Unlocking the Power of DNA Behavior

Over the past few months, Hugh Massie sat down with some of the most influential consultants and entrepreneurs in the financial and behavioral space. What do they all have in common? They’ve been exposed to DNA behavioral’s insights and unlocked its power to move their businesses forward.

When Kenyatta Turner from Freedom Empire Consulting took the Business DNA assessment a few years ago, she had already been on the growth and personal development path. The DNA Behavior assessment brought her not only clarity but the validation that it was time to step away from a career path that no longer served her long-term goals and embrace her true passion.

When Kim Curtis from The Wealth Legacy Institute and Hugh first met, she was seeking to have deeper and more meaningful relationships with her clients, beyond the money factor. So when she was introduced to the DNA Behavior tool, she realized exactly what she was missing. She first took the assessment herself to understand her particular skill sets, then implemented it in her business and her relationships with her clients.

Through her years of experience, Robyn Clay from Linktank realized that being a technology integration expert is similar to being an interpreter. Your role is to facilitate the use of technology by the team. With the support for DNA Behavior’s insight, her competitive advantage has been her strategic approach in connecting people and technology.

The power of DNA is incontestably real. It gives you and your team the strategic advantage you need to move your business forward. If you’re ready to stop the guessing game and leverage our 500+ insights, take our assessment today and let’s uncover your behavioral style.

Identity Conversation with Hugh – Financial Preparedness

It’s not every day that you come across a platform dedicated to educating consumers and advocating for financial preparedness. In this Identity interview, Hugh sits down with Tony Steuer, Chief Content and Financial Education Officer of Paperwork.

Tony Steuer is based in California. He is passionate about financial literacy and educating consumers on best financial practices.

Tony started his career in the insurance industry and was exposed to the ins and outs of the financial space in the United States. He realized that consumers were not fully educated on the financial services they were buying or aware of the right questions to ask.

While doing litigation consulting for wealth management firms, he realized that most of those issues consumers face have more to do with lack of education than malice. Granted there are some ill-intentioned individuals out there taking advantage of their clients, but not only does the lack of financial literacy not help, it actually creates a gap between both parties

Tony retired from being a consultant and has been dedicating his time to financial education and consumer advocacy with Paperwork. His goal is for consumers to feel empowered to make financial decisions that serve their long-term goals.

Click below to watch the full interview.

The Behavior & Money Insights Company – An Origin Story

Today, DNA Behavior is known for its groundbreaking approach in managing client-advisor relationships. Through its 500+ insights, companies have succeeded in reshaping the way they deliver wealth management services. However, have you ever wondered how it all started? 

Chairman & Founder Hugh Massie recently sat down with Nikki Evans, our Chief Learning Officer to discuss the journey that led him to create the Behavior & Money Insights Company.  

A Reformed Accountant Turned Entrepreneur

After graduating from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia with an Accountancy and Economics degree, Hugh took a position in a large accounting firm so that he could get the best education and training possible. This was a path he never questioned up until that moment because everyone around him was doing the same. 

In the 10 years he spent working with Arthur Anderson as a Chartered Accountant, he gained experience in auditing and as a tax advisor covering a range of fields of expertise. The one thing that really impacted his view on the world was the opportunity he got to work in South East Asia for 4 years, in Singapore, and Thailand. As Hugh describes it “I think something happened to me there that was important”. 

Anyone who’s ever experienced working in a foreign country can attest that cultural shock can sometimes be challenging at first, but it inevitably shapes your personality and changes you in many ways. In Hugh’s case, working in the fast growing economies of Asia provided him with a lot of operating freedom in a less structured environment. This allowed his entrepreneurial thinking that already existed to start being more fully liberated. 

A Feeling of Lack of Purpose Led to DNA Behavior

The most asked question any CEO gets is “How did you start the company?”. Hugh is no exception. Over the years, he’s been asked time and time again how it all started and how he decided to build a behavior and money insights company. People usually expect an inspiring answer, details on the spark of genius that ignited this entrepreneurial journey.
For Hugh, it actually started with a career burnout: “Somewhere I lost my passion”. Hugh continues: “I had the sense that I had to go on the street with nothing to go to and figure it out, because I’m not going to figure it out sitting in the accounting firm and I need to go and try things to find out what would work. Although, I was knew clients wanted a customized experience in how they were dealt with by their professional advisors”.

