Tag Archives: financial advice

3 Easy Ways To Control Your Finances

When your finances are out of control, your life is at risk of becoming out of control too. But while it’s important to control your finances, it can be equally difficult without a system in place. 

Let’s say you just got a raise at work. Each month, you’re going to split that raise between saving for your children’s college and your retirement. At the end of the first month, you sit down, ready to transfer the money to your retirement fund and college savings account. Yet, the money isn’t in your account. 

You scroll through your credit expenses, thinking back to how sure you were that you were within your budget–and how clearly you weren’t. What can you do next month so this doesn’t happen again?

No matter your current financial situation, there are some easy ways to take control of your finances once and for all. Check out these three ideas for how to clarify your financial goals and create a budget that actually works for you. 

1 Track your spending

The first step to controlling your finances is learning what state they are currently in. To do this, you have to be aware of what money you are and aren’t spending–and what you’re spending it on. This will also help you realistically budget money for different areas of your life moving forward.

A good way to start is to create a spending tracker. Over the next month, write down every time you spend money and what you spend it on into a spreadsheet. At the end of the month, you should have a better idea where your money is going and any areas of spending you need to reign in. 

2 Clarify your money values

Along with tracking how much you’re actually spending, you need to clarify what matters to you and what’s worth spending your money on. This can be highly personal and differ from person to person.

Both Ashley and Chuck spend $20 a week in coffeeshops. When Ashley clarifies her money values, she realizes picking up a coffee on the way to work doesn’t add anything to her life and decides to make her coffee at home. 

But when Chuck looks at his values, he realizes his daily coffee shop visits support the lifestyle he’s trying to create because it’s the best way to motivate himself to work on his business after work. 

Unsure what your money values are? Knowing your money personality and clarifying the five small expenses that bring joy to your life can help. For example, if your five smaller expenses you love are clothing shopping, shoe shopping, happy hour with your friends, pilates classes, and treating your pet, you most likely value fashion, friendship, fitness, and (furry) family. 

3 Set quantifiable goals

Once you’ve clarified your money values and where you’re spending your money, it’s time to set your goals. Goals can help you figure out how much you need to budget in different areas of your life, but only if they are clear and easy to follow.

That’s why it’s important to create quantifiable goals. By adding a numeric quality to your goals, you make them seem more achievable than vague statements. Getting rid of student loan debt isn’t that clear on when and how, but putting $500 a month toward student loan debt is.

Once you’ve completed all three steps, you’re ready to make a budget–the final piece to fully take control of your finances. It can serve as a guide on what to spend money on and what not to spend money on as well as ensure that you reach your financial goals.

Unsure where to start? Check out our free email course on budgeting. When you sign up, you’ll also get a budgeting template to stay on track. 

What Is Your Financial Personality (and How Can You Use It To Become Wealthy)?

Ever wonder why two people can make the same amount of money, but have very different financial situations? It might be due to their financial personalities and how psychology is influencing the decisions they make. 

Let’s say Josh and Jake make the same amount of money and are given the same retirement plan by their financial advisor. Josh is able to stick to the plan while Jake never seems to have enough money left over at the end of the month to meet the retirement budget. 

Josh and Jake clearly have different money management styles, styles which are often determined by their financial personality. But just because Jake is unable to follow the budget doesn’t mean he’s doomed to never retire. If he and his financial advisor fully understood his financial personality, they could make a customized financial plan.

Let’s look at the different financial personalities and how each type can use its advantages and disadvantages to create long lasting wealth. 

Where did these personalities come from?

Before we dive into discussing the different personalities, where exactly did they come from? They were developed back as part of the Moneymax quiz. 

The Moneymax quiz was formulated as a part of a research study in the 1990s. It’s been retested two times since and had the same results, making it a timeless quiz you can use for years to come. Moneymax measures where you fall on a scale of 1-100 for 13 characteristics. Based on your results for those 13 characteristics, your will be assigned one of nine personality types. 


Moneymax entrepreneurs tend to think outside the box, consider career achievements a priority, and will take risks to achieve their goals. While some follow the typical image of an entrepreneur and run a large company with many employees or own a small business, others are “intraprenuers”, salaried workers who carve out an entrepreneurial niche within corporations or businesses. Others work a full time job and have a side hustle outside the office. 


As one of the most educated and ambitious Moneymax personality types, hunters should be set up for financial and professional success. But, this type does have the tendency to doubt themselves and emotionally spend. Hunters have the ability to play the money game, but they need to learn how and to develop the confidence to play on their own.

