Corona virus Fear is Not a Winning Investment Strategy

Coronavirus Fear is Not a Winning Investment Strategy

In crisis the tendency is for all of us to react emotionally and follow the herd. With headlines screaming a global economic downfall due to a flu pandemic, remember you are genetically hardwired to react in certain ways.

If you find yourself responding outside your inherent behavior because your reaction is to the coronavirus not the market turbulence, STOP – and check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Get a handle on the facts and the reality of the situation before you make a decision, hastily dumping investments or rushing to add suddenly inexpensive “buys” to your portfolio.

Behaviorally smart investors and their advisors know that everyone reacts differently to turbulent markets. Don’t get mixed up with the herd mentality; don’t be distracted by outgoing colleagues and friends rushing to jump on the bandwagon of what everyone else is doing.

If you’ve found this last week unbearable, its likely you’ve misjudged or are unaware of your own behavior and risk tolerance. This is important insight for every investor to know.

If you have a financial advisor skilled in understanding financial personality, be guided by them.

If not, commit to understanding your own financial personality before it derails your investment strategy and wrecks your retirement plan. It only takes 10-minutes and may be the best investment you make.

Learn more about Financial DNA’s Market Mood. Questions or further information-

Managing Client Emotions in Times of Market Volatility

Managing Client Emotions in Times of Market Volatility

I’ve just spent 26 hours travelling from Australia to the UK. Wearing a face mask (on the advice of my doctor).

With global anxiety on the rise and many analysts working the data to understand the impact of the coronavirus on economic growth, I got to thinking why in three of the busiest airports and two packed planes, so few people were taking the precaution of wearing a mask.

Realistically speaking, I trusted my health provider to advise me: Wear a mask, carry hand sanitizer and stay away from people coughing.

Can financial markets wear a mask?

I looked around at all my fellow travellers and staff and wondered what advice they had been given about protection from the virus, and why so many seemed oblivious to the potential threat.

This got me thinking about what their reaction might be as I read the financial headlines. Headlines across the world that are not giving much hope to investors, nor to entire economies. I wondered if those same people choosing not to wear masks would be quite so nonchalant watching their life savings plummet.

Maybe the health advisors knew their patients so well that they called them and assured them that, according to the data they held about their health, with their strong immune system they would be okay!

Still, shares on Wall Street fall, scream the headlines. World markets are seemingly in freefall. Not a good time for financial advisors to be dealing with clients who see their life savings tank.

So, what of the financial industry? How are advisors going to stop the inevitable panic of their clients as they see markets tumble? How can they steady the ship?

“Behaviorally smart” advisors to the rescue

While the financial industry rushes to understand and interpret its data, behaviorally smart financial advisors who have invested into the DNA Behaviors Financial Personality Discovery will have learned more about their clients unique financial personalities and the power of these insights enables them to serve clients more effectively. Particularly during times of market volatility.

Markets cannot be predicted by advisors and investors. The role of the advisor should be about managing the behavioral biases and responses of their clients. The behaviorally smart advisor is in a key position to influence the reaction of clients.

As human beings we all have certain decision-making biases that are hard-wired into us from early in life. These hard-wired behavioral reactions to market activity can be predicted, as they are inherently part of our “DNA”, which is scientifically measurable.

The biases will usually reveal themselves in times of higher market volatility – like now! – when a person is under more pressure or when a major life event takes place.

DNA Behavior’s Market Mood

Market Mood graph

For the first time, advisors can predict the Market Mood of clients in times of volatility and have at their fingertips the customized communication keys and instructions for proactively taking action.

I suggest that when a persons financial well-being is under threat, they may well have a different reaction and, metaphorically speaking, rush to put on a mask to protect themselves.

Savvy advisors, learn more about Market Mood. And contact us if you want to know more about these tools.

People behave differently

People Behave Differently – Thankfully

This article first appeared on HR Management App.

As the founder of a Human Performance Acceleration firm, I’ve come to understand the importance of diversity, not just on boards and in leadership, but in my own business.

Through broadening the composition of the leadership team, I’ve found that such diversity increases the richness of discussion and expands perspectives from the top down. The challenge is managing the differences such diversity brings. No two people think or behave alike.

