial Planner™ designation in 1987 from the College for Financial Planning, and his master’s in Financial Services from The American College in 2007. He is active in his professional and local communities, a member of the Financial Planning Association, and a past chairman of the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation and past member of the board of directors of Saint Vincent Hospital. He has served on numerous boards throughout his career.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your work?
The other day I met with a couple I began working with 36 years ago. I remember leaving work one evening back then, a young man just getting started, and driving about an hour to their house. We sat at their kitchen table and talked about their finances and how they wanted to try to save some money for later in their lives. They started investing a hundred dollars a month. Neither had high-paying careers, but they now have over $2 million in savings for their retirement. They told me they wouldn’t have their savings if it hadn’t have been for that meeting that day 36 years ago. That’s my definition of fulfilling. It’s fulfilling to see people who follow your advice that achieve their financial goals. Helping clients make the right decisions, becoming really good friends with them for all those years and watching them achieve their financial goals – and when they hit bumps you’re hitting bumps with them – I think that’s a career well spent.
Building the firm and seeing young people come in and find their way to a career under our umbrella is also one of the great rewards of what I do.
Where do your good ideas for your clients come from?
Most good ideas for clients originate in the most fundamental values – honesty, integrity, fairness, empathy, consideration. These fundamentals have been around for thousands of years and are still what you need to guide you when dealing with people and their financial lives. The ideas flow from the values, not from some hot new investment concept. There are all kinds of investment theories in the marketplace but most of the best ideas are the same fundamentals that have been around forever, like, value investing, time horizons, risk tolerance, diversification and Modern Portfolio Theory.
Other good ideas come from practice – constantly reading, discussing and dissecting parts of the profession that are constantly changing, like tax issues, investment products and estate law. This is a profession. If you’re not willing to get up early and read and think about what is best for clients then you’re in the wrong business.
What does it take to be successful in Wealth Management?
Four parts caring about people, three parts proficiency, two dashes of internal giddy-up, and a healthy dollop of anxiety! That’s the formula for success in wealth management – and you can’t fake any of it. If you’re not willing to stay up to date on your profession, if you don’t pop up out of bed in the morning eager to get started on your day, and if you’re not anxious about making sure that you’re always doing the right thing for people, then you probably don’t care. And if you don’t care you’ll never succeed.
Is there a specific accomplishment of which you are proud?
My father, Joe, was in the financial advisory business for 50 years from 1950 to 2000. He retired at 80. What I learned about treating people with decency and my work ethic came from him and my mother, Ginny – and for that I am eternally grateful. Spending a career that my father introduced me to and building something where we have dozens and dozens of people working with us who are having great careers in an esteemed wealth advisory firm with more than $3 billion in assets under management – I’m proud to continue his legacy.
And more than anything, I’m proud of my kids who turned out to be wonderful human beings.
“Most good ideas for clients originate in the most fundamental values – honesty, integrity, fairness, empathy, consideration. These fundamentals have been around for thousands of years and are still what you need to guide you when dealing with people and their financial lives.”