America at work
Managing Success: Entrepreneurship in the Financial Sector
Kier Strader-Monaghan | May 6, 2016

In a tough economy like today’s, it’s increasingly difficult to save, and yet, it’s more important than ever that your money is invested smartly for the future. That was Christina Winters Gears’ motivation when she founded Texas-based Creating and Managing Wealth, the 2016 Southwest and South Central Regional Finalist.

Opened in 1990, Creating and Managing Wealth set out to give its clients not only financial planning advice, but a fully integrated life approach to money management, ranging from tax preparation and insurance services to “finding a place for Mom.”

Although the business model was a quick success, Creating and Managing Wealth found itself stumbling during the 2008 recession. With a 57 percent decline in the market, the company watched its revenue get cut in half – a huge blow for a financial firm. Instead of closing its doors, Creating and Managing Wealth cut birthday parties and other frivolous expenses to make ends meet, ultimately only losing two of its 480 clients.

After 26 years, the firm now has more than $235 million in assets under management by four brokers. This success is possible because of Christina Waters Gears’ business acumen and entrepreneurial instincts. As a woman starting out in the financial sector in the 1980s, Waters Gears worked incredibly hard to become a respected member of her field. Crediting much of her success to her mentors, she now serves on the boards of four organizations dedicated to education and philanthropy. Creating and Managing Wealth also works with a local school, Brandenburg Elementary.