As a firm, we manage behavioral differences. And we have technology to help with this. In fact, that IS our business. That said, on a personal level and as a leader who is fast-paced, results-focused and on to the next big thing while everyone else is still thinking about the last big thing, I needed to understand and manage the behavioral differences in my own team.


From the top down, and that meant me

As the leader I couldn’t delegate this. This required my full focus and attention if I were to build a successful business.

Take an example team such as mine. The first hurdle was figuring out roles.

  • What did the business need to grow successfully?
  • How much involvement did I need in that process?
  • Where were the priorities?
  • What skills did I have to be able to manage a diverse team?

It became clear, very quickly, that managing a diverse team, all with spectacularly differing skill sets, required some thought.

Here’s what I did. Many of the lessons are transferable:

  1. I completed a scientifically validated behavioral discovery. One that not only revealed my inherent behaviors but also my learned behaviors.
  2. I then took advice on how best to manage myself. I needed to understand my own trigger points. I needed to check myself before I wrecked myself (and others). I needed to understand my EQ and what I needed to put in place in the organizational structure to enable individuals to contribute to business growth, using their skill sets, at a pace I accepted. This was not easy.
  3. As I hired executives, I took every member of my leadership team through the same process. This was invaluable as we not only came to understand each other, we bonded. We built mutual understanding and respect for each other.
  4. After about four years I found I could delegate more and more control to my managing director, leaving me free to promote the business on the speaking circuit, for instance.

Recognizing and leveraging differences

The biggest challenge I faced was trusting others to run the business. This came with time. More importantly, it became possible because our understanding of one another’s behavioral differences meant we could manage those differentiations and work effectively together.

Our core business has always been about understanding behaviors. Our industry focus is wide and varied but has tended to be in the financial advisor-client relationship space, as well as business leadership.

Now, go big

Through our API (Application Programming Interface) solution, we now deliver real-time behavioral management solutions through validated behavioral insights that connect, customize and power human performance. That was crucial because it enables this understanding and deployment of differences methodology scalable.

If it didn’t scale, it wouldn’t be very useful – at least not in a practical way – beyond small organizations. Happily, the scalable customization of experiences and relationships across a whole enterprise is now a reality.

This process of getting the People Culture at my own firm in order leaves me free to travel globally to promote our solution and to invest time in leaders still making their way on the journey of building a business. What could a thoughtful People Culture process like that described above enable you and your organization to accomplish?


2020: The Year to Resist Negativity

How many times have you begun a new year with a great expectation of what the year will bring in terms of success only to have plans, hopes and dreams dashed at the first sign of negativity?

Why do we take on a throwaway remark directed towards us or feel crushed when we make a mistake?

I for one spent my teens crippled by being oversensitive, blushing at just about everything and feeling pretty incompetent. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I had a negative bias, but I certainly “heard” the could-do-better comments in school reports or staff reviews, rather than the greater number of “well done” comments.

Discovering a… discovery

So, what turned me around and why do I begin 2020 with Grand Plans?

It’s actually quite simple: I completed the DNA Natural Discovery process. In just the 10 minutes it took to complete the questionnaire I was able to read about the unique me. It served as a light-bulb moment.

I then began to understand not just myself, but the people who made me feel self-negativity. I’m good with people. I see ways to encourage them. I set and accomplish goals. I’m innovative, spontaneous, yet analytical, reserved and guarded.

It then didn’t take much of a leap to understand the behaviors of others that put me into a crushed mode.

Others whose behavior manifests in being very outspoken and outgoing or take charge and fast-paced challenge me. They don’t mean too, its just their natural behavioral style.

My light-bulb moment was not so much knowing who I am; I think I inherently knew my qualities. The revelation, if you will, was understanding how to manage the differences between myself and others behavior. That was what took me to the place of confidence, resistance, determination and optimism in knowing who I am and what my contribution to the world is.

Knowing the course ahead

As I make my grand plans for 2020, I know to ensure they line up with my gifts; what I can and can’t achieve. I know the importance for me in taking small steps toward my grand plan. I know I need time to research and think through before investing time and other resources in my grand plan. I know the value of building time out to reflect on the small steps I will take toward my grand plans.

But, perhaps more importantly, I now know me. I understand my inherent behavior. I recognize when faced with a different set of behaviors how best to navigate those differences and to manage relationships which would otherwise have me running for my negative corner.