High Roller

Of the nine Moneymax personality types, the high roller is the biggest risk taker. They desire power, influence, and wealth and aren’t afraid to take big risks. They enjoy the thrill of risky money decisions and spending their money instead of saving it. While their risks can have high reward, their emotional decision-making can sometimes get in the way of their financial success.

Safety Player

Safety players tend to see financial success as a matter of luck or being at the right place, at the right time. They are less likely than other Moneymax types to believe their individual actions control their financial future. Because of this, they tend to make safe financial decisions with minimal risks. Safety players are also more passive in their money management than other types.


The achievers are frugal with their money, believe in the value of hard work, and are interested in protecting what they earn. They tend to mistrust others and want to play an active role in their money management. Achievers are tied with Hunters for being the most educated and goal oriented personality type. Unlike hunters, they tend to make more analytical decisions. 


Moneymax Perfectionists tend to be overly critical and are afraid to make mistakes when it comes to money management. They often avoid decisions and put off work until they are sure they can do it just right. This type also tends to be frustrated with their financial situation as it’s never perfect.

Money Master

Moneymax Money Masters tend to be just that–masters of their money and lives. While they are third in income, they are first in assets and are strategic in setting up a good financial future. This group is highly involved in their money management and proud of their achievements.


The Moneymax Producer is one of the hardest working types and tends to be altruistic. However, their assets and income do not reflect their hard work and they’re often frustrated with their financial reality. By changing their negative view of money, they could change their financial future. 


The Moneymax Optimist tends to have a positive money mindset. They are proud of the way they handle their finances and have high expectations for future financial success. The optimist can sometimes overspend on things that bring short term pleasure. Despite their spending habits, they are overall confident and proficient in managing their wealth. 

Your Type and Next Steps

Curious which type you are? Or maybe you have an idea but are wondering how you can use your money personality to create long lasting wealth. The best way to achieve either of these goals is to discuss your money personality with a financial advisor.

An even better step is to try out the Money Master Method, which allows you to take the moneymax quiz and to consult with a trained financial advisor in Northeast Ohio about your results. Click here to learn more.

What to do during stagflation

What to Do During Stagflation: Emotional and Practical Ways to Cope

If you’ve been keeping up with the market in 2022, you know it’s been anything but calm and tranquil. The stock market is dropping as fast as inflation is rising, a deadly combination for many Americans’ wallets. But what exactly can you do about it?

“There’s no question that the current state of the economy is causing a lot of stress and anxiety for people,” Tali Raphaely, the President and Managing Member of Armour Settlement Services, LLC reflected. “Inflation is on the rise, the stock market is volatile, and many people are worried about their financial future. However, it’s important to remember that these economic conditions are beyond our control. What we can control is how we choose to react to them.” 

In this article, we’ll dive into the best coping mechanisms, tips, and tricks to deal with the current economic state. 

The Current Market and Inflation Rates

Currently, the stock market is in a bear market. But what exactly does that mean? A bear market is one where assets are steadily declining. The opposite is a bull market, where assets are rising in value. We were in a bull market the last couple years, but since the beginning of 2022, most stocks have been depreciating in value and we have entered a bear market.

At the same time, inflation is rising faster than it has over the past 50 years. This means the money in your bank is also depreciating in value. When the money in your bank and your stock portfolio is decreasing in value, it can be easy to panic. This state of stagflation–when inflation is increasing and the economy is shrinking–can be frightening, but there are some practical and self care tips to help you weather the storm.

Stay Informed

During a volatile economic period, it’s important to stay informed on what’s happening in the economy and the potential impact it could have on you and your family. 

“This will help you to understand what is driving changes in prices and how it may affect your personal finances,” said Max Benz of Banking Geek.  

To stay informed, but not overwhelmed, choose one or two financial media outlets you trust and see what they’re saying about the stock market as well as the greater economy. 

Increase Your Cash Flow

“Finding other sources of income is one approach to complement your current income,” advises Sam Willis, financial writer for Rain Catcher.

With the internet, you can start a side hustle and make some extra money on the side without leaving your home. Try to utilize a talent you already have and build a business around it. Great at design? Offer your services as a freelance graphic designer. Love shooting videos? Start a TikTok. 

Additionally, you could start a business in your local community. If you’re artistic, you could sell ceramics at the community farmer’s market. The coffee aficionado could set up a coffee stand at the local farmer’s market. If you don’t want to monetize a hobby and have a larger amount of savings, you could get into real estate or start an AirBnB. 

Willis added, “If you believe your current income is insufficient, think about diversifying your sources of income. The majority of successful individuals have advised diversifying their sources of income to avoid risk on all levels.”