At the age of 30, Hugh was working as a wealth mentor. He was helping his clients with their financial affairs as well as teaching them about themselves. That’s when the idea dawned on him. “People have these behavioral flips – Their risk appetites are not what they would say it was, under pressure people make all these emotional decisions”. That realization right there was the transformational moment for Hugh, where he clearly saw what DNA Behavior would be about.

A Community Waiting to be Built

The Behavioral Finance world may have been limited during the time Hugh Founded DNA Behavior, but the response was absolutely overwhelming. “For the most part, I’ve met very positive people that are supportive of me, developed me, given me lessons, some good, some bad, some tough, that have enabled me to grow”. 

Today, many financial institutions have successfully implemented the DNA Behavior approach and consider it to be a substantial advantage. Providing a stellar client experience which is personalized is the ultimate goal for each advisor, so when you understand your clients on a deeper level, they feel heard, supported, and prioritized. The best part of it all is that Hugh was able to build a community of financial professionals who found a supportive environment to guide them through it all. This has become more than just a company, this is a life mission.

A Mission Greater Than Money

“Part of the identity journey is to ensure people don’t define themselves by how much money they have, they define themselves with something that is much deeper inside them. That is a gift. If that has happened to make them a lot of money then great, or, will they in the future? Fantastic.”

Ultimately, the goal is that people fulfill their potential and make whatever wealth that comes from that, and in the process live a life of meaning. 

Money is what makes the world go round, it is very important, but it’s got its place, and it’s got to be well managed. That is not just invested, that is emotionally managed as well. We are in a great position to take people on that pathway to find out who they are, what their real talents are, get them to live that journey, and then to manage themselves along that journey. And hopefully, build great relationships, not have a life of regret. That is so important. 
“My work is going to be in that zone for quite a long time, as a business leader, helping people find that identity. Really trailblazing it, being that champion. As part of helping people trailblaze their identity I will be their champion and they can see – here is someone who did it.

Care to Join Our Mission?

DNA Behavior has been a growing community for over 20 years. We pride ourselves in the impact we’ve had on many financial institutions and organizations. In the future, we will continue striving to help more advisors build long-lasting relationships with their clients. If you’re interested in giving it a try, start our free trial to Financial DNA and unlock the power of behavior.

Identity Conversation with Hugh – Behavioral Design Influencer

Whenever I think of a behavioral design influencer, my dear friend Deborah De Jong always comes to mind. With a passion for interior design, she took interest in human behavior early on in her career.

Deborah is a renowned interior designer, TV personality, business consultant, and the Founder and CEO of Emmanuel One Pty Ltd. We’ve known each other for 19 years, nearly since the start of my journey in human behavior.

Joining me from Sydney, Australia, in this Identity Conversation, we discuss the way she utilizes behavioral science to create a design plan that matches her clients’ personalities.

Crucial Stock Market Takeaways from COVID-19

This last year will forever be remembered by investors for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global stocks suffered some of the quickest declines on record, and financial advisors around the world were faced with the daunting task of managing their client’s reactions to the pandemic.

If you had any discussions with your clients about Zoom (ZM), TESLA (TSLA) or, god forbid, Dogecoin, you could agree with me that there are more than a few behavioral finance lessons from the last year. In this blog post, we will cover the top 4 crucial takeaways financial advisors need to consider.

Determining Client’s Risk Behavior

Each individual has a level of comfort when it comes to taking risks, and your clients are no different. Accurately determining a client’s risk behavior canbe critical for long-term financial planning, especially during an unpredicted pandemic. When you know your client on a deeper level, you are able to create the ultimate investment portfolio. One that stands the test of time, market volatility, and global pandemics.

Evaluating Market Mood

Evaluating the current mood of the market is the most efficient way to stop your investors from making impulsive decisions that change investment positions at the wrong time. When faced with a global pandemic, the client’s inherent behaviors will take over. So if they have a tendency to make impulsive decisions, assessing the market conditions will enable you to predict such reactions and manage them. Investors typically have one of two reactions to market events. A reaction to market news they hear regarding movements of a particular index, and a reaction when they see their actual portfolio in their investment app. With the Market Mood API tool, you can measure both reactions; client-specific moods as well as moods powered by market indices.

