Behavioral Finance

donald trump

Trump Trauma, the Only Conversation in Town

Whether you are talking to your financial advisor, doctor, therapist, friend, partner or in line at the supermarket, somewhere the conversation will turn to President Trump.

Coping with significant change is difficult for most people. Then add a sense of disappointment in outcomes, and people feel unsettled.

When organizations make changes, the conversation around the coffee machine focuses on “What’s going on?”, “Are our jobs safe?”, And so on. We’ve all experienced this in some form or other. It’s somewhat different when there is a change of country leadership, the questions tend to be broader, “What’s going to happen to my investments?”, “Are we being led by a safe pair of hands?”, and so much more.

For most people change is never comfortable. It is, even more, trying to cope with if the change feels traumatic. Understanding our response to change is the first step to managing it. Everyone responds differently. Regardless of whether the change is in relationships, work environment or the Whitehouse, fear of the unknown can trap and even isolate us. We’re usually scared of change because were afraid of the unknown.

Soumya Karlamangla writing for the LA Times records that therapists are having a hard time talking to their patients when presented with concerns about Trump. At the most recent board meeting of the L.A. County Psychological Assn., therapists also discussed how to talk about Trump, especially with patients whose political beliefs might differ from their own. It turned into an hour long discussion that Hillary Goldsher, a therapist on the board, described as emotional, challenging, and difficult.

Thomas Coyle writing for the Financial Advisor IQ says in his article titled Talking to Clients about Trump, “for many financial advisors, U.S. President Donald Trump is a necessary topic of conversation with clients. It’s not that all FAs are especially eager to share their opinions of the White Houses latest tenant. Rather, advisors tell us, Trump is difficult to avoid in the context of long-term financial planning. They say the scope of his proposals, from renegotiating trade deals – to pushing for renewed infrastructure and reducing taxes – stands to impact portfolios whether these initiatives succeed, fail, or fizzle out.”

The US Presidential election is now over, Donald Trump won. Some will be excited about the outcome, others will be apprehensive. Whether we like it or not, it is what it is, and the question now is how to roll with the conversations taking place around us?

We all handle change in different ways. If we knew in advance how we are likely to react, we would navigate them much more effectively.

Those that embrace change will be excited, perhaps because they saw something of themselves in Donald Trump. They want to speak up and be provocative. Trump champions that for them. They want to throw society up in the air in the hopes that when it lands it will look different, be more caring, be fairer, be open to taking risks to achieve a better life for everyone. Trump champions that for them. Others will be having conversations about opportunities, taking risks, and becoming a great country again; their conversations will be about being a part of something different and unpredictable.

And how exciting to have someone who’s controversial? Speaks their mind? And Tweets!

But many people will be alarmed, disappointed, and maybe even fearful of a personality that seems larger than life. Some will be significantly concerned to seek therapy to talk about their fears; they may rush to their financial advisors to offload stock. They will find Trump’s outspokenness unsettling; they will be alarmed at the proposed speed of change.

Donald Trump is not the first to be controversial and certainly won’t be the last. President Theodore Roosevelt (in office 1901-1909) said that his office gave him a “bully pulpit” a powerful platform that lets him draw attention to key issues.

People who seek therapy and panic about their investments?are facing personal challenges for sure. This post-election distress is not to be laughed at. But for a while, these like-minded disappointed voters will group together and feed each other’s distress. But eventually, as is the way with human nature, they will begin to see the good stuff that impacts their lives, and the pendulum will begin to swing to a more balanced position.

Here are some pointers to managing a conversation about President Trump either with clients or anyone else who raises the conversation.

  • President Trump can cause a change in behaviors.
  • He has the ability to persuade and convince others.
  • He will stimulate conversation based on his vision.
  • He will set ambitious goals based on the vision and carry others along on the journey.
  • He will look for the quickest route to deliver success, and this might bring resistance from those whose decision making is more contemplative.
  • He will be prepared to take risks to achieve goals quickly and will understand, sometimes this will mean losses.

