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?”