Create a Stricter Budget

Along with increasing your cashflow, it’s important to have a stricter budget when the economy is not doing well. You can’t control the price of groceries or gas, but you can still control aspects of your income, such as how much you’re spending on unnecessary goods and services.

Jenna Carson, Financial Partner at Money Lucid, recommends people limit their spending where they can. Some of her recommendations to lower your spending include: 

  • Reducing on treats
  • Canceling subscriptions
  • Creating money monitoring excels
  • Exploring cheaper recipes

“These actions add up and the more positive actions a person takes, the better they will feel emotionally – knowing they are doing everything they can to ensure they don’t have to feel guilty. -Jenna Carson, Financial Partner at Money Lucid, said.

Spend Less

Now is not the time to make a giant purchase or drain your savings unnecessarily. Instead, make sure you have some backup savings in case the economy gets worse, there’s more lay-offs, or for other unexpected emergencies.

“That vacation you had been saving up for or a house upgrade that you dreamed of? Right now is the time to put those plans on hold at least until the picture gets clearer. Spending your savings right now wouldn’t be a great idea and will only lead to more stress. Having some backup savings can help you put your mind to rest,” said Jason Porter of Scottish Heritage

Practice Self Care

Along with taking a practical look at your spending, the larger economy, and side hustles, it’s also important to take care of your emotional health during this time. 

Isla Asibana, a cybersecurity Specialist at Privacy Australia, said, “We need to integrate our lives with calming exercises and practices. Take a portion of your day to let go of the worry for the future and be thankful for your health and ability to earn in the present.” 

Here are some calming exercises you could integrate into your daily routine:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Walks in nature
  • Journaling

Develop a Resilient Mindset

Luke Lee, founder and interior designer at Everwallpaper, has three steps he takes in times of economic hardship to develop a resilient mindset and come out stronger on the other side:

“It can be tempting to focus on the negative aspects of our lives and ignore the positive. However, research has shown that this can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. Instead, it is important to focus on our personal strengths and abilities. This can help us to feel more in control of our lives and better able to cope with difficult situations. 

“Additionally, maintaining social connections is crucial during times of economic hardship. These connections can provide support and reassurance during times of financial difficulty. 

“Finally, it is important to remember that economic hardships are often temporary,” said Lee.

In the best of times, money can be overwhelming. In the current state, it can be impossible not to feel some panic. However, through acting logically, practicing self care, and building a resilient mindset, you can weather the storm. Remember, at the end of the day, the current economy is temporary and will change again.

How financial advisors can use psychology

How Financial Advisors Can Utilize Psychology with David Fowler

The secret tool to success as an advisor is one most advisors don’t want to use: financial psychology. Even the word psychology probably draws up images of therapists discussing feelings with their clients in sessions. And if you wanted to do that, you would have gone to school to be a psychologist. 

Luckily, financial psychology doesn’t have to be that involved. With the right tools, strategies, and mindset, you can utilize financial psychology to make better wealth allocation decisions based on your clients’ specific needs. 

To learn more, we sat down with David Fowler, an independent fee-only advisor and the founder of High Mountain Financial Coaching. He is a CFP®, a ChFC®,  and has been in the business for 16 years. David started in financial services in 2006 with a large, easily recognized financial services company. In 2008, he decided to go out on his own on the insurance side. After a few years, he felt he could better serve my clients while reducing potential conflicts of interest by being fee-only advising practice (no longer selling any commission based products). In January of 2021, he started his fee-only independent investment advisory and financial planning firm, High Mountain Financial Coaching.

What does financial psychology mean to you?

When I hear the term financial psychology my thoughts immediately turn to the field of behavioral finance. As human beings we are wired successfully for survival, but not so great for investing! Interestingly the instincts, behaviors and biases that humans developed to help us thrive as a species are the very things that make us lousy investors. Survival mechanisms such as fear and greed that once helped us to run from a predator or gorge ourselves on a berry patch don’t translate well to our ability to stand firm in the face of the whipsaws of financial markets. 

How does your clients’ psychology impact your advising relationship and their financial decisions?

One of the best things an advisor can do for a client is to help him or her become more aware of the very real danger of our innate psychology and its potential to destroy one’s wealth – thereby hampering our ability to achieve our hopes, dreams and goals for the future.  One of our primary objectives as an advisor should be to educate our clients and help them see the very real danger we pose to ourselves and our portfolio’s success. Managing behavior successfully leads to managing money successfully.

What strategies do you use to navigate your clients’ different personalities? 

There are two main pieces of the puzzle to how we work with our clients to help manage their behavior. 

First – the investment strategies we use are built with strict adherence to Nobel Prize winning academic research in the field of investing. We help our clients to select a portfolio where we seek to maximize their potential return while ensuring they take on no more risk than they are able to handle. 