Yes, he can be emotional and impulsive and make decisions too quickly to get into an opportunity. Yes, he may act too early not recognizing a temporary downturn or slowdown is part of the growth journey; but President Trump needs to get to the bottom line quickly. Too much reliance on detail and the small print will frustrate him. However, learning how to pay attention to detail will be valuable to ensuring his enthusiasm is reigned in and that his spontaneity does not lead him into making poor choices.

He has the ability to draw people together, and can quickly harness appropriate skills and talents to implement plans and ideas. President Trump is able to channel diverse skill sets into delivering successful outcomes. As a multi-tasker, he needs to be presented with a range of opportunities to hold his attention. He needs information flow to be in a summary format with the bottom line clearly demonstrated.

We are all different, that’s what makes the world so fascinating. Personality is such an interesting topic. The way we communicate with each other, the way we deal with challenges (such as post-election trauma); our ability to take a risk; how we communicate with each other; how we manage our behaviors, all make for better conversations.

The DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process offers deep, accurate, highly validated insight into why we react the way we do in given environments. It delivers understanding on how to manage behavior gaps. As the world’s only all-in-one cloud-based behavioral analytics platform it reveals how to know, engage and grow every individual using all dimensions of a person’s personality traits.

I love what Jon Ten Haagen of Ten Haagen Financial Group in Huntington, N.Y., says in this quote, “my biggest Trump-related message to clients is turn off CNN and the talking heads because there is no interpreting what they are blabbing about. The man has not been in office for 100 days yet, he has a total of 1,459 days to accomplish what he wants to – or not.” Given the Trump administrations newness and the fact he’s a catalyst for controversy and pushback, Ten Haagen says, “clients should look at the economy and interest rates and consider what companies are doing and saying.”

Above all, Ten Haagen, who manages more than $30 million and is mostly paid with a trail, tells clients to look at the big picture and be diversified, advice he says holds true no matter who’s in the White House.

People tend to figure out what to do to feel secure again, financially, physically or psychologically. Understanding why we react or respond in the way we do is important and worth finding out more about.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email, or visit DNA Behavior.

Your kinds don't want your money

Your Kids Don’t Want Your Money!

UHNW global wealth is expected to reach $46.2 trillion US by 2020.

As many of these UHNW individuals reach their golden years there will be family conversations taking place that focus on the next generation and who will inherit what. Or will there be?

Rarely do we hear about or read articles that focus on wealth transfer conversations through the lens of the children. More often it’s the parent’s perspective; they make decisions for their children believing that they are setting them up for success. However, in many cases, the reading of the will is the first the kids hear of the parent’s plans.

Conversely, families that talk openly about money and have built a safe environment around the dinner table to discuss wealth, will have created a family dynamic within which succession planning is just one of many conversations.

Regardless the size of the family wealth, talking about dying, wills and inheritance within families is an emotional subject. Some family members cope well, others not so much. We all respond differently when under pressure, especially when emotions and close personal relationships are part of the scenario.

Families that have not made these topics part of normal family life will have a greater problem when estate planning becomes imminent. There will have been no discussion about preserving the inheritance. No consideration for the individual financial personalities of the inheritors. Families familiar with transferring generational wealth will have focused on training the next generation, listened to their whats and needs, and prepared each recipient based on their individual financial personality.

In the 2011 US Trust Research, their findings show that 84% of wealthy parents believed their children would benefit from meetings with financial advisors, but 59% had never even introduced their children to the advisors managing their assets. More than half had not fully disclosed their wealth to their children because they had not thought to do so.

By not communicating with their children:

  1. 60% of transitions failed due to a breakdown in communication and trust in the family unit
  2. 25% of failures in family wealth transfer were caused by inadequately prepared heirs
  3. 30% of family businesses survived to the 2nd generation and just 4% survived to the 3rd generation. Source: Independent Williams and Preisser Research

When discussing money and inheritance have not been part of normal family life, and heads of families believe they should be the main decision makers. The beneficiaries are left with no input. Many parents become overprotective of the family wealth, mainly because they read such statistics as the 70% failure rate when transferring family wealth from one generation to another, and the resulting loss of control of assets through mismanagement and poor investments.

