Walter Vera, Vice President of Metals.com
Business and Leadership had the opportunity to interview Walter Vera, VP of Metals.com, one of the fastest growing independent retailers of gold and silver.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? In what ways does that relate to what you do now?
Growing up I knew I wanted to do something that I could be proud of and that my family could be proud of. When we’re young we bounce around from ideal job to ideal job because we like to follow what we see. I always had a genuine desire to be a leader while at the same time using my ability to be courageous and honorable with whatever I did in life. Once I got a little older and I learned more in depth about what being a Marine was all about, I knew that it was what I wanted to do. To be able to serve our country and lead others to do so, to show the commitment I had to our country and to our freedom, there was nothing else I could have envisioned for myself, even at such a young age. What I say I’m going to do, I keep my word, so once I was old enough, I did just that and became a Marine. After serving, it gave me that mindset of being a leader. It wasn’t difficult to transition into working for a company as great as ours and getting the opportunity to display the same loyalty and work ethic. When you’re leading a unit it’s your job to make sure you’re protecting them and leading them in the right direction, you have to make sure that every decision you make keeps them safe and moving. That same concept is implemented when it comes to leading a company.
What steps do you take to ensure that your organization’s activities are in alignment with the company mission, core values, and vision?
We’re a growing company, and we continue to grow at such a rapid pace that with growth comes changes, naturally. All the steps I continue to take to ensure that we continue to grow in the right direction constantly change because we have to adapt to the amazing changes within the company. However, one thing that never changes is the steps of making sure everyone is on the same page of the measures that need to be taken in assisting and caring for a client. I’m constantly trying to find new things to incorporate with our company so that there is never an unhappy client or client made to feel that they’re forgotten. Whether it’s adding a department or training our employees on how to handle each client efficiently, we’re always taking steps on creating a positive experience for them.
Name two organizations or well-known business people you admire and explain why.
It may come as a cliché to admire these two men, however it’s only a cliché because there’s a substantial amount of reasons to admire them. Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are two people that I have a large amount of respect and admiration for. These two men have accomplished so many things in their lives with several odds stacked against them and broken down so many barriers to make it happen without giving up. Without them there’s a lot of things we wouldn’t have today and although that goes without say for a lot of people, when you truly learn about these men, their background, their beliefs and their work ethic, it makes you want to strive to do more yourself. On top of that, Elon Musk made a choice to be with us as Americans and make the contributions he did to our country despite him not being born here. He had to make a choice to be a part of an army for his country or to go elsewhere and find his purpose, that elsewhere was America.
What are YOUR main performance indicators? How are they measured and echoed throughout the business?
In this type of business, we’re looking to help a client diversify, build and protect. We have a low rate of full portfolio sell off’s which is a big thing in this industry. With us having a low rate of sell off’s, it shows that we’re accommodating clients’ needs and instilling strategies within their portfolio. It also shows that clients are happy with the choice they’ve made, which is why they keep it. Of course, with that comes a positive revenue growth rate, which is a well-known and important performance indicator. If you’re not growing in revenue, then people aren’t happy with your company, and fortunately that isn’t an issue we have.
What are your top three priorities for the business?
Simple… Honesty, growth, and dependability. These three things don’t just apply to us internally as a business but also externally. Providing these three things for our clients is extremely important. If you don’t have these things in a company, I’m not sure you have any business leading a company to begin.
How do you fight complacency and mediocrity?
Setting the ultimate goals for myself and our company is truly the simplest solution to overcome both of these things. The bigger your goals are, the more you’ll work. The bigger your dreams are, the harder you’ll work. There’s no reason that a person can’t do any and everything they set their mind to in this life, and there’s no excuse not to overcome everything standing in your way. However, a side note to this is that I remind myself it’s not just about me, it’s about the company as well. My goals and dreams aren’t just for me and are much bigger than myself, I have to always think bigger for the company as well and that will always hold the same importance.
What has been the most impactful lesson you’ve learned as a business leader?