Once we have assisted our clients in choosing a portfolio where they are comfortable with the risk/reward profile – the next step is education. Ultimately we want our clients to understand why the portfolios are structured the way they are, have some knowledge of the underlying academics, and have their eyes opened to some of the cognitive biases and blind spots that typically cause investors problems. We hold regular education events and workshops where we seek to over time increase our clients knowledge and confidence.

Ultimately with these two pieces we seek to empower our clients to enjoy the rewards that come with a lifetime of disciplined investing.

Is there anything specific advisors can do to help manage their own financial psychology?

When I was in high school I was an athlete, and my favorite sport was wrestling. My coach impressed upon me the concept of leading by example. He would do everything we did during the workouts, side by side with us. He always said ‘Never ask anyone to do something you aren’t willing to do.’ 

While it is vitally important for clients to have coaching from their advisors to manage their behavior (because they are human and make mistakes on their own), it is equally important for advisors to have coaching to manage their behavior (because advisors are human too!). Just as we act as a safeguard against our clients destructive behavior, High Mountain Financial gets coaching from Matson Money, Inc. to ensure we stay disciplined. They have our backs, and we have our clients’ backs. 

On a side note – if an investor discovers their advisor doesn’t have any guardrails in place on their own behavior – that could be a red flag worth considering…

What is the best piece of advice you could give about getting new clients as an advisor?

The best piece of advice I have for getting new clients is just as our clients thoughts and emotions are the biggest obstacle to their long-term success, an advisor’s thoughts and emotions are the biggest obstacle to gaining new clients. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, and our perception of self-worth all can hamper our ability to grow our practices. The space between our ears is both the key and the obstacle to getting new clients.


At the end of the day, understanding your clients’ financial psychology comes down to managing their expectations and understanding their specific financial goals so you can best allocate their resources. Your advising practice should be about serving your clients in the best way for them with tools like Moneymax, not using cookie cutter financial advice. 

How advisors use financial psychology

7 Advisors Explain How They Use Financial Psychology

Financial psychology is a term which can be confusing and off-putting to many advisors. After all, you didn’t get into this industry in order to become a therapist! Yet, mastering financial psychology can also be one of the best ways to advance your advising practice. 

But what exactly is financial psychology? We asked seven financial advisors for their definition and how they use it in their own practice. Here’s what they had to say: 

Financial psychology boils down to mindset.

“Financial psychology is your money mindset. This should develop before any action is taken to make sure you form healthy habits and behaviors that are reflective of that money mindset. Ensuring advisers understand clients financial psychology is critical for building trust, instilling predictive money habits and working together in a long lasting relationship. Clients should always inquire about their adviser’s money mindset, belief system around financial planning, and overall philosophy to ensure they are aligned.”

Craig S. Johlfs, CFP®, MBA, Johlfs Financial Group 

It makes your job easier.

“Financial psychology represents the crux of being able to understand the mind regarding money spending, saving, and investing decisions. People who specialize in this theory apply their practices and knowledge to areas of personal finance and financial planning. Understanding what the client wants and trying to comprehend their thinking process means that as a financial advisor, your job would become easier. When you recognize the clients’ spending habits, it gets easier to advise them on strict financial matters and helps open up the best ways for them to succeed.” 

Alex Williams, an ecommerce business owner, Certified Financial Planner, and the CFO of FindThisBest

Financial psychology is your greatest ally or enemy. 

“As a female CEO, I have a unique view on this. Psychology is the greatest ally or enemy in investing. The person in the mirror is hardwired to flee a burning building and sell when the market is tanking. Knowing that one behavior (fleeing) is life saving and the other (selling at market lows) is harmful is only half the battle. I tell all of my clients, good investing feels bad. And it does. Success in investing requires a mastery of your psychology.” 

-Elle Kaplan, CEO of LexION Capital 

It impacts all your clients’ financial decisions.

“Financial psychology is the study of how human psychology influences a person’s spending patterns and saving and investing decisions. A client’s psychology has a great impact on their financial decisions and the advising relationship I have with them. The most important emotions that affect a person’s financial decisions are greed and fear. Greedy investors tend to lose a lot of money, as they take greater financial risks for a greater return, while investors who are afraid, do not make money. This is because they have a fear of losing their money, and do not invest it in risky portfolios.”

-Jessica Chase, Loan and Finance Expert at Premier Title Loans

Financial Psychology plays a big role in advising sessions.

