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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 Stork 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?

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? 

ABOUT FINANCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

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. 

Soloprenuers

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.

Easy Ways to Provide Better Results for Your Financial Advising Clients

How to Provide Better Results for Your Financial Advising Clients with Financial Psychology

While every client comes to you for financial guidance, some clients need more hand holding than others. We all know those clients who call every time there’s a dip in the market or who show up in your inbox every week. But what if there was a way you could identify these clients faster and give them the guidance they need, all while respecting your own boundaries and free time?

By understanding your clients’ financial personality types, you can give them the guidance they need without taking too much time out of your day. Knowing your client’s financial personality type offers a variety of benefits including:

  • Identifying their pain points faster
  • Understanding their financial motivations and approach to money
  • Determining where they fall on a scale for 13 personality types
  • Giving advice tailored to their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations

Each personality type will approach money differently, but financial advising clients won’t always tell you their money mindset, strengths, and weaknesses. The Moneymax quiz, however, allows you to discover someone’s personality type in less than 15 minutes. From there, you can give the right type of advice, especially to those who need more guidance. 

Moneymax has nine personality types and of those nine, some need more guidance than others. By knowing what type you are dealing with, you can give the right guidance to each of your clients.

Entrepreneurs 

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. 

Entrepreneurs won’t need as much guidance as other types. However, because entrepreneurs and business owners have different financial concerns than regular employees, these clients might need extra guidance on how to manage their finances as a business owner. 

Hunters

As one of the most educated and ambitious Moneymax personality types, hunters should be set up for financial and professional success. However, 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 develop the confidence to play on their own.

Hunters could need more guidance because of their lack of confidence. This type might ask more questions and might not be able to stick to a savings plan because they are emotional spenders. To give hunters additional guidance, consider setting up a stricter savings plan that plays into their ambitious spirit (such as a tracker or smaller goals to hit along the way to a bigger savings goal). You might also help build up their confidence by telling them when they did something right with their finances and encouraging them to take a more active role in managing their money. 

Optimists

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. 

This type probably won’t need as much guidance as other types. But similar to the hunters, they may need some guidance on how to spend their money. If you scaffold their financial plan right and allot some wiggle room for their spending tendencies, this type should be easy to manage and need little guidance. 

Perfectionists

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.

As a procrastinator, the perfectionist might need more hand holding than other types. While they’re not as likely as the hunter or safety player to ask for your advice, you could find yourself following up with them a few times before they take action. When dealing with perfectionists, make sure to have a plan in place to curb their procrastination and take any needed actions as soon as possible. 

High Rollers

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 in 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.

As the biggest risk taker, the high roller can be a tricky type to manage. They can be great if you’re looking for clients willing to make riskier financial decisions with a potentially bigger payoff, but these clients aren’t as fun to deal with when those decisions don’t pay off. If any of your clients are high rollers, keep in mind that you may need to make extra time for when their risk taking gets in the way of their financial success.

Money Masters

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.

Money Masters usually don’t need a lot of guidance. When they are first starting to build their assets, they could ask more questions than other types, but overall they tend to be more involved in their money management and will need less hand-holding along the way.

Achievers

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 personality type and are also goal oriented. Unlike hunters, they tend to make more analytical decisions. 

Due to their mistrust of others, you either won’t see as many achievers in your practice or these types will ask more questions and be more skeptical than other types. When working with an achiever, expect more questions than usual about your financial practices. 

Producer 

The Moneymax Producers are one of the hardest working types and tend 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 producers usually need a lot of guidance due to their negative view of money and their financial frustrations. This type could email or call you frequently for extra help with their finances. However, if you guide the producer to start building up assets which compliment their hard work, you might be able to better manage this type. 

Safety Players

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.

Because of their perceived lack of control over their finances, safety players may need more guidance than other personality types. This type will be more passive with their money management and expect you to do the bulk of the work managing their finances. To help guide safety players, remind them of how much they can control their future and work with them to create a safe, less risky financial plan. 

While some types may take more time and attention than others, you can better manage all nine personality types when you understand the strengths, weaknesses, and motivations of each. When you walk into a meeting with a client not knowing their personality type, you are often guessing about their approach to money. When you enter the meeting armed with their money personality type, you can more effectively attend to their questions and needs, saving you time and providing customized financial advising to your clients. 