The transition of wealth is very complex and in some cases, and can reveal ugly behavior. Family members are all different, so are their attitudes about money. No longer are the kids isolated from what is happening in the world; they understand far more than parents often give them credit for. Healthy conversations about money and estate management ensure children won’t feel entitled to wealth, or become lazy and count only on inheritance.

When families speak freely about estate planning they can head off difficult situations, one being that the children don’t want the inheritance. Instead, they may:

  1. build a successful financial life for themselves and don’t need the family money.
  2. not want the family home as it would cost them a fortune to modernize it.
  3. not be interested in the family business as they are too busy running their own.
  4. be teaching values to their own children, requiring them to build wealth through their own hard work and diligent saving.

As lives become more mobile, some young people don’t want to be tied down to possessions that don’t fit in with a more disposable, digitized, transient lifestyle.

A good starting point is to uncover and understand each family member’s financial personality. DNA Behavior International offers a significant suite of tools to facilitate this discovery. Based on the outcomes, conversations are significantly more focused on the proper approach to address all involved about the transfer of wealth. These insights set the course for the formulation of the DNA Family Continuity Planning Vision. A process within which all opinions are valued in the family succession planning process and promote family harmony.

Beneficiaries have the right to know in advance what their financial future is likely to look like, as not everyone will be happy to receive an inheritance or be able to manage the responsibilities that come with it. Family dynamics, values, the amount of wealth to be distributed, and the maturity level and financial personality of heirs can vary dramatically from family to family. Better to know this up front so that plans can be made accordingly.

Rich dinner table conversations build sustainable relationships across generations, and it all begins with understanding one other’s financial personality.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email, or visit DNA Behavior.

Big Data1

Can Big Data Make Risk Tolerance Questionnaires Obsolete?

This week, we remember a seminal event in the history of artificial intelligence. It was the twentieth anniversary of world chess champion Garry Kasparov’s loss to IBMs Deep Blue supercomputer.

I was fortunate to be in attendance when Kasparov gave a keynote speech at the 2017 Envestnet Advisor Summit, where he spoke about his latest book, Deep Thinking. The book is the first detailed account from Kasparov of his battle with the IBM machine as well as his recommendation that we should be prepared to adjust our lives to future advances in technology.

With every new encroachment of machines, the voices of panic and doubt are heard, and they are only getting louder today, Kasparov writes.

While the ability to play chess does not, in itself, make a computer as intelligent as a human, this milestone was just one in a long string of examples where a machine outperformed a human in a specific task. As more and more complex tasks are taken over by software, we should be looking ahead to the next breakthrough and considering the benefits as well as the potential drawbacks.

This started me thinking about how artificial intelligence combined with Big Data could improve wealth management. We have witnessed the automation of almost the entire end-to-end wealth management process, from proposal generation to new account opening, portfolio rebalancing, and performance reporting all the way through to billing.

But one key aspect has stubbornly remained a (mostly) manual process and highly dependent on human input: Risk tolerance questionnaires (RTQs).

The purpose of the RTQ is to create an accurate risk profile of the client, which becomes the primary factor in selecting their investments. Yet, the entire industry still forces clients to take what amounts to a multiple-choice pop quiz, one for which they have not studied but relies on their answers to build a portfolio that they may be invested in for decades.

Replacing RTQs has been on my mind for a while, and I have written about a number of reviews of different risk profiling software. Now seemed to be an excellent time to explore the idea of whether the concept the RTQ could, at some point, go the way of the Dodo.

The Sorry State of Risk Tolerance Questionnaires

My friend, Michael Kitces, wrote an aptly titled blog post, The Sorry State Of Risk Tolerance Questionnaires For Financial Advisors:risk tolerance questionnaire

the reality is that it’s difficult to measure the subjective aspects of risk tolerance itself, simply because it’s the representation of an abstract psychological trait in the first place. In other words, we can’t just objectively look into someone’s brain and figure out what their risk tolerance is. Instead, we have to ask questions, evaluate the responses, and try to figure out how clients feel about their willingness to take risky trade-offs, and how they perceive the risks around them.