“Financial psychology is the branch of psychology that studies the beliefs about money that influence people’s financial decisions. My clients’ psychology plays a big role in determining their financial decisions. A large chunk of our sessions is spent on me advising them to be more rational in their spending decisions and not let their emotions dictate their spending patterns.”

-Frank Chase, Business Development & Finance Expert at Oxford Gold Group

It helps retain clients and builds trust.

“For me, financial psychology is the psychology and behavior of people that go into making a financial decision. What drives people to make small decisions such as purchasing a sweater or more significant decisions like buying a house. The economics and social science behind these decisions are what financial psychology means to me. Knowing my client’s psychology helps me understand their behavior and reasoning when it comes to making a financial decision. It helps me see things from their perspective, and I can better advise them. This improves our relationship and helps build trust, which is very important for retaining long-term clients.”

-Janet Patterson, Loan and Finance Expert at Highway Title Loans

Understanding financial psychology producers better outcomes.

“Essentially, financial psychology is the study of mind and behavior that influences one’s behavior to save, spend and invest money. This psychology is mostly applied to personal finance areas. Understanding the client’s psychology helps in producing better financial outcomes. The use of technology has provided an opportunity to build deeper relationships with clients and help them make effective financial decisions. The psychology and personality of the client is important to understand because it reflects on their spending, saving and investing habits. It makes it easier to formulate financial advice for them to aid their decisions.” 

-Adam Garcia, CEO of The Stock Dork and Financial Consultant

After interviewing these advisors and working with even more who use our MoneyMax tool, we can say with confidence that understanding financial psychology produces happier clients, better client relationships, and less work when it comes to retaining clients and landing new ones. 

If you’re a financial advisor, are there any other insights about financial psychology that you would add to this list?

Financial Psychology Tools and Strategies with Andrew Gold

Financial Psychology and Tools for Financial Advisors with Andrew Gold

Financial psychology is a revolutionary concept for advisors, yet few think about how to integrate it into their practice.

It can improve your relationships with current clients, make it easier to land new clients, and reduce your spending on marketing. To learn more about how to integrate the field into an advising practice, we sat down with Andrew Gold. 

Andrew Gold is a Financial Advisor at Prestige Wealth Management in the Dallas Fort Worth area. He is in charge of their Investment Strategy and has personally seen how financial psychology has played a role in his relationship with advising clients. 

Andrew Gold, Financial Advisor at Prestige Wealth Management

What does financial psychology mean to you?

To me the term “Financial Psychology” means a focus on the good behaviors that come with saving and investing and controlling our behavior than it does about beating the market alone which is why we focus heavily on acknowledging and confronting our natural tendencies which historically have led us to making poor financial decisions. In today’s age, the overwhelming amount of information and choices that the retail investors have at their fingertips can be even more dangerous because of how quickly we can succumb to our emotions. So when it comes to advising clients we believe that it is important to know our clients perspective and historical investment exposure and experience in order to be able to properly advise. For example, it is important to know if your client is just now for the first time seeing money outside their 401k and fluctuating in the daily market versus if they had attempted self managing in the past. 

How does your clients’ psychology impact your advising relationships and their financial decisions?

The reality is that advisors are telling clients everyday to “invest for the long run”, “buy and hold,” “ignore the noise,” and “stick to the plan” and they all sound great, but fail to recognize that the emotions that come along with market volatility disrupt even the best laid plans. Instead an advisor should help their clients challenge this conventional thinking, something we discuss with our clients all the time. 

What specific strategies or tools do you use to figure out your clients’ financial priorities?

Some of the main things that we like to bring up with clients are:

  • We are not irrational, we are human. 
  • Set realistic expectations. Discuss “normal” volatility.. 
  • Discipline in behavior leads more directly to success in financial markets than investment strategy alone. Smart investing requires an equal balance between the right plan and the right mindset. Dollar cost average. Rebalance. Dividends and compounding work. 
  • Prepare, don’t predict. Market timing is very hard and speculation while fun is no replacement for a sound investment strategy. 
  • Understanding that the system is built for success. Over a 15 year period you have a 99% chance of growing your wealth, the only deciding factor is how many times over will you grow it. So instead of focusing on “beating the market” and beating an arbitrary index or outpacing other investors, let’s focus on achieving the things that really matter to us—a new home, a college education, or a comfortable retirement.

What do you believe is the role of an advisor in contributing to their client’s financial knowledge?

As an advisor we have to focus on being the best educator and accountability partner to our clients, and not just an advisor running a business. There is a very big responsibility that comes with discussing the most intimate details of our clients lives and knowing more about their dirty laundry than 99% of their inner circle. If we can focus on creating better investors and training the right behaviors, not only will our clients have more success but it will prepare them to embrace the opportunity that comes with large corrections in the market from time to time. 


