Charles Kafoglis is an Associate Advisor in Houston, TX, dedicated to serving Hill Investment Group’s Hillfolio clients. Charles brings decades of client service experience from his days as a management consultant. Most recently, he has been working with teens and young adults to instill financial literacy skills, sorely lacking across all levels of our education system, helping them launch their careers with a sound financial foundation. He appreciates the value of listening, making a difference, and practical problem-solving.
Path to Hill Investment Group
After a long career as a consulting partner for PwC, I transformed early retirement into the unusual challenge of creating a leadership program at an all-girls high school in Houston. As the son of two college professors, the engrained calling to teach and be part of a school community was too loud to ignore. A critical part of the program involved establishing a financial literacy course for high school seniors. Along the way, I met Matt Hall and invited him to speak to our entire student body. Coincidently, the same “Take the Long View” principles at the core of Hill’s mission were the backbone of the course I had constructed after doing extensive research. After teaching for 12 years, I was ready to expand my audience and the people I could help. I reached out to Matt and asked if there might be a role for me to apply these same principles with Hill Investment Group clients, their children, and grandchildren. And here I am…
My wife Pattie and I have three adult kids and two grandkids. Everything starts with them.
Running has been a constant for me for almost 40 years. While my marathon days are over, I do have one claim to fame… a bronze medal at the US Senior Olympics (my wife will tell you that it’s way less impressive than it sounds, and she’d be right).
I’m a big Florida Gators fan – I’ve been going to games since Steve Spurrier was a QB in college. My grandson will soon be the 4th generation in our family to go to a game.
Key Lesson About Money
Most of us work about 40-45 years of our life. That means we get about four chances to double our money – the principal can double every ten years or so. And it’s the last double that’s the most important – it’s the big one. You only get the chance at four doubles if you start saving in your 20s. I always stress to college grads the importance of small sacrifices in their 20 – hopefully helping them increase their chances of earning that impactful 4th double later in life.
Looking For Inspiration
As someone who spent a decade studying leadership, I genuinely believe the John Maxwell line, “everything rises and falls on leadership.” I constantly look for great leaders in real life. Part of my attraction to Hill was their focus on the leadership trait of intentionality. Being intentional each day drives me to want to improve and resist the natural pull of complacency.
What I’ve Learned Along the Way
As a consulting partner, I led large and small teams solving complex problems for clients. Our clients demanded that we be straight, admit errors, and forgo the urge to spin. My teams were the best and the brightest – some technically brilliant and some incredibly empathetic with the ability to earn trust year after year. That natural ability to connect is what builds an enduring client relationship. It also supports the notion that excellent client service is born when you put the client’s interest ahead of your own. These learnings relate to two of my favorite quotations:
“No one cares what you know until they know that you care,” Teddy Roosevelt
“If you devote yourself to more than yourself…you will have more than yourself to show for yourself,” Andy Stanley
Worst Best Decision
My general practitioner doctor told me that buying a second home was the worst best decision you’ll ever make. He convinced us to do it. We are grateful to spend our summers with family and friends on the lake near the Illinois/Wisconsin border. There’s no better example of setting a financial goal and making it happen!
A Humbling Moment
My first assignment at PwC was the “grunt level” task of doing the pro bono IT audit of a Catholic university in town. I wanted to impress, so I spent a week kicking all the tires in the IT operations room – looking for meaningful recommendations to make. I wrote up a lengthy report of items to be corrected so the university could receive a clean audit opinion from PwC. Finally, I met with the IT director, who was also a priest. After listening to me ramble on for 20 minutes about tape backups and fire extinguishers, he gently patted me on the top of my head as only a father might, pointed skyward, and told me not to worry because He would take care of everything.
To create a leadership curriculum for high school kids, I did a ton of reading. While not for everyone, I’m quick to pick up the latest book or podcast episode from Simon Sinek, Andy Stanley, or Adam Grant!
I grew up in the south and was dead set to see how the “other half” lived. So I trekked north to upstate NY and earned a degree in Mathematics from Colgate University. Why math? That started with Ms. Sturgill, an uncompromising older woman who taught math class at my high school. Her passion became mine. With a desire to apply math more practically, I earned a Master’s degree in Operations Research at Northwestern, to date the most significant challenge I’ve ever taken on. I am proud of the accomplishment.
Entry Level Jobs
Music: progressive rock
Vacation: I have never been able to decide between beaches or mountains.
Running Trail: Central Park, NYC
Two Skills I Don’t Have That I Secretly Want to Have