During a recent review of a prospective client’s results, the client mentioned how disappointed he was in his outcomes.  Several years ago he was on track to accomplish his goals, yet as we spoke, he wondered aloud if they were still attainable. He commented, “I am a very loyal person, and I really do not want to change advisors.” 

As I left the meeting, I felt it was clear that Mackey Advisors was a good fit for the prospect’s needs, but the prospect was not!

Advisor loyalty is understandable when the relationship between advisor and client works and produces results.  What is confounding is when the client sees clearly their needs are not being met, but as a result of loyalty or reluctance to change, they refuse to move on to another advisor who may yield better results.

As I was debriefing this appointment with my business coach, she asked me a great question, “So did you ask the prospect, Why did you get these results?”  My answer was no, I did not ask any further questions about the prior advisors.  Then a light bulb went on in my head.  I heard my mother saying, “Young ladies must have good manners, and it is never appropriate to discuss money with someone outside your immediate family!” 

My own money beliefs kept me from asking the obvious pointed question.  And it is the prospective client’s money beliefs that keep him stuck in an advisory relationship that is not living up to his expectations.

Money beliefs are subtle.  We think of ourselves as rational, logical human beings.  Yet anyone who has studied human behavior knows that it is our emotional brain that makes our “right now” decisions.  The emotional brain is our gut reaction, and does not have access to language.  Our analytical brain, which includes our language, then makes up the analytical reason to support the emotional brain decision.

The absence of language in our emotional brain gives us the false sense that we are acting logically and rationally when really the reverse is true. We are acting out of an old emotional pattern and then creating reasons to support our decisions.

The good news is money beliefs can be changed.  The first step is to observe them and really understand who is running the show.  The second step is to learn to take a breath, pause, and make a new choice when faced with a decision.  Like all habits, changing your core money beliefs takes time, practice and patience. 

So my challenge to myself is to learn to take a breath, pause and ask the question, “So why did you get these results?”  Perhaps followed by, “What is your greatest fear about changing financial advisors?”