At the end of the day, understanding your clients’ financial psychology comes down to managing their expectations and understanding their specific financial goals so you can better allocate their investments. Your advising practice should be about serving your clients in the best way for them with tools like Moneymax, not using cookie cutter financial advice. 

The Psychology of Personal Finance with Scott Surgeon

The Psychology of Personal Finance with Scott Sturgeon

No matter a client’s net worth or background, one thing will always impact their financial decision making: their psychology. If you want to be successful as an advisor, you have to understand how psychology relates to personal finance and how to manage your clients’ behaviors, values, and emotions. To get a better understanding of this topic, we sat down with Scott Sturgeon.

Scott Sturgeon worked for almost a decade as an advisor and consultant for wealth management firms with clients in different stages of their lives. He then founded Oread Wealth Partners out of a desire to work with doctors and engineers in helping them pursue the things in life they value the most. Whether that’s more time with family, traveling, or supporting a charitable cause that’s important to them, he helps clients find efficiencies in their finances and make sound financial decisions to more effectively pursue the things they’re passionate about.

What does financial psychology mean to you?

When I think of financial psychology I typically think of behavioral finance, which is basically the “why” behind a financial decision or action. Why am I investing and contributing to retirement accounts? Why are we implementing certain tax strategies? As an advisor, when I meet with a client and get to know their financial situation, I typically come to several conclusions of strategies or advice I think they should implement to help them achieve a personal financial goal. It isn’t just enough to tell them those strategies in a report or something though. I have to not only get their approval to move forward, but also to have them bought in emotionally and psychologically. They have to understand the “why” behind what we’re doing (preparing for retirement, putting kids through college, going on that awesome trip to Europe, etc.)

What’s been interesting to see during my time as an advisor is that regardless of someone’s net worth, we all experience many of the same emotions and behaviors when it comes to money and managing our finances. As an advisor, my role is to help clients find their “why”, incorporating their current beliefs and goals into a financial plan that helps them work towards achieving those objectives.

How does your clients’ psychology impact your advising relationships and their financial decisions?

Being cognizant of a client’s psychology is critical. Every person is different and has different priorities in the way they think about money, how they make financial decisions, and what they value in life. For one client, it may only be about increasing net worth, finding every efficiency, and diligently sticking to a financial plan. For the next, it may be more about how they give back to their community, what charitable causes they support, and how they can ensure their children’s education is paid for. The way those two individuals think and make decisions about money will be vastly different and as an advisor, it’s my role to gain an understanding of how they think. That in turn influences the way I approach giving advice and making recommendations.

What specific strategies or tools do you use to figure out your clients’ financial priorities?

It sounds simple, but I have a list of questions I always ask each prospective client when I first meet with them to determine if we’re going to be a good mutual fit to work together. Some of them have nothing to do with finance whatsoever, but they’re helpful for getting clients to open up about their life and what’s important to them. Once I’ve honed in on what they’re looking to accomplish, I also ask a lot of questions about what I call financial data points. Things like income, expenses, investments, workplace benefits, etc. From there I formulate a financial plan that shows what their priorities are, what steps we’d need to take to achieve those goals, then work with the client to put that plan into action.

What is your best piece of advice you could give about managing client relationships?

Meet the client where they are. You have to bring empathy to the relationship and put yourself in their shoes. You can’t possibly do that until you get to know them and what they want most in life. Once you’ve honed in on that “why”, the other pieces (tax planning, estate planning, investment management, etc.) are all elements and decisions made to support those objectives. Knowing the clients “why” and explaining how those strategies support what they’re trying to do is key.

What is your best piece of advice you could give about getting new clients as an advisor?

I think creating a great client experience is key. An experience that defies what they may have expected in working with an advisor. When you have a great experience at a restaurant, you’re naturally going to recommend that restaurant to all your friends. The same goes generating client referrals. If you can get your clients genuinely excited about the work you do for them, they’re going to encourage others to have that same experience.


At the end of the day, understanding your clients’ financial psychology comes down to managing their expectations and understanding their specific financial goals so you can best allocate their resources. Your advising practice should be about serving your clients in the best way for them with tools like Moneymax, not using cookie cutter financial advice. 

Working with clients who value safety and hate financial risk

How to Work with Clients Who Value Financial Safety and Hate Risk

While financial risk takers can be tricky to work with, safety players are sometimes just as difficult. Safety Players tend to see financial success as a matter of luck or being at the right place at the right time. They are less likely than other Moneymax types to believe their individual actions don’t control their financial future. Because of this, they make financial decisions with minimal risks and can be more passive in their money management. 

