The Paradox of Financial Education: How Too Much Knowledge Can Cost You Clients

The Paradox of Financial Education - How Too Much Knowledge Can Cost You Clients

Financial advisors constantly walk a tightrope between empowering clients and overwhelming them. While financial literacy is crucial for informed decision-making, overeducating prospects and clients can backfire, resulting in the loss of an account. This phenomenon can be better understood by examining the psychology of financial decision-making and the delicate advisor-client relationship.

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Reasons Clients Need a Financial Advisor – Overcoming the Do-It-Yourself Objection

Reasons Clients Need a Financial Advisor – Overcoming the Do-It-Yourself Objection

We’ve all encountered them: The prospect or client who wants to go it alone. They want to manage their own portfolio.

Well, here’s one approach you can use:

First, ask the question, “Can I share something with you?” (I like this phrase because it’s non-confrontational. It doesn’t activate the prospect’s ego, leading to an argument you can’t win. It neutralizes it.

Then you can show them the latest DALBAR study.

It doesn’t matter much what year you use. The results for individual DIY investors are almost always dismal: According to the 2019 DALBAR Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior, the typical do-it-yourselfer achieved an annual real return of just 1.71%.

Compared with the S&P 500, do-it-yourself investors lagged the S&P 500 by huge margins:

• 4.35 percentage points, annualized, over five years;
• 3.46 percentage points, annualized, over 10 years;

The reason: Bad market timing decisions. People pile into the market at the wrong times, and then they panic and sell at the wrong times.

Why? Because people are irrational, and are hardwired to make sub-optimal decisions.

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Why Your Clients and Prospects Need You

Don Connelly audio post - golf

Let’s talk some more about Mr. and Mrs. Client and why they need to invest now and with you. The whole discussion of commissions and fees is not about the question ‘what your commission is’; it’s ‘why should I pay a commission? Do I need to pay a commission or a fee when I can do this on my own? Why should I have a financial advisor?’

So when somebody says “What are your commissions? What are your fees?” I’d say “Let’s discuss the real question here, which is: do you need an advisor?”

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