People, financial papers, and coffee

How to Separate Money and Emotions For Better Wealth Management

To know and understand the motivating forces behind investing, to know and understand why one investor becomes tense about losses, why one becomes greedy about profits, and why one either overreacts or fails to react is, perhaps, more than half the investment battle. Money and emotions aren’t always an ideal pairing. If your emotions are managing your wealth, you may not be setting yourself up for success.

There is a high price to pay for the kind of innocence many investors bring to their investments and the way they interact with their investment advisors. Unfortunately, in many cases, to help maximize your financial returns, you must first help yourself master your emotions.

Often, bull markets are like blinders. Investors begin to believe in the fantasy that their stocks will always take good care of them and never disappoint them. But, when reality hits and the bull market turns bear, investors can be faced with challenging decisions and their gut emotions may take over.

There are certain important relationships which we must understand before we may be able to achieve a consistent degree of success in the world of investing and in the marketplace.

The first and foremost of these is that the majority of losses in the marketplace result not from poor trading decisions but rather from emotional and attitudinal causes. Investing by its very nature is an emotional business.

Few investors have the self-knowledge, emotional stamina or self-control to make rational, intelligent and profitable decisions, particularly in times of stress. So often, investors react wildly to bad news, frequently selling shares of perfectly good stocks–reacting with their emotional money minds rather than their rational ones.

Why is it that some investors may tend to make rational decisions, stick with their choices and strategies while others seem to act out their emotions and make investment decisions that may not lead to profit?

The field of behavioral finance has given insight into some mental miscues investors make that might sabotage and crimp their returns:

Fear of Losing Money

Psychologically, people give greater weight to a past loss than they do to a future gain. In fact, some individuals find losing money so distasteful that they talk themselves out of investing altogether. Some investors don’t make reasonable trade-offs because the drive to avoid loss sabotages any future gains or opportunities.

But when you make decisions out of fear instead of rationality, your decisions are seldom ever good. A 2019 study on entrepreneurship found entrepreneurs who made fear based decisions instead of rational ones were less successful financially.

Determine ahead of time exactly how much you can “emotionally” afford to lose as well as “financially”. They are often very different.

Worrying About the Wrong Risks

Investors are held captive by events that could be conceived as unpredictable or frightening events. People are traumatized by dramatic events. They can’t tolerate the anxiety that accompanies them.

This can be seen in a modern day context where, for the past 3 years or so, even successful business leaders have been predicting an economic collapse worse than the great depression. While there have been adverse negative effects due to COVID-19, it has not been on the scale of more dramatic predictions.

Investors often become blind and deaf to others’ advice in these times and tune out advice from others, including their financial professionals. They exaggerate current crises.

What’s worse is that they forget the wisdom of lessons from the past. They overlook the fact that people who stayed fully invested during previous crashes recouped their losses.

Help yourself base your decisions on what you can control, not on those factors you can’t control. Review the rationale for your current strategy and ask yourself and your financial professional if it still makes sense. If it does, review why the strategy still makes sense from time to time so you can help regulate any impulsive and emotional reactions that may bring you off course.

Educate Yourself

Smiling woman holding money

Knowing thyself isn’t just for characters in Shakespeare’s plays. It’s also a great way to better manage your finances. Since emotions play such a big role in financial decisions, it’s important to educate yourself on psychology as well as investing in financial education.

If you are a financial advisor, you most likely have strong financial literacy and have studied personal finance for quite some time. However, you might not have studied the psychology behind it.

Oftentimes when we look at just the finance side of wealth management, we can get confused by our clients actions or ideas. However, if we studied the psychology of finance, we would better understand our clients.

One of the best ways to educate yourself on financial psychology is with the Moneymax assessment. This assessment not only allows you to know your clients’ and potential clients’ personality types, it also reveals where they fall on a scale for 13 financial characteristics.

If you understand the psychology of your clients as well as the principles of personal finance, you are better able to manage wealth.

Conclusion

As you evaluate your investment strategies and individual situations, whether with your financial professional or on your own, consider these points:

Investors are more prone to make or lose money as a function of their emotions and attitudes than on the basis of their stock selection or trading system.

The best system can be rendered a losing proposition by inappropriate implementation due to emotional and behavioral limitations.

Appropriate or successful investor behavior can be learned to a large extent. Education is essential to helping investors stay in control and continue to grow, particularly in learning self-regulation and self-control.