Because safety players distrust risk so much, it can be difficult to get them to invest enough to create real wealth and they are the first to call, panicked, in a nervous market. However, if you understand these five distinctive personality traits about safety players, you can better serve them. 

Trait 1: Safety Players are deliberate decision makers

Safety players often take their time to make decisions, especially when it involves money or risk. They want to fully evaluate the situation and learn more about it before they decide whether to invest or not. When safety players first come to advisors, they often have little experience in wealth management, but as they learn more, they will become more confident in their decision making. 

Trait 2: They can be more passive in their money management

Because they question whether their individual actions lead to greater financial success, they tend to not put much value on them. This can lead to passivity and a lack of action when it comes to managing their money. One of the most important things safety players can learn is how their individual decisions impact their financial health. 

Trait 3: Tendency not to trust

While they are passive in managing their money, they are also slow to trust, which can be a real catch 22 for advisors. Because they are suspicious of risk, they don’t like to trust others with their money. To safety players, it feels scary to pass some of their hard-earned cash over to someone else. That’s why relationship building is so important with this group. 

Woman meeting with financial advisor

Trait 4: Safety Players seek “sure-things”

Because they are so risk-averse, they prefer structure and certainty when it comes to their finances–as well as other areas of their life. They often want to preserve what they have instead of trying to aim for more. Safety players want to avoid the risk of losing what they already possess. 

Trait 5: They like to be informed

Education is key with this group. In order to fully understand the risk of investing–and the risk of not investing–this group needs to be informed. Helping clients who prefer safety find educational resources can also start to build up advisor/client trust. 

Have you ever worked with a safety player? What other advice would you give to help financial advisors with this client type? 


Financial Psychology provides services and tools for Financial Advisors to add some personality to their advising. Their signature tool, the Moneymax Personal Profiling System, reveals someone’s financial psychology in less than fifteen minutes and enables financial advisors to give customizable advice. Located in Ohio, Financial Psychology has empowered advisors over the last 30 years in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, and beyond. 

The Secret to Better Money Manaement

The Secret to Better Money Management For Your Financial Advising Clients

As inflation rises, wages stay stagnant, and debt cripples younger generations, the idea of financial success seems impossible for many Americans. Yet, there is one secret to better money management for your clients, even amidst tumultuous economic times: customized financial advice based on psychology. 

Most of the financial advice available online today–and in some financial advising firms too–is generic advice that doesn’t work for everyone. Customized financial advice based on a person’s specific situation is needed instead. Instead of one size fits all advice, invest in a tool, like the Moneymax Profiling System, which allows you to design customized paths to long lasting wealth based on your clients’ personalities and will set you apart as a financial advisor. When looking for a tool like this, make sure it’s rooted in the field of financial psychology. 

The fields of psychology and finance seldom join forces in any systematic way. Over the past 30 years, our company has been trying to bridge the gap between the two disciplines. We wanted to learn how financial advisors could understand the personality traits of their clients and the psychology behind their clients’ decisions and values. Our revolutionary idea and the research behind it has pioneered a new field: financial psychology.

Using our research into the field, we developed the Moneymax® Personal Profiling System, a cornerstone of Financial Psychology. It reveals how someone approaches money and the right type of financial advice based on their values, lifestyle, and psychology in less than ten minutes. Since its inception, it has helped financial advisors acquire clients and–more importantly–helped those clients achieve actual financial success for years to come. Since developing the tool, we have served financial advisors in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, and beyond for over 30 years. 

Before becoming the CEO of Financial Psychology, Thomas Shortreed was a financial advisor who saw how Moneymax transformed his own advising practice. “The Moneymax tool allows you to really know your client,” Shortreed said, “The client or prospect tells you how they think about financial decisions. After a review and discussion the client or prospect feels you really understand them. This allows for a more consultative approach to advice and higher implementation rate.” 

When you’re looking for a profiling tool to help you provide customized advice, consider:

  • How long the tool has been around–and if past users are happy with it. Tools that have an established reputation and happy clients are likely to be more effective than newer tools which aren’t as well tested. 
  • If the CEO or anyone high up at the company has used the tool as a financial advisor: someone who has been in your shoes and developed a tool they would use is much more likely to create an effective money profiling system.
  • The culture in which the tool was developed: different cultures have different psychological concerns. If you’re looking for a client profiling tool, look for one that either works within your country’s culture or has worked across many international settings
  • Well researched and rooted in financial psychology: look for a tool which is rooted in research and utilizes a background in financial psychology

Financial success is still an option for Americans, if they have access to the customized financial advice they personally need. With a profiling tool, you can give your clients that advice and make prospective clients feel like you truly “get” them and their relationship with money. 