Assessing Behavioral Biases

Each one of your clients has a set of biases that drives their decision-making process. They tend to be impulsive and lead to less optimal outcomes. Which begs the question, how can you manage your different clients’ emotions as the market changes? When it comes to the financial planning process, some clients tend to make financial decisions based on past experience and personal beliefs. Even though the goal is to make well-considered and forward-thinking decisions, our human bias inevitably gets in the way. The key is to assess their behavioral biases at the very early stages and build a portfolio structure accordingly.

Adjusting Client Communication

Client communication methods cannot be one-size-fits-all. Each investor client that you serve has preferred ways of communicating. When faced with pandemic-induced market disruption, communication is key to maintaining client relationships. Some financial advisors rely on email, others prefer in-person meetings. The truth is, similar to you, your clients have preferred communication. Being able to predict them will enhance their experience with you and develop a trusting relationship.

In conclusion

As the world resurfaces from the 2020 market disruption, now is the perfect time for you to reflect on what took place during the previous year and how your relationship with your clients has been affected. With that being said, one of our most effective tools that bridge the gap of understanding between you and your client’s behavior is our community’s power. Powered by Natural Behavior, Financial DNA pinpoints virtually every human habit: the way investors and financial advisors communicate, invest, work, and live. Start a free trial today, and find out which unique style you match with.

Financial DNA Empowering Female Voices

Earlier this year, I sat down with Danny Liberatore from The Wealth Enrichment Financial Group to discuss the impact Financial DNA has had on his practice, and how it transformed the way he works with his clients. 

Working with female investors

One of my biggest takeaways from our identity conversation was Danny’s approach in working with female investors. He mentioned that most of his clients are females and that Financial DNA insights have enabled him to foster meaningful relationships with them.

You see, female investors don’t want to be treated any differently than men, however, their communications styles are different. They want to be part of the process. They have a savviness for the intricacies of our work and appreciate the educational part of it all.

Danny Liberatore

Behavioral finance insights particularly come into play in this situation when you are working with male and female partners. Their dynamics unravel from day one, and you need to pay attention to their behaviors in order to understand them better and manage their biases.

Involve both in the conversation

Danny shared with me that most of the time, the women are different from their partners, in terms of behavior and responsiveness. 

It is no secret that the financial service industry has done a very poor job trying to understand women and genuinely helping them. What happens more often than not is that they are being ignored and their opinions are unsolicited or unappreciated. 

As a financial advisor, you need to be able to wear different hats when working with couples. When you make the effort of explaining things differently to your clients and accordingly to their behavioral styles, you get instant breakthroughs. 

Danny mentioned that he’s made it a habit to always address the wife first and disclose to the husband that while he might be addressing him later on separately, he doesn’t want him to feel ignored or unappreciated. He will ensure to bring the husband back into the conversation and keep her engaged.

The truth is, once you honestly explain your process, your clients instantly feel included. It not only puts them at ease, but it builds trust. And we all know that trust is a fundamental factor in advisor/client relationships. 

This is a common situation for FI’s to find themselves in. When the female is not the breadwinner or the creator of the wealth, you’ve got to make her even more involved, without leaving the male out either.

How it usually starts 

When meeting with a potential client for the first time, pay very close attention to the couple dynamics as they unravel before you. It is common for men to take on the lead role in a conversation with their advisor, especially at the beginning. 

However, if it gets to the point where the female’s opinion is not taken into consideration or is not solicited at all in the planning process, that should be a red flag for you. You need to make the effort to always keep them engaged and involve them in the conversation.

You can also look at it from a business perspective. Let’s say you are taking on this new client that has great assets and potential for revenue growth. If you strictly focus on working with the husband, when life happens and you find yourself in an intergenerational wealth transfer situation, what are your chances to still be the financial advisor for that family? 

Final thoughts..

When working with your clients, it might feel normal to engage the one partner that takes on the role of leader and simply overlook the other. The risk you are running there is to not only alienate one of the decision makers but also falling victim to your own status quo biases. Pay attention to your client’s dynamics, keep both of them engaged, and build what could potentially be a lifetime working relationship.