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How to Get Started With Financial DNA in 5 Steps

Financial DNA is a comprehensive and customizable tool. It will guide you to work alongside your clients as they tune into their financial personality and money habits. 

By using the very same tool top advisors around the world are using, you will be able to enhance your investor experience. We have created this guide to seamlessly assist you in getting started with Financial DNA.

Step 1: Set up your admin system

If you purchased Financial DNA through an enterprise, your account may have come pre-configured with some basic settings to get started. If so, you can skip this step. Otherwise, if you did purchase it on your own, you can easily upload your logo and apply a few basic settings to get started. 

If you sign up for a Financial DNA package, there are several different customization options available. You can customize the web-screens and reports with your logo after signing in. If you were not directed to do this, please contact our support team so they may assist you in customizing your profile. 

Step 2: Customize your messaging

The best way to learn something is to try it for yourself, and Financial DNA is no different. By testing it out yourself, you will go through the steps as an investor would so you will always be talking from first-hand experience.

Once you have completed your own Financial DNA, it’s time to start inviting others. We do have a variety of free templates that you are free to use to assist you in creating compelling email invitations that others will want to join. 

Step 3: Recruit your 5 first users

You’ll soon see how Financial DNA can be used to help your clients. Invite five friends or family members to use Financial DNA to complete their own discoveries and you will quickly understand how ‘real-life’ actions translate into our DNA reports. 

Financial DNA is here to assist you in being comfortable and familiar with our product fast.

In the previous step, we provided sample invitations for you to use to invite family members and friends. Once they have completed their DNA,  you will be able to practice your client conversations with them using these results so that you can become familiar with Behaviorally SMART conversations.

Step 4: Review & connect

Step 5: Schedule your coaching session

Another useful advantage to you is that our team will invite you for a free one-on-one coaching session with our coach, which is included with each Financial DNA package.  

In this interactive call we’ll answer any questions you have about what is included in your package and provide an opportunity for some hands-on practice, debriefing clients using our Behavioral Smart Meeting approach, so you are well prepared to be able to confidently converse with your own potential clients.

Conclusion

Financial DNA is the future of advisor/investor relationships. Top investors in the world are using it, and so should you. 

The best way to discover and learn about Financial DNA is to try it out yourself with a free trial

We’re all about giving people an easy way into getting started on this financial journey, which means that we offer you this 5 step guide to getting started right now, where users can get acquainted with our platform before they commit to anything long term. 

We are sure you can see the benefits of using Financial DNA and should this now be something you want to explore further, please go ahead and access our free trial and get started working towards your advisor/ investor goals. 

5 Things to Know About Behavioral Finance

To be able to fully understand an investor’s decision-making process, financial advisors need to equip themselves with the knowledge, skills, and understanding of Behavioral Finance.

When taken right back to the bare bones of it all, a human being’s most basic natural instincts are based on emotions and psychological reactions triggered by a variety of events. When it comes to making investment decisions, these natural reactions are brought into this as well.

A second way that humans make decisions is through conscious thinking. Now, these behaviors are slightly different from survival behaviors because they are learned as a result of experience, and so people are able to adapt to changes in their environment. 

These natural instincts as well as the learned behaviors, all carry across into the financial decision-making actions that people act upon.

 1. What is Behavioral Finance?  

Behavior Finance is essentially understanding the underlying psychology of financial decision-making. It combines cognitive psychology with economics and finance. 

The objectives of Behavioral Finance are to understand why individuals make certain investment decisions.

For example:

  • Emotions are responsible for our quick assessments that influence financial decision-making. Positive emotions lead to more risk-taking, optimism, and in addition, buying decisions are made faster. Investors are well aware of the roller coaster of emotions they go through including hope, excitement, euphoria, fear, despair, regret, and sadness.
  • Another example is Herd Mentality. Herd Mentality is when a person feels pressured into making a decision just to conform with the largest crowd and their rationale behind it is that ‘so many people are doing it, it must be right.’ The dotcom bubble is a perfect example of this. Between 1995 and 2000, investors were backing internet-based startups hoping that they would soon make a profit. 

2. We all have biases

We all have Behavioral Biases which are irrational beliefs or behaviors that can unconsciously influence our decision-making, and stray us from rational decision-making.

However, our biases lead us to make less than optimal decisions.

The Behavioral Biases embedded in humans are responsible for irrational decisions that result in poor financial or insurance investment. We need to be made aware of our personal biases and try not to let them influence our financial decision-making. 