Unfortunately, though, many risk tolerance questionnaires (RTQs) don’t actually do a very good job of helping to predict a client’s actual investment behavior during volatile markets, particularly when they ask about how the investor believes he/she would behave in the event of a significant financial loss. In part, this appears to be due to differences from one investor to the next as to what constitutes a risky and undesirable loss in the first place, which can be based on sometimes-arbitrary reference points.

Before we continue, let’s break out the three key components of the risk profile. I’m paraphrasing below from the Kitces article:

  • risk tolerance – the client’s willingness to take on risk
  • risk capacity – the client’s ability to endure a potential financial loss and still be able to achieve his/her goals
  • risk perception – the client’s understanding of how risky they think their investments are

There is a wide variety of risk profiling tools that all take varied approaches to the above components. Some focus primarily on risk tolerance, while others try to capture a combination of all three using different techniques. I’m going to skip all the details of the different techniques for assessing risk. Kitces does an excellent job of this in his article.

What we do know is that most risk tolerance questionnaires suffer from three problems:

  1. They are overly technical in nature;
  2. Response bias, which results in an investor responding differently when stressed;
  3. The difference between risk tolerance and risk capacity is not well-understood by clients or by many advisors, for that matter.

A 2012 study of risk tolerance questionnaires showed that many software products failed to accurately predict client behavior when the clients were under pressure.

What I would like to discuss is the possibility of automating the entire process and cutting the client out of the loop. Is this possible? If so, would it be recommended or would clients accept it? While some advisors and most of the software vendors are against it now, time and technology may soften their views.

To try and gather a range of opinions on this topic, I spoke with representatives from some of the leading providers of risk profiling software:

I was also able to speak with Thomas Oberlechner, Founder at FinPsy LLC, a consultancy specializing in behavioral research.

Can AI + Big Data Replace RTQs?

To restate my original question: Could artificial intelligence combined with big data provide a better understanding of an investor’s risk profile than a questionnaire?risk tolerance questionnaires

I’m thinking that companies like Yodlee, Quovo, etc. could provide access to an enormous quantity of very useful information about a prospective client. It could include the client’s entire investing history plus their personal finance history, including every transaction they ever made, and throw in social media, too. Could an algorithm be written to develop a personality profile for the client that would be a better representation of how they would deal with different market scenarios?

Let me begin the discussion with my favorite vendor response. This is from John Ndege of Pocket Risk:

We will have a manned mission to Mars before an algorithm replaces all risk profiling tools. Even with access to all the client data, it will take years (decades) to gain widespread trust and usage.

In response, a quote from Kasparov:

It’s remarkable how quickly we go from being skeptics to taking a new technology for granted. Given honest data, machines can make us into better decision makers.

How long did it take for us to switch from physical maps to GPS or to dump the Yellow Pages for Google? Not very long at all. Once we realize that a particular technological advance can perform a task faster, more accurately and/or with less effort, most people eventually accept it. Soon it becomes hard to remember what life was like without the technology. Anyone remember what it was like before smartphones were ubiquitous? (See How Risk Tolerance Software Is Disrupting Wealth Management)

Massie from Financial DNA agreed that technology cannot replace the questionnaire, but believes it can provide added value:

The right Big Data optimized with personality insights through an algorithm will provide a big leg up in the power and the ability to apply the behavioral insights across a whole data base of people. However, on its own it will not achieve the level of accuracy if a correctly structured pyschomterically designed questionnaire is used.

Can Humans Be Objective?

My original thought that an algorithm could do a better job at estimating someone’s risk profile was because of the extensive research that shows that humans are unable to answer financial questions objectively. Our innate biases always cloud our judgment.risk tolerance questionnaires

One of the challenges with RTQs is that they are heavily based on the individual’s personality, or perceived willingness to accept investment risk, explained Tolerisk’s Mark Friedenthal. [C]cognitive biases have been fairly well documented to suggest that a person’s recent experience (such as a positive or negative stock market or portfolio experience) will influence how they answer personality questions about taking risks, he noted.

