So what is your Money Type? (I am a Magician first but, under duress, am influenced by the Innocent) Were you surprised about what you discovered?
Armed with the awareness of your Money Type, you have the advantage of to be in focused, active dialogue with any potential conflicts of interest your own money “ghosts” (what Deborah Price calls our mythology) may be shouting over you as you advise your clients.
Regardless of whatever mythologies are influencing us, our goal as financial advisors is to cultivate our Magician. Price says:
The Magician is the ideal money type. Using a new and ever-changing set of dynamics both in the material world and in the world of the Spirit, Magicians know how to transform and manifest their own financial reality. At our best, when we are willing to claim our own power, we are all Magicians. The archetype that is active in your life now is the place you need to grow from. By understanding your own personal mythology and the history behind your current money type, you will become conscious of patterns and behavior that are preventing you from having the relationship with money you desire. …The Magician is armed with the knowledge of the past, has made peace with his personal history, and understands that his source of power exists within in his ability to see and live the truth of who he is. …Magicians embrace the inner life as the place of spiritual wealth and the outer life as the expression of [that] enlightenment in the material world. They are infinitely connected.
Last month’s Colorado Financial Planning Symposium provided a trove of insights to move us toward becoming Magicians. Following are a few key takeaways to help foster growth into your Magicianship.
Growth in self-awareness will allow us to “sharpen the saw” of being excellent financial planners. The Money Type Quiz is one of many tools available to financial advisors. Mikelann Valterra also shared key insights into what moves us to make the decisions we do.
Our brain chemistry may shape our behaviors more than we realize! The most recent neuroeconomic studies have proven that pleasure of all kinds drives our real buying/money behaviors. Retailers understand this and seek to flood all our sense with pleasure through sights, sounds, smells and taste; they know the effects of these pleasurable experiences often subconsciously encourage to buy more than we had planned. Consider the Costco or Sam’s Club experience of sampling edibles and then deviating from the shopping list.
Our childhood experiences likewise shape our money relationship responses depending on the degree to which we experienced:
- being loved/validated thereby developing a strong sense of self-worth;
- receiving what we considered to be adequate attention; and
- developing a sense of security from having our needs met.
Mythologies as old as the story of the Fall of Mankind in Genesis 2-3 point to our longing for love, validation and security. These deep archetypal patterns within each of us shape our feelings and decisions about how we relate to and use money to meet our needs for love, validation and security. (See also the Karen McCall Financial Recovery Institute‘s Personal Autobiography tool).
Be Your True Self
Josh Brown, The Reformed Broker, encourages planners to ask ourselves these two key questions:
Can I still sleep well at night with whatever the potential outcomes of this assumption?
Am I comfortable explaining whatever results happen to my particular clients?
Your portfolio-modeling assumptions are as individual as the model you pick, based on your experiences and the particular clients you have. Beware of the temptation to switch “horses” every year depending on the current hot approach.
A few of the common investment assumptions that fade in and out of favor in recent years include
- The wisdom of technical analysis
- Superior market timing “techniques”
- Alternative investments to “juice” returns
- Value-oriented buy-and-hold strategies
It’s too easy to merely follow hot trends–especially when it’s the conversation du jour of the circles we travel in. Or, worse yet, forget that what works for one advisor’s client base may not play well with another’s.
Let Your True Self Guide Your “Rational Self”
Carl Richards (see also The Behavior Gap, p. 56ff) says it’s easy to want to be like somebody else or believe that we ought to have portfolio like them. Good luck trying to be like Warren Buffett. There’s only one of him—and how many of us really like Cherry Coke anyway? His decisions are shaped by his tutelage under the great value-investment guru Benjamin Graham. Buffett is able to acquire the companies he does at a value price because people want him to buy them. He makes decisions based on what would be good for his shareholders. So, to attempt to emulate him is not only impossible, but undesirable. To do so is not only truly irrational, but a violation of your true, unique self. Your judgment as a financial advisor is shaped by your unique experiences, training, and insight. You need to play your game when you allow that “fingerprint” to guide your recommendations for your clients.
Consider and share: What insights or experiences have been most helpful for your clients?
Do you find that self-awareness or some external finding has been most helpful?