Acknowledging and understanding your emotions is an important step in staying on track with your long-term financial plans when challenging economies become the everyday reality.

Likewise, learning to control your emotions even when the market turns upwards is equally important.

Finally, remember, if you find yourself questioning your decisions, talk to your financial professional, they are there to help you when you have to make the tough decisions.

Setting yourself apart as a financial advisor

Getting Clients as a Financial Advisor By Setting Yourself Apart

If you’re trying to distinguish yourself as a financial advisor, you need to set yourself apart from the rest. Every financial advisor has access to similar asset allocation tools, calculators, and risk assessments, but even with the same tools, some financial advisors get more clients than others because they’ve learned how to distinguish themselves from the competition. 

One of the best ways to distinguish yourself from your competitors is by offering a more comprehensive, holistic service that achieves the personal financial goals of your clients and attracts new clients because they feel like you really get them. 

While it can be tricky to offer more holistic financial advising services, it doesn’t have to be. One financial advising tool can offer you the perspective you need to stand apart from your competitors in fifteen minutes or less!

Offering a Holistic Perspective

Financial advisors often focus only on the money and not on the money manager. While it might make sense to us to offer objective advice, money can be a very emotional topic for many people.

It’s not enough to only understand how the financial side of advising works, you should try to understand what influences your clients’ money decisions and what they value financially. Do they want to invest more in travel or in starting a family? Are they optimistic or pessimistic about their money situation? Knowing details like these gives you a more holistic view of what sort of financial advice they need. You need to know your clients’ financial psychology.

Financial advisors talking to 2 clients

When you hear this term you might say, “Psychology? I’m not interested in becoming a therapist!” And that’s not exactly what it is. Financial psychology simply lets you know more about why your clients and prospective clients make certain financial decisions. It takes the guesswork out for you and makes your clients and prospects feel understood.

However, learning about your clients’ financial psychology can be time intensive and some of it can be difficult to learn just from asking questions. While there are some tools out there that help you understand parts of your clients’ financial psychology, such as risk assessment tools, you need a more holistic approach to understanding your clients. 

What is Moneymax? 

But what is this secret tool that can set you apart? Moneymax!

Moneymax helps you stand out because it’s unlike any other financial advising tool on the market and it adds empathy and personality to your advising. 

Studies show empathy drives better client relationships and better portfolio performance. This tool not only lets you learn more about your clients, it also shows your clients that you, as their financial advisor, really understand them. Maybe better than they understood themselves! 

Moneymax puts you in a position of more trust and strengthens your ability to lead a client more effectively to their financial goals. The Moneymax tool allows you to:

  • Truly “get” your clients
  • Increase your prospective client conversion rate
  • Develop better relationships with your clients 
  • Have less sales-y interactions and more meaningful ones

No matter what type someone gets, the Moneymax quiz makes your clients feel like you truly “get” them and transforms sales-y calls into more authentic conversations. If you’re ready to take your financial advising practice to the next level, it’s time to invest in Moneymax!

How the Moneymax Tool Was Created

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

Moneymax is a personality assessment based on research by Dr. Kathleen Gurney. It gives you insight into your client’s money personality and money management preferences. 

The assessment takes clients’ only minutes to complete and provides a meaningful report about their money personality. With Moneymax, you can provide your clients:

  • More appropriate asset allocation
  • Greater satisfaction with the process
  • More confidence and peace of mind
  • More efficient communication

Whether you use Moneymax or not, it’s important to approach your clients with a more holistic view of their financial psychology. Understanding the full picture will set you apart from competitors and will lead to a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.

That being said, Moneymax is the easiest and most effective way to understand your clients’ financial psychology and how to guide them towards the best financial decisions. Don’t believe us? Subscribe to our newsletter for an exclusive deal to try Moneymax’s profiling tool at a discounted price. 

Man looking at stock market on computer

How to Get Over the Fear of Investing in a Nervous Market

If you listen to the news, you’re probably aware that many people are predicting the stock market might take a dip soon. Warren Buffett, for example, has been warning of a stock market crash since 2018. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest. Eliminate the fear of investing in a nervous market with these tips.

Often bull markets, like the one we have now, are like blinders. Investors begin to believe in the fantasy that the market and our equity investments will always take good care of us and never disappoint. Yet time and time again, bull markets collapse with the most extreme and famous example being the collapse of the bull market in 1929.

