What Is The Difference Between Financial Psychology and Behavioral Finance?

Financial services as an industry is moving at warp speed to embrace psychology. The trick is that we have a definition problem when describing the field that encompasses the mind, behavior, and money. If you look at the media coverage of finance and psychology, most content focuses on cognitive errors in decision-making related to investments. In other words, most of the media and most financial services concentrate on behavioral finance. However, this focus is …
Individual personality traits can (and do) impact whether a client achieves financial goals. Behavioral assessments can help uncover client personality, values, attitudes, and beliefs. In turn, you can use this information to help provide the client with personalized guidance, education, coaching, or nudging to help them follow the financial plan and otherwise achieve goals. Below, we will discuss best practices in implementing behavioral assessments in a financial planning client workflow. Let’s start with a …
In his “Intelligent Investor” column in the September 7, 2019 print edition of the Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig wrote about an idea that we’ve thought about a good deal in the recent past: the fact that not all risk tolerance assessments are created equal. In the piece, Mr. Zweig—himself an accomplished and noted author regarding topics related to the intersection of money and our brains—takes specific aim at what some have referred to …
Our data consistently tells us that in the arena of personal-finance outcomes, behaviors matter. They matter a lot. So we thought it was time to try and quantify—from a dollars and net-worth perspective—exactly how much is “a lot.” We’ll consider savings rate as a critical behavior. We have talked here before about the difference in savings rates between “high-potential” and “low-potential” individuals, as measured by scores on the DataPoints Building Wealth assessment. As a quick …
In pop psychology and social media, there seems to be more interest in pop personality than in financial behaviors when it comes to talking about the things that will have the greatest impact on how successful we are at accumulating wealth. Who doesn’t love a one-question quiz that asks you about your favorite color and then gives you a report telling you you’re a terrible investor because you like magenta? Tests like the Myers-Briggs …

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