I now know that as a people person I can even invest my skills in others so they can see the impact of their behavior on me. That way, it helps me better help them in our work together and helps them better themselves in other interactions as well. They can come to understand the importance of gaining knowledge for themselves in how to manage the behavioral differences we humans have that makes us all so unique.

Take a look at my Work Talents Report, adjacent to this article, and consider what your own might look like. (Further, think of having your report alongside the report of a collaborator. What power you would have in making the most of the collaboration for you both!)

Work Talents Report_Carol Pocklington

Your best year ever

I trust 2020 for you will begin with Grand Plans and hope that you are open to invest just 10 minutes into understanding your behavioral style. With this knowledge and insight, I believe no form of negativity or different behavioral styles will cause you to fail in delivering your best year ever.

The DNA Behavior team would like to extend to you a complimentary natural discovery process. Take it here. Begin your 2020 with a greater insight into your unique behaviors.

New Year Resolutions

Don’t Self-Sabotage Your New Year Goal Setting

Its that time of year again: Christmas shopping, holiday plans and New Year’s resolutions. We tend to get the first two right, but according to University of Scranton research, just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolution, which well refer to simply as goals, because that’s what these resolutions are.

Set goals, understand behavioral style

Setting goals should direct attention to behaviors that will accomplish the goal and away from the behaviors that will not achieve the goal.

Locke and Latham stated that “the goal-setting theory was based on the premise that much human action is purposeful, in that it is directed by conscious goals” (O’Neil & Drillings, 1994). Setting a goal should include structure that directs actions and behaviors which improve unsatisfactory performance. Setting a goal will change a person’s behavior in order to work towards achieving the set goal.

In reviewing last years goals, for instance, trimming down my waistline, not for vanity, but for health and to become a better golf player, I could see how much of my approach sat well with my own behavioral style. Further, my behavioral approach informed the accountability partners I relied on for support.

I am a strong goal setter (Initiator, Influencer, Strategist). I thrive on competition. I up my performance when there are clear goals. I want the outcomes to have high impact. I know I am inherently focused and self-disciplined. And, finally, success is something I need. Therefore, my accountability partners needed to be able to challenge my strong behavior.

By applying self-awareness of my inherent behavioral style to New Year goal setting, I achieved success: Forty pounds lighter, better golf swing and walking 18 holes without getting breathless.

Not if, but how you get there

So, as I ponder potential New Year’s resolutions, remember that behavioral style matters. That’s your starting point. As we plan 2020, our team breaks down into four behavioral styles – which well talk more about below – making consensus interesting. But as we each apply individual behavioral styles to goals, it becomes clear that all will be achieved; its the journey there that will be different.

My team: Four behavioral styles

The Goal Setters, like me (Initiator, Influencer, Strategist) need competition, clear goals, high impact. They need outcomes to be real and measurable to stay focused. They can achieve the successful outcomes, required, but will benefit from accountability to others.

The Lifestyle team members (Engagers, Community Builders) need the goal process to be fun, sociable, and being able to picture what success looks like. They benefit from having graphical displays that press them on to their goals. My Lifestyle team have their goals emblazoned on polo shirts! Go figure.

The Stability team people (Stability, Safety) need to have an emotional attachment to their goals. Help them feel that and give them time to think through their approach. Keep the process friendly; the meaning will come from family, team colleagues and friends.

The Information team players need to understand the science behind it. They will want researched options to inform goal setting. They will want to analyse their research and be expected to display regular progress reports to keep them on track and accountable.

Insights + goals = success

Establishing your 2020 resolutions in conjunction with knowing and understanding your individual behaviors ensures success. Look at how each of the behavioral styles approaches the goal journey. Add bias into the mix (yes, we all have them, but they can be revealed). Behavior that leads to procrastination or lack of confidence or over-thinking can be managed (once behavioral insights are known).

If you have not already discovered your own behavioral insights, complete your no-cost, no-obligation 10-minute discovery – choose: Financial DNA or Business DNA – and you’ll be on track for New Years resolution success. (And, yes, DNA solutions are scalable; ask about DNA’s API:

Together, let’s set ourselves up for success, so we can look back and see 2020 as the year we individually and collectively met our New Years goals.