Financial Psychology Assessments: Holding Up The Mirror

“My neighbor is driving me crazy. She always says she’s the most frugal person she knows, but she’s spending every dime on *&#$* at Target. It’s not frugal. It’s stupid.” A friend recently shared this sentiment with me, and it is an excellent example of the fact that some of us aren’t great at evaluating our own personal characteristics. Some of us lack self-awareness when it comes to specific attributes about ourselves. Frugality is …
While visiting Santa Cruz last year in August at the FPA Far West Roundup, I stepped into a surf shop on the wharf and saw a magic 8-ball for sale (I’m still not exactly certain what magic 8-balls and surfing have to do with each other). I hadn’t seen one of these things in quite some time, and it reminded me that, much like many of the other toys and games our children play with, …
We have an operating theory here at DataPoints that goes like this: portfolio returns are being commoditized for the vast majority of retail investors–either by robo-style services or index strategies, or both–and that this large swath of the population will be willing to pay less for the (likely illusory) promise of market-beating portfolio returns from their would-be financial advisors. This development will in turn put pressure on the financial services industry in general and …
Working with an advisor can add incrementally to your portfolio, according to Vanguard’s Advisor Alpha study. Half of the contribution is through behavioral guidance – helping clients make better decisions regardless of market decisions, guiding them to ignore the herds, and mentoring them to stick to a plan. These findings beg the question: if we added a framework to the guidance that advisors provide, would these benefits increase? To create a better mousetrap of understanding …
The focus on behaviors and their impact on financial success continues to grow in the media! We’re thrilled about the coverage of DataPoints’ research on wealth behaviors and financial success in Money magazine’s online and print editions this month.  We also partnered with Money to create a quick quiz to help you learn about your wealth behaviors. Our clients are using behavioral science in their practice to help clients’ improve their financial behaviors. Try it for yourself and see how you …

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