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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. 

Does My Advisor Understand His Own Bias (Digitally)?

– First Published on Nasdaq –

I recently had an interesting conversation with an investor who had attended a behavioral finance webinar.

He shared that his advisor’s level of communication had improved dramatically – from being less tolerant and on occasions showing bias – to having a meaningful conversations about life-goals and how to tolerate sudden market movements. “I finally felt I was genuinely being coached instead of being bullied,” he said.

It seems the advisor’s firm had recently invested in adding a behavioral tech solution to its advisor portal. The client recalled completing a 10-minute questionnaire and learning more about his investing and spending habits. In addition, the advisor now had access to a range of dashboards and personalized information that enabled him to respond to his client’s specific goals, wants and needs digitally.

The investor was more than happy to see the level of communication lift and to have the advisor considerably more focused on his individual needs. He also noted it was the advisor’s own lack of bias that was the most notable.

I pressed the investor for an example or two.

“I’m a cautious investor,” he told me, “in fact I’m risk-averse and likely to respond to troubling market movements by selling, probably at the wrong time, but that’s who I am. I always felt my advisor had an edge of criticism when I shared my concern about uncertain markets and how they would impact my life goals.”

He went on to say that the advisor, through understanding him at a deeper level and checking his own bias (the advisor is a comfortable risk-taker) now understands how his previous responses to the client’s risk aversion was at best naive and at worst unprofessional.

Understanding, overcoming bias

This exchange got me thinking about the impact of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the financial services industry. When individuals are not aware of their own behavior and their own communication style, conversations can become toxic. Unintended, hidden bias is often the culprit.

That’s why doing everything possible to create an insightful human connection is so vital to so many business relationships, certainly including the financial advisory-client relationship.

Ultimately, we are all relying on a variety of video conferencing and other chat and tech platforms to conduct our business these days; however, when behavioral science guides the tech stack, inherent behaviors can be revealed in an instant digitally, making remote communication richer and more effective for all involved.

No longer is an advisor relying only on memory or CRM notes to refresh themselves on client behavior and how they might best respond to such. Behavior tech enables the advisor to know and understand natural behavior insights in real-time. By doing so they can better help the investor-client recognize that their behavioral biases are at play, providing perspective and, if needed, redirection and other tailored counsel.

These tools also can remind the advisor of their own bias and provide keys to remember when working with the client. This type of interaction creates a trusting relationship and reinforces the “know your client” fiduciary role to which responsible advisors are committed.

Feeling seen and understood

Unintended, unaddressed DEI issues are often at play when a professional conversation between an advisor and client leaves one or the other feeling stung or unheard. Consideration must be given to eliminating anything that causes confusion in a conversation because it can derail the interaction and even the entire relationship.

When a client feels behaviorally understood by their adviser, the relationship will flourish. Having insight into a client’s preferences, bias, communication styles and of course their “financial personality” reinforces the importance you as an advisor place on the relationship.

We all have blind spots. Most can be tolerated. However, those blind spots born out of ignorance are not ultimately acceptable, especially when there are tools to reveal and help correct. Add money and emotions to the equation and blind spots or bias can certainly harm or end client relationships. However, the client before and after experience above demonstrates that advisor-client service informed by validated behavioral insights is not only beneficial and powerful, but can actually save a relationship.

We can no longer sit back and tolerate a deafening silence on DEI, even if – or especially if – it is revealing itself via seemingly small but relationship damaging (or killing) occurrences. If nothing else, this recent conversation made me realize that the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion are part of the very fabric of all we do.

How will you spot advisor-client bias? How will you address it?

A Healthy Marriage: Human Advisor Plus AI for Your Tech Stack

– First Published on Nasdaq –

Human interaction deprivation really is a thing. Never before have people all over the world been subjected to various forms of isolation, including lack of human interaction or touch.

As the months of the global pandemic drag on, I’ve been thinking about that and about what life will look like after this forced experiment in deprivation.

For one, businesses the world over will need to recover and build resilience for the future, and many are looking to do so by using lessons learned during the pandemic. This approach will help future-proof them, at least to some degree, while also delivering innovation that drives business.

If nothing else, this pandemic “season” has highlighted the importance of people. Without the human ability to change and find new ways of working, many enterprises would have failed. I bet you know myriad examples of people pivoting and adapting well during this challenging time.

My financial advisor proposes…AI

The age of AI – artificial intelligence – fascinates me. To date, I’ve envisioned automation replacing people. But over these past months I’ve been considering where the balance between machines and humans should reside.

Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate but there are indeed times I want to deal with a person. I want to know that those who provide me with a service want to get to know me as an individual. I don’t want to be just captured data!