How Your Financial Advising Firm Can Better Serve Business Owners

How to Work With Business Owners as a Financial Advisor

There are 582 million entrepreneurs worldwide with over 5.4 million new businesses started in 2021 in the US alone. The number of self-employed Americans and business owners in America is only expected to increase over the next decade and more of your financial advising clients could be business owners as a result.  But the financial advice you give to employees might not work for those who own businesses. Instead you have to understand entrepreneurs’ motivations and money situations in order to serve business owners as a financial advisor

The Psychology of Entrepreneurs  

Entrepreneurs tend to think outside the box, consider career achievements a priority and will take risks to achieve their goals. While some follow the typical image of an entrepreneur and run a large company with many employees or own a small business, others are “intraprenuers”, salaried workers who carve out an entrepreneurial niche within corporations or businesses. Others work a full time job and have a side hustle outside the office. 

In their money management, entrepreneurs are driven by growth and are willing to take risks as they see them as a necessity for high performance. While wanting to achieve results quickly often helps this type, it can also be a blindspot when it comes to financial advising since assets are often built slowly over time and not overnight. 

They also might need to learn how to create more balance in their life. The common stereotype for an entrepreneur includes sacrificing their personal lives for their business, but they might be sacrificing more than just that. Often, this type will sacrifice properly managing their money to instead focus on making more money. As this type learns the importance of money management, they can achieve better financial balance instead of striving for more money without a proper management infrastructure in place. 

While intrapreneurs might think like a business owner, the tactical financial advice would be similar to the advice given to employees. There are three other types of Moneymax entrepreneurs which might need different advice than those working for someone else:

  • Full time employees with a side hustle
  • Solopreneurs 
  • Entrepreneurs with employees 

No matter which of the three types of entrepreneurs someone falls under, all entrepreneurs are driven by professional goals. This personality type is driven to excel and is happiest when they are challenging themselves and striving for better achievements. 

While all entrepreneurs have similar motivations, weaknesses, and strengths when it comes to money management, they can be in very different professional scenarios. Each professional scenario has different considerations for you as a financial advisor

Full Time Employees With a Side Hustle

Many people these days are building side hustles on top of a full-time job, whether that side hustle is a passion project or intended to replace a 9-5 down the road. Clients with full-time jobs and side hustles might have a greater cash flow and more to invest, but they may also have more challenges.

Unlike employees with a consistent income, those with side hustles might have varying income from month to month, making it more difficult to know how much they should be investing. They also might be looking to reinvest in their business instead of building up assets. While you might be tempted to convince them to build up their investment portfolio, you should honor where they are and the investments they need to make into their own business. 

To fully understand how to best serve these clients make sure you consider how much money they need to invest in themselves, what the end goal with their side hustle is, and how much the monthly income from their side hustle varies. 


Solopreneurs can take a variety of forms from freelancers to those who are just starting out in their business and can’t afford to have other employees. These entrepreneurs may have subcontractors to help with their workload or could be doing all the work themselves. 

Similar to full-time employees with a side hustle, these entrepreneurs may need to focus more on investing in themselves and their business. It’s important to keep in mind their financial and professional goals when working with them, not how much you could make off their investments. 

Another concern with full time entrepreneurs, whether they work alone or have employees, is that they need to fund their own retirement and provide health insurance themselves. Since they don’t have a 401K through a company or company benefits, they need to do more financial planning. With these clients, it’s especially important to focus on building out a sustainable retirement plan as well as a fund to cover benefits such as health insurance and life insurance. 

Entrepreneurs With Employees

The most typical image of a business owner is someone who manages employees, has a large overhead, and might have funding from venture capital or business loans. These entrepreneurs’ finances will be the most complicated to manage because there are so many moving parts and stakeholders involved. 

Unlike a solopreneur, they have to consider the benefits, employment taxes, maternity leave, and more for multiple employees. They might also have external stakeholders, such as angel investors, a venture capital firm, or a board of advisors. This entrepreneur’s finances not only impact themselves, but the livelihoods and interests of many parties. 

In order to best serve this entrepreneur, you need to take into consideration these different groups and what their cash flow looks like. While you might provide them with similar financial advice about building up their assets that you would provide to other entrepreneurs, there are more moving parts to consider than with other clients. Set aside extra time to fully understand their financial situation and the varying stakeholders and considerations these entrepreneurs have.

No matter what type of entrepreneur you work with, you should be working with them as well as working for your own interests. Compared to some other money personality types, entrepreneurs take great pride in their professional accomplishments and often prioritize their business goals above other considerations.