In other words, Friedenthal believes there is no completely objective way to translate someone’s personality into a risk profile just by answering questions. This is why his software includes a client’s cash flows into the process.

As told by Kitces:

The situation is further complicated by the fact that when we take RTQs, we tend to answer the questions calmly and rationally, but when risky events occur, we may respond emotionally (literally using a different part of our brain). Known as the dual self or dual process theory, this disconnect between how we react to risky events in real time, and our (rational) expectation of how we will react, makes it challenging to simply ask consumers (in the hopes of getting a good answer) about their tolerance for taking future risks.

So, why not eliminate people from the process entirely? Why not go full machine?

Understanding The Data

Well, it may not be that easy to correlate the data with human intentions. Even if you have every financial transaction someone ever made, there is still ambiguity to deal with. How do you accurately translate transactions into an investor’s preferences risk tolerance questionnaires

As Aaron Klein of Riskalyze points out:

When you look at a log of trades, holdings or spending activity, are you looking at the client making their own decisions, or were those decisions executed by [an advisor] on behalf of a client? Does the client embrace that decision still, or do they regret it?
That’s the real problem, we see the answers to those questions are not evident in the records of transactions, and thus, it’s really difficult to ascribe risk tolerance to someone based on that data.

Even with the complexities of analyzing the data, there must still be a value to the data that can be mined by the right algorithm. Artificial intelligence has tremendous potential because of all the variables involved in determining risk capacity, Finmetrica’s Nunnally pointed out.

Nunnally continued:

It is very difficult to ask an investor how much risk they can afford to take in a questionnaire because most people don’t know. There are so many variables involved, including time horizon, and countless complexities that relate to future projections like investment returns, income over time, health concerns, etc. that it goes well beyond what the human mind can fully comprehend.

AI is able to crunch numbers and decipher patterns that can lead to investment optimization that far surpasses what humans are capable of.

The passage of time throughout the data set also needs to be taken into consideration. Some decisions to increase or decrease risk are prompted by changes in the expected time horizon of usage, Friedenthal noted.

While it is true that an investor’s decisions when he/she is 25 will be much different from those when they are 55, I think there still should be some way to adjust the results to compensate for this.

Computers Plus Humans = Something Better

Perhaps the answer is not computers alone, but a combination of human intelligence enhanced by machine intelligencerisk tolerance questionnaires

Soon after Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov, a new type of chess tournament called freestyle became popular. In freestyle events, teams compete using any combination of humans and computers. Kasparov observed that the teams of human plus machine dominated even the strongest computers.

This is echoed by Massie from Financial DNA:

The holy grail of behavioral insight is aligning and blending demographic and financial related big data (the external view of the client) and psychometrically measured personality traits (the internal view of the client), and then deploying tools to utilize the blended information to guide the planning process.

Massie believes that firms could leverage big data to give advisors a head start on knowing the client during the prospect phase. But he warns against building the planning process solely on data:

The advisor/firm will never know the complete picture until they have the client complete a psychometrically designed assessment, which if structured correctly will provide a strong insight to client emotions. Two clients can have similar Big Data attributes but a very different personality, which means they need to be communicated with differently and offered different solutions to meet different risk profiles and suitability requirements.

(See 3 Ways Personality Testing Crushes Risk Tolerance Questionnaires)

Thomas Oberlechner from FinPsy LLC also insisted that computer learning and expansive databases must be combined with specialized questionnaires in order to be effective at determining an investor’s?underlying behavioral traits and tendencies:

These are two main pathways to determine behavioral characteristics, both of individuals and of companies. You can collect new information by asking directly (for example using surveys) and you can analyze existing expressions or symptoms of past behavior. These two layers of information, explicit and implicit, complement each other. Moreover, possible differences between the two are actually important in understanding risk tendencies and dispositions more fully.

Of course Big Data analysis and AI can help determine behavioral characteristics and preferences. But you need to be able to integrate statistical applications with behavioral science expertise (personality, individual differences, motivation and cognition) to generate the most meaningful insight.

I’m not surprised that firms whose main product or service is built around questionnaires, either behavioral, psychometric or otherwise, are insisting that machines cannot replace them, but must be used in conjunction with them.