My financial advisor was recently telling me about a new focus his firm is taking in terms of delivering financial advice. He demonstrated a feature that helped him know what types of conversations to have with me during market volatility. These new features enable the firm’s tech stack to create an even more personalized experience for me as an investor-client.

If I opted in, it would require me to complete a quick questionnaire, the outcomes of which would give my advisor an in-depth connection beyond the screen. That is, insight to many aspects of my financial personality.

Behavioral tech stack evolution

Armed with insightful data, my advisor would have a window into my reactions to market volatility and he would be prompted, if need be, to connect with me to ensure I’m sticking to my life goals around wealth creation and not panicking and selling or rushing to buy more, more, more. It also would provide him with insight into how much guidance and support I needed from him, or not, how best to communicate with me, and more.

This coming together of AI and human interaction would go a long way toward providing me with a personalized service – without taking anything from the fast, automated experience we all now expect. In fact, it would enhance that.

My test run with this new approach demonstrated how efficiently technology can provide these insights, further enabling my advisor to deliver the unique service and service-delivery to which I am naturally inclined. In this way he could provide highly individualized service to every client.

And lest you think that is just an “extra” – a public relations or customer service gimmick – pause to realize that his advice and my receipt of his advice would literally be improved. That’s not just a client feeling better about their advisor relationship; that’s a client getting better advice, processing it to maximum benefit and realizing the results…right there in their portfolio.

People still matter!

Ultimately, there are many considerations about the impact of automation, not the least of which will be including our wish to interact with others (or not!). When tech stacks contain behavioral data – information that goes to the core of who I am, including how I wish to be interacted with – there can be a happy, healthy marriage between tech stacks and humans.

There also is significant data that the one-two punch of stellar human advice aided by behaviorally smart AI provides strong ROI. The advisor, firm, client and client’s accounts all benefit.

When financial advisors have access to my financial personality, my financial motivations, pressure points and bias, their approach and service can genuinely be tailored. So, no, AI is not supplanting humans. Instead, having AI as part of your tech stack supercharges the advisor and what he or she can provide clients.

Pursuit of Money Can Kill Relationships

– First Published on Nasdaq –

As I continue my journey through gaining a deeper understanding of what living a quality life actually means, I’m reminded that my original life plan was to create wealth, be successful and provide for my family.

I previously would have said that all the financial decisions I make point me toward achieving that plan. During this time of pandemic lock down, however, I – like many others – have taken time out to consider how well I’ve achieved these goals. Or not. And whether a directional change is needed in terms of my quality life goals.

Succeed, with relationships intact

I recently held a virtual round table with friends. We’re all at the same stage in life, all having the same rethinking life moments, and I put these questions to them: What is the biggest stumbling block? The most difficult to resolve as you build your wealth?

I was surprised to hear that each responded in a similar vein: The biggest challenge they face is damage to relationships.

While our intention in terms of wealth creation is laudable; that is, building wealth for the family, investing in building our businesses and ultimately having meaningful goals that build a quality life, the reality for each of us was some cost to our relationships in some area of life – family, business or personal.

It’s probably worth stating that we as a friendship group are quite alike behaviorally. We are initiators, strategists and world pioneers in our chosen fields. But, that said, we each acknowledge that we didn’t always get relationships right.

Two of us are in the business of understanding behavioral differences, but it was a journey to get there and there was some bruising along the way. For the others, we decided to dig deeper into where the relationship “fails” were and why.

On a personal level, each shared that discussions around finances caused stress. Success doesn’t mean these difficult discussions go away. So why?

Money always at play

Given the types of personalities we are – and having little or no depth of insight into our partners’ financial personality – we were making all the decisions. Yes, we’d have “token” conversations, but in reality we’d already made up our minds and plowed ahead toward achieving the life goals we had set (probably back in college days).

Obviously, as a friendship group we agreed to invest in getting behavioral advice and learning about our own behavior and how to manage inevitable differences as couples. A key learning from this advice was the principle that behavioral styles drive money (thereby influencing every personal, financial and business decision) and the flow of money reflects behavioral styles. Conversations will be had at home as we pluck up the courage to delve into this prickly and emotionally charged subject.

In this group, some of us were starting to open our eyes as we looked into the broader family dynamics we had each come from – whether it was a controlling grandparent or a riches-to-rags situation. Or a divorce because a parent was a spender. There is even the opposite phenomenon where friction is caused because both parents are hoarders, denying the family opportunities. In the end, we could all see how money was always at play, positively and negatively driving every relationship dynamic.

Invest in relationships

But then we moved onto our businesses. Again, we realized that our focus was on success, achieving results and in many cases we’d each delegated “relationships” to others in our businesses.