Since the recession of 2008, the market has reinforced such fantasies. It has been a bull market for the past ten years with few exceptions, even during the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean the unprecedented stock market growth will last forever.

What’s an investor to do to remain calm, avoid knee-jerk reactions, and prevent emotions from potentially sabotaging all the gains realized in good times by prematurely pulling out of the market when it may not make sense?

Manage Your Emotions

There are certain important relationships which we must understand before we can achieve a consistent degree of success in the world of investing and in the marketplace. The first and foremost of these is that most losses in the marketplace result not from poor trading decisions but rather from emotional and attitudinal causes.

Investing by its very nature is an emotional business. Few investors have the self-knowledge, emotional stamina or self-control to make rational, intelligent and profitable decisions, particularly in times of anxiety and stress.

We can become better and smarter investors by looking at history and developing a sense of perspective. Economic conditions have always fluctuated at previous times of national and global crises, but the underlying strength of the American financial system has always shone through in the long run. Any hardships caused by recent events will not last forever.

Managing anxiety well during volatile times is a competency of successful investors. We all must be reminded from time to time that not making dramatic financial changes during these nervous market times can be a sign of patience and prudence, not cowardice.

Helping your clients get a current sense of control and clarity is not a bad idea. Helping them step back and see what they can realistically, financially and emotionally afford and then make decisions based on thoughtful reflection vs. impulse. In the long-term they will remember your prudent advice and help during such volatile times.

Don’t Believe Everything You See Online

Younger clients in particular are inundated with financial advice on TikTok, Youtube, and other social media outlets. This influx of information has led to questionable financial advice.

Many financial influencers online create their wealth through scamming their followers. They’ll predict to their followers that a certain stock (which they have purchased a lot of) will do good. Their followers will invest in that stock and then the influencer will pull out their own investment, making a generous return at the expense of their followers.

It’s best to steer financial advising clients away from online financial gurus who try to encourage this sort of trading, often with emotional and convincing content.

But it’s not just influencers promoting this idea. Earlier this year, Reddit users teamed together to invest in GameStop and other unprofitable companies as a joke. This messed with the market and artificially drove up stocks which weren’t valuable.

If clients do tend to get financial advice online, remind them to check the advice with a credible source instead of acting on the emotional pleas of influencers.

Overcome Your Fear of the Stock Market

Depending on a client’s Moneymax type, they may fear investing in the stock market. To some people, the stock market is an ambiguous and confusing financial institution and they have no clue where to start.Woman looking at stock market on computer

However, with money mindset work and the counsel of a financial advisor, even the most nervous and fearful clients can invest.

The first step to overcoming these fears is being able to identify your clients’ fears. One way to discover this is to run the Moneymax assessment on all your clients. Moneymax gives you a holistic view of a client’s money personality including traits such as how trustworthy they are with their money, how eager they are to invest, their risk level, and more.

Once you use Moneymax and have your client’s or potential client’s profile, you are able to address their fears about the stock market and create a customized plan to help them get over those fears.

Hold Your Investments

Another modern investing trend is day trading. With the rise of the app Robin Hood and similar companies, anyone can day trade. It’s as easy as playing a game on your phone.

However, trading stocks on a day-to-day basis hardly ever leads to long-term financial success, especially for those without a finance background.

A good rule of thumb to share with clients is that they shouldn’t move their investments for at least a year. Holding investments leads to long term financial success.

If one is constantly acting out of fear and changing their investments whenever a certain stock dips, they will not make a profit. Investing in the stock market is not the place to act out of fear. It’s the place to plan ahead and hold onto your investments even through the natural dips.

Of course, some people might like the risk of trading stocks more frequently. If this is the case with your clients, you could make a plan to help them do this while also allocating other funds for longer term investments.

While we don’t know what the future of the stock market holds and many short-term predictions are ominous, clients can still find success in investing. Managing investments, overcoming stock market fears, only listening to sound advice, and holding your investments are four ways to be a successful investor even in a nervous market.

Signing a new client

How to Get More Financial Advising Clients in 2022

If you’re looking to grow your financial advising practice in 2022, you need a tactical plan to get more clients. Getting more clients should depend on one thing: creating authentic connections with prospects

In order to do this, you most likely need a marketing strategy and need to use financial psychology. Neither has to be complicated. Here are five easy ways to get more financial advising clients in 2022. 

