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The Agile Financial Planner

Jan 20, 2020

In today’s world, being a good financial planner is not simply about helping clients make smart financial choices, you also need to be able to help them make good life decisions. Being a great financial planner is means more than knowing about asset allocation and financial planning. We need more skills than we have been taught in CFP courses or at our firms. On this episode of The Agile Financial Planner, author, Standard Deviations Podcast host, and behavioral finance expert, Dr. Dan Crosby joins me to discuss how we can help our clients make smart life decisions as well as good financial choices. If you want to be a good financial planner you’re going to need more tools in your toolbox than just the CFP curriculum. Listen to this episode to hear Dr. Dan Crosby’s advice on how to help your clients make better decisions. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:32] Clients want the whole WHAM
  • [4:40] How to help clients make better decisions
  • [8:15] How do you give advice to people when you don’t even feel like you have made it yet yourself
  • [14:15] It is important to know yourself
  • [18:20] People will come up with the right decisions when given the right information
  • [22:51] Connection occurs through vulnerability and shared values

How do we help our clients make smart financial choices and smart life decisions as well?

If we want to be an integral part of our clients’ lives we need to solidify our value to them. Being a good financial planner means that you’ll have to help your clients not only make smart financial choices but smart life decisions as well. You’re not just there to help them make decisions about asset allocation and retirement goals. You’re there to help them with little everyday decisions, like whether to pay off the mortgage or how to invest that dollar. There is an endless amount of decision making possibilities. All of which deal with issues outside what you have been taught in school or in any corporate training. That’s why you’ll need a framework to help guide you. 

Clients are looking for what I call the WHAM

WHAM is an acronym for a feedback loop that benefits clients. It creates momentum, confidence, accountability, and progress. WHAM stands for:

  • What am I supposed to do next?
  • How am I supposed to do that?
  • Accountability assistance to help them execute their actions
  • Momentum is created by a lot of small wins

You are your clients’ project manager. You can help them not only set but accomplish their goals, and you can be there to celebrate their wins with them. 

How to help clients make better decisions

Before you can help clients make better decisions you have to look at yourself. If you are expecting other people to change and telling someone else how to live their life you must first examine your own. We all have our own biases, what are yours? Do you get defensive when you hear feedback? The process of getting to know yourself is messy, nonlinear, and imperfect. Being introspective is challenging but it will help you become a better financial planner. 

How do you give advice to people when you don’t even feel like you have made it yet yourself?

If you are a young advisor you may be feeling a bit of imposter syndrome. You feel like an imposter because you are one. You haven’t had time yet to make the money that your clients have made. But that’s okay, it’s okay to be who you are. As long as you are continually trying to better yourself and do the best for your clients then you should feel no shame. 

Challenge yourself by putting yourself in new situations and being around different types of people. You’ll learn more about yourself when you put yourself into uncomfortable situations. Putting yourself around new people will make you aware of different types of mindsets. Dan Crosby has some great advice for learning to up your game as a financial advisor. So listen to this interview to help you continue to grow your practice.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Dr. Dan Crosby

Connect With Roger Whitney

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