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Meet Nina Hajjar of Stratos Wealth Partners in Hollywood and Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nina Hajjar.

Nina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Ohio and lost my parents at a young age. My Dad passed away at 6 years old, leaving our family with businesses and properties he had accumulated in his lifetime. He did not do very much at financial planning and my mother had no idea about any of our financial situation, so needless to say when my Dad died, my Mom had to turn to other people for help. She trusted my uncle giving him complete control over our businesses etc. and my uncle stole the money, never paying vendors, bills, etc. which left our family in a very rough financial position. My mother, who didn’t even have a high school diploma, was now forced to go back to work, earning minimum wage to support myself and my two siblings. I was the youngest. I had always asked her to go talk with a financial adviser because I’d always see commercials etc. and she never did because she was afraid they would be too expensive.

Fast forward eight years and my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and passed away soon after. I was an orphan at 13 years old, sitting in attorney offices trying to figure out how to distribute an estate and conserve any little bit of the wealth my father accumulated over his lifetime. My immediate family had pretty much tried to steal everything we had, so I lived with my mom’s best friend, Carol. Carol had very little money, but a lot of love and taught me to keep my head down, work hard and one day, I’ll have everything that everyone else took from my family. I always wanted to get out of Akron and took post-secondary classes in high school, which helped me get accepted into college at The Ohio State University. I majored in Economics/Finance and my junior year found an internship working for financial advisers with Lincoln Financial Group. They were successful and taught me what a stock, mutual fund and financial planning actually were, so I switched focuses at Ohio State and actually studied Family Financial Resources, which was similar to a degree in Financial Planning. When I was graduating, my boss’ asked what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to move out west, so they put me in contact with a woman, Lucinda, who owned a managing general agency on the fixed insurance side of the business. She hired me and moved me out west and taught me the insurance side of the business and even bought me leads to see if I could “sell” insurance.

At 23 years old, I had sold my first life insurance policies and was quite good at it, too. Selling insurance wasn’t enough and I wanted to be a full-on adviser learning the estate, tax, and investment side as well, so I landed a job underneath a CPA/LPL Adviser who taught me the business. I worked there through 2009 as his Licensed Administrative Assistant and then moved on to be an adviser with Chase Investment Services working in a branch. I excelled in my role there and was moved around to multiple branches but I still wasn’t a 100% satisfied because I was still limited to the services I could provide.

In 2011, I decided to look into going back to LPL as an Independent adviser and that’s how I met Jeff Concepcion with Stratos and decided this was a good firm and good fit for me. I joined Stratos the end of 2011 and have been happy ever since. Facing a huge lawsuit with JP Morgan Chase, I only transferred around $3mm of my clientele from Chase and just put my head down and worked hard, always putting the client number one. Six years later, currently, I’m 34 years old and managing $110mm, mainly fee-based business. I am blessed beyond anything else, but it’s ironic that given my story and family background, that I am in the job that I am today.

Has it been a smooth road?
Nothing in life is ever smooth. Being young and female in this industry is never easy in a male dominant industry. Plus, when you add a lawsuit immediately as you go independent, is super stressful. I never had any family or help to fall back on though, so I always had to just stay positive and figure it out and in the end, everything works out.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Stratos Wealth Partners is an RIA firm and I am a partner in their company. My main objective is comprehensive financial planning. When meeting with a client, I profile them to learn their needs, goals, and objectives. I try to tailor everything to their financial planning needs and then find investment solutions that can work to help them get to where they need to be in the most efficient way as possible.

I am set apart because I am very real, open and personable with clients. I build a strong foundation of trust by getting to know them and by sharing parts of myself as well, so it’s a two-way street. Also, I genuinely care about my clients and always ensure I’m recommending what’s in their best interest and people can feel that. Lastly, I do think that being younger is now starting to be a benefit as they know I’m working as their aging/retiring.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes!!! I love working in LA and Southern California. Being from Ohio, there are so many small minded people. I love LA because everyone here thinks bigger. They either want to do business or they don’t and if you have an idea that sounds crazy, everyone’s like, “how do we help you to start this” versus other parts of the country people would think it was never possible. I love the hustling and bustling and because it’s expensive to live here, you have to hustle to have a good standard of living. Obviously, traffic is awful but I think it’ something that we all just learn to deal with here.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 2 Park Plaza
    Suite 350
  • Website: www.stratosca.com
  • Phone: 949-407-7383
  • Email: nhajjar@stratoswp.com

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