Friedenthal offered an alternative option:

Perhaps the better usage of [big] data might be in objectively analyzing savings and spending patterns. Consider that a thoughtful analysis of risk tolerance includes not only a measurement of personality (willingness to accept risk) but also the expected chronology of cash-flows (ability to take risk). Individuals often represent expected cash-flows based on memory and not a data driven account of their actual inflows and outflows. These imperfections may contribute to inaccurate analysis of their ability to take risk, which translates to a sub-optimal risk directive.

If your risk profiling process includes asking the client about their cash flows, then having direct access to their investment and bank accounts would provide you with much more accurate data than the person could provide from memory.

The Future is Now

To demonstrate that this concept is not as far in the future as some people think, Massie noted that his firm has already developed some algorithms for calculating an investor’s risk tolerance and risk capacity based on their financial history. They have even performed some analysis on the accuracy of the results, as Massie reported:

Big Data can predict [risk tolerance] to around a 30% level if the right Big Data attributes are used, although this can be increased to up to 60% if there is some data base optimization using behavioral insights. However, adding a correctly structured RTQ to the mix will lift the accuracy to 80%+

This is exciting news! No word on whether Massie’s firm is planning to deploy these new algorithms or if they are just an experiment. But one thing is clear, if they are released, they will be as a compliment to questionnaires, not a replacement for them.

Massie stated:

Overall, we do not think that RTQs should be eliminated as they reflect the internal view of the investor’s risk tolerance. Big Data (if accurate) will reflect the external view and particularly [the investor's] financial capacity. So, the RTQ and Big Data are designed to measure different risk profile elements. If both are used in tandem it would be a lot more helpful than if only one or the other were done.

Finmetrica’s Nunnally agrees that RTQs should stay:

At this point in the evolution of AI, an algorithm may be able to analyze transactional data to develop a profile relative to an investor’s personal financial history, but it cannot truly understand the emotional and psychological aspects that are uncovered through the course of a conversation (between the advisor and client]. In that regard, risk tolerance assessment is best served through a RTQ that is centered on human interaction.

A New Age of Human and Computer Cooperation

This is the point of the article where I usually include some generic statements about not being able to know what the future holds or if things continue this way we might see a major change, but then again it’s possible that everything will remain the same.

Not this time.

I’m going to predict that we will see some form of Big Data analytics included in risk profiling software becoming mainstream within the next 3-5 years. It will be a blending of questionnaires, data analysis and advisor insight to create a risk profile.

Even though only Financial DNA said they actually had something ready, all of the other vendors said that they were doing research into this area. If Financial DNA’s product starts to take off and becomes a reason that firms switch from competing products, we will quickly see a wave of similar product announcements.

I will leave you with this quote from Michael Kitces, the greatest opportunity of improving risk tolerance questionnaires and overall risk profiling may be the way it helps financial advisors to better manage ongoing client relationships.

All of this software should be focused on helping the advisor to improve the overall client experience. Isn’t that what it is all about?

BD vs QA

Could Big Data Replace Risk Tolerance Questionnaires?

The holy grail of behavioral insight is aligning and blending demographic and financial related big data (the external view of the client) and psychometrically measured personality traits (the internal view of the client), and then deploying tools to utilize the blended information to guide the planning process. Our view is that by using Big Data a firm can get a quick leg up in knowing the client to start the prospecting phase. However, from a behavioral perspective, the whole planning process should not be exclusively built on Big Data.

The advisor/firm will never know the complete picture until they have the client complete a psychometrically designed assessment, which if structured correctly, will provide strong insights into client emotions and decision-making under pressure. Two clients can have similar Big Data attributes but very different personalities. On the surface, their activities may mimic one another, but in reality, they’ll need to be communicated with differently and offered solutions from a different perspective to address differing risk profiles and suitability requirements.

A key point in approaching the application of Big Data to Risk is to recognize there are ranges of distinct and separately measured elements which make up a person’s risk profile. There are 3 primary elements, with sub-elements.