People, financial papers, and coffee

1. Utilize your LinkedIn 

Social media marketing is all the buzz and all professional service providers should have a presence online. However, that doesn’t mean you have to start making TikTok where you dance and give financial advice. 

One of the best platforms for professional service providers is LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to connect with your current professional network and use their search tools in order to expand it. It also offers the opportunity to directly message people, comment on people’s professional accomplishments, and more.

Two of the most important tasks to do on LinkedIn for 2022 is to optimize your profile so those searching for a financial advisor can find you and to consider having a LinkedIn services page. A service page is especially good if you’re self employed and in the early stages of your business.

To optimize your LinkedIn profile, make it clear what you do and who you help in the tagline, cover photo, and bio. A common mistake many people make is trying to showcase their accomplishments in a way that makes them look good on LinkedIn. Instead, frame your accomplishments so they show the benefits of working with you to prospective clients. 

2. Create a referral offer for current clients

Despite all the advancements in the world of digital marketing, one of the best marketing tactics has been around long before Instagram, LinkedIn, or even MySpace: the best marketing is a happy client

If you want to get more clients, ask current clients if they know anyone who might need your services. Feel free to even describe who your ideal client is. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that almost everyone is busy today. 

In order to motivate current clients to give referrals, create some sort of incentive. This could be a $5 Starbucks gift card or a discount on one of your services. It doesn’t have to be big; even small incentives can go a long way. 

After you have your incentive and list of clients to reach out to, craft a templated email you can send asking for referrals. 

3. Develop a marketing strategy

Along with referrals and LinkedIn marketing, there are many other marketing tactics you can utilize. Which ones work best for you depend on your ideal demographics, resources and money available to invest, and personal preferences.

For example, if you’re targeting young professionals, digital marketing should play a big role in your marketing strategy with an emphasis on video content and newer platforms like Instagram and TikTok. 

If you want to reach more seasoned professionals who want to improve their retirement plan, you might be better off with print advertisements or going to networking events in your local community. 

There are so many marketing options available today. To figure out what works best for you, define your ideal client and create a plan to reach them where they hang out online or in person. 

4. Pitch the story of your business to local media

While this one is a long game, being featured in the media can add credibility to your business and might bring in potential clients. You also don’t have to try to be featured in the New York Times or Washington Post for this to be effective. 

In fact, being featured in local media may be even more beneficial as it’s only people within your community reading it. 

To get started, write down your business’ story. Try to make it as interesting and insightful to the public as possible. You could also think of ways you could pitch a story which offers financial advice to the readers or watchers of local media. 

After that, make a list of any local news channels, newspapers, or other media outlets which might be interested in your story. Try to find the media contacts who cover financial news or other similar types of stories. After that, craft an email pitching your story and see how they respond!

5. Create a better process for recruiting potential clients

While increasing the reach of your marketing efforts is great, you also want to increase your impact on potential clients who come across your brand. The best way to do this is to have a streamlined pitching and onboarding process. One of the most important parts of the pitching process is selling authentically. It’s also one of the most difficult. 

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a sales pitch that sounds, well, sales-y. And if we’re being honest, those pitches make us want to flee instead of buy whatever the pitch is selling. 

One of the best ways to avoid sounding sales-y is to create a genuine connection with prospective clients and make them feel like you get them. Luckily, there’s a fast, accurate way to get to know them before they even step into your office or onto a Zoom call: Moneymax.

Moneymax is a personality profiling tool that let’s you know where a client or prospective client falls on a scale for 13 different financial psychology characteristics. It gives you a holistic view of how they view money across a variety of facets, from investing to asking for a raise at work. Understanding the full picture of how a prospective client views money allows you to turn a sales pitch into a conversation where you’re working together to discuss the client’s financial future. 

Since we believe so much in the power of Moneymax, we’re offering 10 free profiles to anyone who tries out the tool and posts about it on their social media. Subscribe to our email list for free to learn more details. 

Risk written out

The Psychology of Risk in Financial Decisions

Whereas some bulls might describe this market as a stock buyer’s dream, the advisers I have spoken with are describing it as a nightmare for many of their clients.

Modern Portfolio Theory has given us an abundance of literature on objective measures and definitions of risk, and supposedly, the most effective methods for financially managing them.