The responses to this are infinite to be quite honest. I’ve learned so many different things as a business leader that have impacted me, mostly good but of course sometimes bad. I’d have to say as a business leader the biggest lesson that’s held the most impact on me is the fact that I can truly make a difference. As a leader, people follow. I’ve been given an opportunity to take something bad and make it good in so many ways because at the beginning and end of the day I’m a leader and I have an obligation to be better and do better for others. I’ve learned that if I’m better, others strive to be better themselves, they follow your suit when you’re a leader. If I’m loyal, they’re loyal. If I’m disciplined, they’re disciplined. You are center stage as a leader, and you have to be the best version of yourself so that everyone around you will do the same which creates an outstanding and successful environment.
What’s the most critical piece of business management and leadership advice you would give your younger self?
Treat your employees right and they’ll go above and beyond to work for you. A company doesn’t run on its own, so it’s important to make sure you’re treating everyone with the same respect and kindness. The flipside of that is that I would have also told younger me that it’s also okay to let people go. Sometimes your company isn’t a good fit for a certain employee, and as a leader you have to learn when to recognize this. You’re not doing them or yourself any favors by keeping them with you, having them do a job that isn’t suitable for them, while they could be doing something that will bring them the most success in their life. It’s never an easy task to let a good person go, but again, these are things we have to take initiative in as a leader.
How do you create leadership opportunities within the organization?
Coming into our company, a person is already made aware of the possibility of growth with us. We love letting people know of the growth potential before they even enter our office for their first day. Doing this already sets the precedent for them and us as a company, we will be able to recognize early on what kind of employee we have on our hands. If we already set the stage for growth with our company and let them know our expectations for that to happen for them, there’s no excuse to not do it if you’re an outstanding employee, and that’s the kind of people we want working for us. If you don’t intend on growing in anything and want to remain complacent then a position with our standards wouldn’t be something for you. We set levels for everyone to try and work towards under several different areas. Once the levels are met or that person has exceeded expectations, they get the opportunity to grow and move into a higher area. This will also help a person understand the value of setting goals with the intent of accomplishing them. With amazing work ethic, as well as the ability and willingness to learn and heighten your talent, you will go incredibly far not only with our company but in your everyday life.
Core values and leadership principles guide the executives and employees at Metals.com into hard work, wealth preservation fundamentals, providing the best solutions to customer challenges, and hiring the best candidates.
You need stable investments in this turbulent economy. Investments you can count on for not just the long-term, but the short term as well in case you find yourself in a bind. Investing in precious metals can be just what you are seeking. The staff at Metals.com have been trained to ensure you get the right investment portfolio for your needs and goals without the risk of stocks.
As a leading independent retailer since 2008 of gold and silver products, Metals.com specializes in bars, rounds, and coins. Investing in precious metals is not something most investors want to do on their own. This is why Metals.com hires the best customer service staff to help you through the process from start to finish.
Since you are dealing with physical bullion, the purchase can be shipped directly to your door, or you can choose to have it deposited directly into your IRA account. The choice is yours!
When you do make a purchase, Metals.com goes by what is called the “Spot Price,” which is what the current market value is for the precious metal at the time of sale. Other dealers will have a set price, which is often higher than the purchase price.
The types of investments you can make are many; here are some of the most common ones made:
Investing in Silver
Since the turn of the 21st century, the popularity of silver has soared with the destabilization of the dollar. Many feel that if there is a collapse of the US economy, silver will be the currency that will be used. You can invest in paper silver and silver bullion. Metals.com deals exclusively in physical bullion, both gold and silver.
Investing in Gold
Investing in gold is as simple as investing in silver, as it is also available as bullion and paper certificates. Many investors choose physical bullion because they prefer to store and maintain physical ownership of their investment.
You can purchase gold in quantities of one gram up to 400 ounces (25 pounds).
Metals.com is located at
433 N Camden Dr.,
Suite 970 Beverly Hills, CA 90210 and can be reached at 1.800.463.1326.