As Hugh Massie, our CEO and Behavioral Strategist explains, we focus on 16 Behavioral Biases that affect people’s financial decision-making. Once you can identify and understand your top two or three biases, you can become a better decision-maker, especially when under pressure.

3. Spending patterns are written all over us

Behavioral Finance is the answer for advisors who want to learn more about investors and how they intend to spend their money.

It has typically been a problem that advisors haven’t had enough information and insight into their clients’ spending patterns and as such, could only create financial plans without truly understanding what people planned on investing in or saving up long-term.

4. You can’t spell “behavior” without “risk” in it

By now, as an advisor, you should be able to understand that a person’s behavior is intrinsically coupled with the amount of risk they are willing to take. To be able to help your investors experience long-term financial success, determining their risk factor will play a major role in determining their strategy.

When you choose to work with us, you will benefit from our Financial DNA reports that provide a step-by-step approach to determining the risk behavior of clients, couples, and advisors.

You see, every single person has a Risk Behavior number ranging from 0 to 100, and it’s based on their Risk Tolerance and Risk Propensity. A higher score means they are more likely to take risks. The score is normally distributed with an average of 50 and a standard deviation of 10.

5. Financial DNA takes the guesswork out of investing

When you work with us, we help you build a system to understand your clients, where you will be able to connect with them, and customize their experiences.

By understanding your client you will be able to communicate with them in a more relatable manner; you will to know and understand their risk behaviors and spending patterns and it will be easier to understand and determine their financial goals. 

Our Financial DNA API sets us apart because it measures 500+ behavioral insights and will be a way to add a human element to your data. This is done with details on how people communicate, invest, work and live their life.

In Conclusion

At Financial DNA, we have years of experience to help you better understand your clients. If you are interested in our Financial DNA investor experience, basic Financial DNA reports, and 1:1 onboard coaching, start a free trial today.

Financial Advisors + ID + EI – What Does It All Mean?

It’s an age-old question. How can financial advisors break through emotional barriers to help clients with their finances?

In recent Identity conversations with Canon Financial Institutes Executive Director Certifications, William Trigleth III, Hugh Massie,  Chairman and Founder of DNA Behavior Global, talked about the importance of financial advisers understanding Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Identity (ID) as a starting point to knowing how to manage advisor/client behavioral differences.

Trigleth acknowledged to Massie how the application of the DNA Behavior discovery tools helped advisors identify their emotional hotspots and revealed vital areas where clients’ financial conversations would need to be managed. 

An essential part of Identity is getting to grips with our emotional intelligence. It becomes crucial when financial advisors are discussing finances with their clients. Nothing disturbs emotional equilibrium more than conversations around money.

You can view a short version of the Massie/Trigleth conversation here:

Or head to our YouTube Channel to view the whole Identity conversation.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain!

Over the past four months, Hugh Massie has been conducting online conversations with industry leaders worldwide. The discussions have circled the importance of understanding Identity regardless of the industry they lead. 

A large part of the conversations has revealed how closely aligned self-awareness of one’s own Identity and emotional intelligence are. 

So, what is emotional intelligence?  

In his book A Dictionary of Psychology, Andrew Colman defines Emotional Intelligence this way:

Emotional intelligence (EI) is most often defined as the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions. People with high emotional intelligence can recognize their own emotions and those of others, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, and adjust emotions to adapt to environments

There is no doubt financial advisors need to be able to manage behaviors and reactions that their clients have to market movement. Without this understanding, set goals won’t be achieved.

A great starting point is that advisors know themselves first. This self-awareness leading to self-management keeps the advisor very professional. Still, it also ensures their insight positions them to see and manage their clients’ behavior.

‍Remember, the pull of money is a highly emotive subject. Therefore, the more insight an advisor has into their own and their client’s response, the more likely they are to navigate clients through periods of anxiety.

So how can you increase your emotional intelligence? That’s easy. Head over to our website and complete a FREE trial. This is a perfect starting point, and if you want to talk to one of us about the outcomes – no problem, we can do that.

Maybe you think you would benefit from an Identity Conversation with Hugh Massie – let’s see what we can do to set that up.

I will continue to write something about these Identity interviews with these industry leaders. What they are sharing is GOLD. 

Interesting for us is the common thread, i.e., when individuals know their Identity, they can manage money conversations at a whole new level. As a result, they and their clients tend to make significantly better decisions – about money and finances and other things – that could negatively affect them.

What Do Decision-Making and Financial Literacy Have in Common?

Have you ever wondered what goes into each individual’s decision-making process? We make decisions based on facts and information that is delivered to us. 