Risk as a subjectively experienced emotional state, however, has received much less attention, even though most investors and advisors acknowledge that how they respond psychologically to making decisions under conditions of uncertainty can have a dramatic influence on their financial success.

Definition of Risk

Risk is a subjectively or personally experienced emotional state influenced by the ability to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

Risk, by definition, contains important subjective elements not typically considered or evaluated by the investment community. It is the subjective risk of investors which will determine perceptions, reactions, satisfaction, suitability and perhaps even success.

If investors’ subjective definitions of risk don’t enable them to sustain their strategies when they make rational sense, then they will create their own financial loss in selling impulsively.

Any attempt to categorize investments according to an objective risk profile can be misinterpreted by investors because of their internal or psychological risk profile which ultimately predicts their reactions and perceptions of their investments and the satisfaction they reap from them. They have their own subjective realities and definitions of risk which prevent them from understanding the objective definitions of risk.

To truly understand your own risk and your clients, you should look at the psychology of risk. A great way to do that is to use the Moneymax assessment. The unique benefit of this assessment is that while it looks at risk, it also looks at 12 other factors which influence our financial decisions.

This gives you a more complete picture of your clients’ and your own money personalities. Risk is just one factor in a much larger picture–and you need to understand the full picture to better suit your clients’ risk levels.

Lowering The Chance of Objective Risk Is Not Lowering Subjective Risk

As investment advisers, you can employ a variety of well known techniques to lower the “chance” of loss: dollar cost averaging, diversification, careful asset allocation, and buy and sell disciplines. However, even though you may choose to emphasize and lower objective risk, you must still deal with the subjective reality of investors’ emotional responses to risk.

It is the psychological impact of the “consequence” of a financial loss on investors’ decision-making that makes the impact on how investors conceptualize risk. Their subjective realities are their objective realities and don’t necessarily make rational sense.

Loan management on computer screen

For most investors, risk is a concept related to loss, which is subjectively vs. objectively defined. It is based on feelings vs. facts. Because risk and loss are intimately connected, particularly the consequences of loss, how an individual has experienced and adapted to loss throughout life becomes a significant issue in one’s approach to risk.

All individuals experience both real loss and emotional loss. If one has not resolved former real or emotional losses, there is a tendency toward blindly eliminating losing situations in the face of downside loss and/or volatility. They experience an almost panic-like psychological urge to divest themselves of the psychological and paper position of loss without first understanding whether the fundamentals warrant such actions.

If resolved, they’ll be able to experience real vs. emotional reactions to loss and be able to feel ok and come through it. They would have more flexibility and adaptability to handle future uncertainty and would not shy away from future experiences.

Giving investors an opportunity to reflect on their real vs. emotional losses through interviewing and integrating that knowledge into their current investing style not only alleviates much unnecessary panic; it also prevents significant denial of loss. They need to ease back into investing. They’ll eventually adapt.

Managing Subjective Risk

Since objective risk doesn’t always equal the subjective risk level in your client’s mind, it’s important to learn to manage their subjective risk level. If you understand how risky a client perceives an investment or financial action to be, you can better serve them.

A key to this is the ability to empathize and understand where your client is coming from. So often, wealth advisors care only about the investments and not about how clients perceive the investments. But if you want to better serve your clients, you should take the time to better assess and understand their perception of risk.

Let’s look at an objective low-risk action: investing through a mutual fund. For some clients, this might be perceived as low risk because their parents did the same and had success. But if a client saw their parents lose money through poor investments, their subjective reality might be that any investment is a risk.

Once you understand the personal history and psychology behind why a client perceives something to be a risk, you can better empathize and rationally explain why a certain action benefits them.

However, you didn’t become a financial advisor to be a therapist. You don’t need to know a client’s entire backstory to better serve them, just their money personality. One of the best ways to discover their money personality and how psychology influences their financial decisions is with a quiz that has been well-researched and proven to work time and time again. One such assessment is Moneymax.

With an assessment like Moneymax, you can better understand where a client is coming from and the best ways to manage their wealth after the client takes one short quiz! If you run this quiz on potential clients, you can go into the first conversation truly “getting them” because you understand the psychology behind how they view risk and make financial decisions.

While financial risk can be objective, it often feels subjective to our clients. To better understand where they’re coming from and the psychology of risk, invest in learning more about them beyond the money and assets in their wealth portfolio.