  1. The Risk Need – the risk required to achieve goals; This is really the domain of financial planning software, calculators etc not Big Data or RTQs/DNA
  2. The Financial Capacity – the financial ability to endure the risks of portfolio losses; If enough of the right Big Data attributes are accurately gathered then the Financial Capacity can be calculated that way to a reasonable level. However, there can be flaws because people use entities, separate accounts and many other factors that may hide their financial position. But, nevertheless, there is good external data to build the financial capacity story.
  3. The Risk Tolerance (and Risk Propensity, Loss Aversion) – the emotional ability to take risks and live with losses. This is personality driven. The Big Data can predict this to around a 30% level if the right Big Data attributes are used, although this can be increased to up to 60% if there is some database optimization using behavioral insights. However, adding a correctly structured RTQ to the mix will lift the accuracy to 80%+, and Financial DNA will lift accuracy to 91%+

Overall, we do not think that RTQs should be eliminated as they reflect the internal view of the investor’s risk tolerance. Although, as we know, there is a wide gap in the quality of RTQs. And the less robust ones may not move the needle much in improving the quality of behavioral insights. Whereas, the Big Data (if accurate) will reflect the external view and particularly their financial capacity. So, the RTQ and Big Data are designed to measure different risk profile elements. If both are used in tandem it would be a lot more helpful than if only one or the other were done.

Also, from our perspective, there is more at stake than just the risk profile in using Big Data with personality insights, there is advisor-client communication, financial management behaviors, identifying rogue advisors due to financial pressure, and many more elements. These are all areas in which we’ve developed algorithms for and more.

First Family blog 1

The First Family in Business: Is the Nation in Safe Hands? (pt 2)

In Part 1 of this series, we established that as a couple the President and the First Lady have undoubtedly understood how to modify their natural behavior and communication style to lead the family, work together and carry the heavy responsibility of the Presidency for the next 4 or more years.

But what of the wider family, some of whom will be actively involved in working with the President and First Lady and continuing to run the Trump Empire? What of their aspirations? How has becoming a member of the First Family of the United States altered their approach to family, life, and business?

In Part 2 we will consider the family dynamics in relation to their building a sound working relationship together. This family is unique in that it needs to have a very stable EQ. Much of what they do is not only covered by legislation, in other words, it’s Dad who is the president, not them! They are separated in terms of state and their family business. How they relate and interact with one another, remembering that every family has its own unique dynamics, will be dependent on each knowing how to manage their emotional intelligence.

This First Family will be no different to many others; they will share bonds, have a history and like most families will have tensions, disconnects, but always follow the same old adage blood is thicker than water. Like any group of people the core dynamics, that is, values, biases, culture, education, experiences, will all be part of the family dynamic.

First Family blog 2.1

Using their two strongest behavioral factors the following provides short insights into the individuals that form the Trump Family:

President Donald Trump (Influencer) He is spontaneous and moves/thinks at a fast pace. The President has a unique blend of confidence, initiative, and people skills. He will typically be able to see the larger vision and then use his superior communication skills to influence others towards accomplishing it. He will wholeheartedly invest time and effort into developing others and their personal performance towards goals, particularly strategies that he sees significant potential in.

First Lady Melania Trump (Facilitator) She is reserved and patient, much needed natural behaviors to be able to oversee the dynamics of this family and bring calmness to it. She will combine the ability to guide the family with feelings yet with the determination to reach goals and accomplish tasks. Melania’s blend of behavioral strengths makes her well suited for situations where setting the agenda and recognizing the needs of other people are required. Further, consistency, reliability, and persistence are important. She will flourish in an environment where there is plenty of stability, group decision-making is needed, and where she is recognized for the contribution, she will undoubtedly make.

Ivanka Trump (Reflective Thinker), is structured and plans well, she is analytical, thorough, and philosophical in her search for meaning, truth, and purpose in all she does. Ivanka is particularly adept at drawing incisive conclusions from data and research. Her accuracy and precision are valuable in any group setting, and she will bring objectivity to decision-making processes. Typically, she will prefer to follow guidelines in completing tasks and will expect co-operation to be given.