When it comes to managing money, the same rules apply. How does that affect financial advisors and their relationships with their clients? Find out more in the newest episode of FizWizdom where podcast host Joel Franks discussed the importance of seeing beyond the borders of a picture.

Business man seated at desk looking at paperwork

X-Factor: Discovery, Awareness, Then Leadership

First published on Nasdaq


I’ve been having what I call Identity Conversations with financial advisors, industry leaders and others. It has clarified for me – and for them – that the more advisors and leaders come to understand their own identity, the better they can guide others to make more effective decisions.

John Maxwell, an author and speaker on leadership, captured the essence of this: “I have to find myself before I can lead myself. I have to be self-aware before I can be situationally aware.”

He could have written that for me and the people I work with, because he sums up an exciting truth for those of us required to guide people in their decision-making, whether as financial advisors, industry leaders, parents or others: Becoming situationally aware is itself a journey.

Situational & self

“Situational awareness” involves knowing what is going on around you and with others at any given time. As a financial advisor, situational awareness relies on your ability to see, understand and analyze the life journey of your clients and the goals they want to achieve. Life is not linear; life and market events are taking place all the time, and recognition of that is essential if you are working with clients to build wealth that also achieves their objectives.

An advisor’s pre-prepared questions can’t reveal the essence of a client. Most people are presenting their best side and perhaps even what they believe is expected. Even with well-guided questions, financial advisors rarely get to know what makes clients tick at the deeper level. Add to that the fact that advisor bias (unconscious or conscious) or assumptions also come into play.

So, the starting place is not just getting the right “discovery” tool or method to uncover what you need to know about your clients. I firmly believe you can never have real success or be a significant advisor until you genuinely discover yourself. Only by discovering your own X-Factor – those talents and qualities that set you apart and make you uniquely you – can you genuinely advise, guide and help clients build wealth to achieve life goals built on an understanding of themselves.

The secret sauce of leadership

Knowing your X-Factor, which reflects your unique gifts as an advisor, is critical to understanding your identity. That understanding, and the sharing of it, is in turn critical to understanding your clients – and helping them understand themselves.

What special “secret sauce” do you have that sets you apart in the crowd from every other advisor? This is not about your “doing” in the role as an advisor but the essence of your being. The X-Factor is found by discovering where your talents (strengths) and passions combine to drive you toward doing something that is special and differentiated.

When individuals truly discover their identity, they realize the impact it has on every choice and, of particular importance to advisors and those they serve, decision-making. They become more secure in themselves, and that fosters clearer “vision” about themselves and those they serve.

Further, when advisors understand their own and that of their clients, they understand that identity is important for personal growth and business growth. And in many cases, a business’s identity and the success of the company is strongly correlated to that of the leader’s identity.

Living your identity

In this space I’ve written a lot in the past year about taking stock of life and checking in to consider the next “season” as we begin to return to normality. This time of enforced reflection has caused many, including me, to pause and rethink their life journey.

As a reformed accountant, it’s exciting to see how the Identity Journey has impacted many financial advisors. Given that 80% of human performance comes from living your identity, managing human differences, and recognizing the emotional impulses of decision-making, a number of those I interviewed shared with me how getting in touch with their own identity made them alert to situational awareness in financial planning.

Another important realization usually follows pretty quickly: To guide clients in their complex decision-making, they too needed to go back to basics to reveal their identity, discovering how this insight shapes their situation.

Discover, then share

In time we will all forget the experience of this past year. For one, never before have we had such an opportunity to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves. To reflect and reinvent. That is, to re-assess and re-launch, with an awareness that benefits us and those around us. After all, many people search – especially now – for their place in the world and how they can live or operate with more significant meaning.

So, before you step back into whatever your new normal is going be, take a moment to ask yourself:

  • What is your future reality?
  • Who do you want to become?
  • How do you want to project yourself to others?
  • Where will your most significant impact be?
  • How are you going to stand out in the crowd?
  • Do you want a dramatic change in your life?
  • Do you want a sharp uplift in your life trajectory?

If you’re unsure of your place in the world, this process of considering your X-Factor is a great (re-)starting point. There are a number of ways to go about it, but I am understandably biased about an approach that begins with a behavioral discovery, next stepping into an identity interview.

I’m always happy to help others uncover such and will of course share my own identity interview and X-Factor “reveal.” After all, that transparency and sharing is the pivot point when the power you discover in yourself begins to help and influence others.

If you are discovering other ways to find and own your X-Factor, I’d love to hear about it.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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.