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?