Donald Trump Jr (Influencer), like his father, he is spontaneous however, he takes measured risks. He has a unique blend of confidence, initiative, and people skills. Furthermore, his father will first see the larger vision, and then use his superior communication skills to influence others towards accomplishing it. Donald Jr. will instead wholeheartedly invest time and effort into developing others and their personal performance towards goals, particularly strategies that he sees significant potential in.

Eric Trump (Adapter), is somewhat unique in that she, like all adapters, has the unusual ability to be able to adapt to the needs of their environment, and displaying whatever behaviors are necessary for success. Eric is very versatile and will generally partner and team well with others. He can generally perform well many tasks relating to achieving his goals and managing his performance and operate most effectively when he has very clearly defined expectations and boundaries.

Tiffany Ariana Trump (Engager) She will enjoy meeting new people, new situations, and new environments and will be a promoter. Tiffany will use her people skills to build relationships and interact with an ever-widening circle of contacts. She enjoys using their verbal skills and will be very outgoing. Tiffany will approach situations enthusiastically, especially when she is passionate about the outcomes, and enjoy new opportunities, and starting (rather than finishing) new projects and goals.

A Summary of the Family’s Behavioral Strengths and Struggles. Knowing these will have definitely helped the family to be successful in business, and to manage the huge transition to being the First Family.

First Family blog 2.2

As Family unit regardless of whether they are building the business or representing the Nation, their approach to finances is stable. They don’t squander money or make unwise business decisions that could bring the empire down. This approach is likely to be the approach the President takes as he oversees the US$.

First Family blog 2.3

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email, or visit DNA Behavior.

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The Trumps at Home – Miscommunication in America’s First Family? (pt 1)

Not since 1961 has there been such a glamorous, tight-knit celebrity First Family in the Whitehouse as the Trump family. Headed up by President Donald Trump this family is well used to public scrutiny and having the spotlight turned on their every waking move.

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It would foolish to believe that this noisy, fun loving, dynasty wouldn’t have robust dinner table discussions – even more so now that the head of the house is the President of the United States.

But what about the apparently reticent Flotus, that is, Melania Trump? What could be her behavioral and communication style? Well – dumb she is not – she speaks five languages which could certainly be useful at state dinners. Her background is ordinary – raised in Yugoslavia not as part of high society in a Trump-like tower, but in a concrete apartment block tower.

Married to the most influential leader in the free world, Melania Trump would need to be a special kind of woman to manage or influence her President husband and this blended family. Trumps Personality (Influencer DNA Behavioral Style) is well balanced by that of his wife’s personality (Facilitator DNA Behavioral Style). Melania Trump will be the glue to this high-powered, influential family.

The Trump family, through understanding their Natural Behavior and Personality, has obtained insights into how to navigate human differences and communication styles to build a cohesive family existence. They get each other. They understand where and when to modify their behavior in certain situations based on experiences, education, and values.

Work-Life balance is important to this family. President Trump uses a family residence rather than Camp David to relax. He refers to Mar-a-Lago as his Southern White House. A further example of work-life balance is their decision for the First Lady to remain in New York until the end of their young son Barons school year. They clearly believe in the age old adage a family that plays together, stays together.

Summary of the Family Strengths and Struggles:

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The Trumps are no different to other blended families. They will have heated and robust discussions. This is typical family dynamics and isn’t just because they are the Trumps/First family.

Not everyone in families is around the Thanksgiving table. There will always be black sheep or disenfranchised member – it’s called family. It is not unreasonable to assume there are personality challenges. There will always be blind spots in families. How we see each other depends very much on how we see ourselves. As parents, even in powerful, yet blended families such as the Trumps, we have different perspectives of our children because that is all that we can see or not see. The goal is to get more clarity. Understanding how each member communicates and how they wish to be communicated with can be a significant first step to delivering not just harmony, but where a family also works together, significant business success.

With reliability factor of 91% and having been completed by millions of people – taking the DNA Behavior journey helps families to manage the information gap. Many families fail because they don’t understand how to live harmoniously when there are different personalities and communication styles to be navigated.

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To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email, or visit DNA Behavior.