How feelings can get in the way of financial success

One of the assumptions made by traditional financial planning is that a client makes rational decisions.  Advisers are educated to expect that people will arrive at the “fact-finding” meeting with all their financial information at the ready along with a clearly defined list of goals that they want to achieve.

I can honestly say, that in my experience, working with new clients almost never happens in such an over-simplified, vanilla, just follow the process kind of way.

The truth is that life is messy.  People have baggage, biases and defences.  They don’t know what they don’t know and aren’t really sure what to ask for.  They need help, but can’t hand over control, they want it all sorted out but are too ashamed to reveal the extent of the confusion, they want to plan for the future but are afraid of being told that they can’t afford one.

The delivery of financial advice has to evolve quickly.  Advisers who still want to be practicing in 10 years time are realising that it is no longer good enough to just meet a client’s apparent need for a financial product.  A computer algorithm can do that.  What is needed is a deeper understanding of how people think and behave around their money.

I have become fascinated by how people react to the topic of personal finance.  I see it when I tell someone for the first time what I do for a living.  In that brief moment there can be a flicker of acknowledgement, satisfaction or humour.  Sometimes there can be a momentary startle as a deep primal fear about survival is momentarily aroused, or maybe it is just a flash of regret about the past.

I am starting to ask questions around biases, beliefs and blocks in my conversations with clients.  I now understand that overcoming some of these things may be essential for them to actually get the best value from my advice.  I know that the most satisfaction comes from improving their quality of life emotionally as well as financially.

Clients who are comfortable with how they feel about their situation, have a plan and are bought into what and why they are doing are happier and more successful.


If you would like to have a chat about changing how you feel about your money, you can contact me here


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© Summation Strategies 2018.

Please note that all information provided is of a general nature and does not take into account your current financial situation, needs or objectives.  Before acting on any of the information you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  We recommend those seeking insurance or making an investment obtain financial advice specific to their situation and consider the Product Disclosure Statement prior to making any financial investment or insurance decision.


How feelings can get in the way of financial success
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2 thoughts on “How feelings can get in the way of financial success

  • July 18, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Love your focus on beliefs and blocks Anne … this is often where people get ‘stuck’.

    • July 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Thanks Frances, yes, often our biggest barriers to success are our preconceptions.


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