I have a very astute personal assistant and was reminded of a remark she made some time ago after I’d needed to admonish one of my key executives. She said, “do I need to mop up any blood after you?”

As I shared this thought with the group, we each agreed that we needed to review, invest in and better manage our relationships. Our future success or failure could depend on how we handled them. Even in business settings it became apparent that in different ways the energy of money was a motivational player and therefore impacting workplace relationships. Even if people come to work for other reasons than making money, money still plays its hand.

Managing relationships, whether personal or business, must begin with understanding our own personality and character. Strong relationships, I firmly believe, come from: A deep understanding and self-awareness of our own character, EQ (emotional intelligence), decision-making style and pressure-point hot spots. In other words, what are our own flash points and what or who pushes them?

Finding common touchpoints

Thinking of our work colleagues, we all agreed that we chase results. Further, we have no time for long-winded conversations. Even more frustrating are those colleagues around us who seem to take forever to make a decision.

This brought out how important understanding each person’s unique communication needs are to building relationships. Yes, if the communication needs are not being met – then somehow money will be right there driving a wedge in the relationship even if it was not the original cause. The point is, money is always there even if it is not the initiator of the problem.

With insightful behavioral knowledge it’s clear the long-winded are story tellers. They can paint a full and often complete picture of the issues. They deserve to be listened to, but maybe the learning point for us is to let them know that bullet points work better, followed by a more comprehensive written communication to support their points.

What about the slow decision maker? These folks are often gatekeepers to the safety of the business. They need time to think and absorb all information. They don’t want to make the wrong decision. In short, these people need to be listened to by fast-paced people (such as those of us in the friend group).

Again, if we understand our own innate behaviors – and the innate behaviors and decision-making styles of others – we can adjust and coach, for a win-win-win in terms of both parties’ communication and decision-making, as well as the interaction and outcomes.

The role of relationships

So, how important are relationships in your life? As you invest – in yourself and otherwise – to achieve the quality life goals you want, are you protecting the relationships that are part of the quality life you are building?

Have you considered the influence of your life direction and the core of who you are as a person as being important? And does that direction you’ve chosen align with the relationships you have, and need, to achieve the life goals you aspire to?

These are important conversations to have as we unpack what a quality life looks like. Join me, as the conversations are ongoing….

Stop Trying to Delight Your Investors

In the world of financial advice, many clients think they know themselves and their money better than they do and certainly better than the advisor does. How does this thought impact the role of a financial advisor? If you know nothing about behaviors then clients with this ‘know it all’ attitude will be difficult to advise and manage.

Most successful financial advisors invest in understanding client behaviors. They ensure they have the insight and tools to be able to understand how people think, make decisions, and want to be communicated with. As a first step getting to understand how to speak with clients is important. DNA Behavior Discovery provides in-depth insight into the way people communicate and how they wish to be spoken to.

It takes just a few minutes to complete a discovery. The outcomes prepare the way to start the advisor/client conversation.

Why Getting to The Root of Behaviors Is Key to Addressing Them Head-On?

So, what to do? One important key is to know yourself. There is little point trying to manage a tricky client if you allow them to push your behavioral buttons.

So, first step, get to know your own financial personality and communication style. Remember, as an advisor, there will be many conversations with clients where you need to understand the importance of managing the behavioral differences between you and your client and how to navigate any bias either you or your client might have. Comprehensive self-knowledge will inform ways to flex in order to keep the conversation going.

The wide-ranging DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process takes just 10 minutes to complete, can be delivered in real-time to any of your devices, and delivers 200 insights, 64 behavioral factors leading to 1 unique style (your client).

Successful financial advisory practices don’t get involved with a ‘one size fits all approach’. They know the importance of delivering accurate advice that reflects the needs of the individual. To satisfy the ‘know your clients rule’ advisors must be able to manage the behaviors of their clients on an individual basis.

The Behaviorally Smart Organization

As businesses emerge from the global pandemic self-isolation/remote working season, many will be looking at ways to increase their business flow and maintain their existing clients. Advisors will have relied solely on online platforms to stay connected. Clients who might not have previously considered working with their advisor using online tools could well be open to this new approach. Organizations wishing to demonstrate their understanding of the behaviors of their clients will be looking to data collection, online platforms, social media, and other tools to collaborate with their clients, build their business and improve their service offerings. One such way is to use DNA Behavior to work with your entire organization to match advisors to clients. What better service offering can there be than one that has such a deep understanding of their advisors and clients’ financial and communication personalities and is able to deliver a customized behaviorally smart matching approach to their advisory business?

Moving the Needle to Build Advisor/Client Relationships

DNA Behavior will work with your entire organization NOW to prepare you to build an enhanced service offering post coronavirus. It’s time to take a fresh look at how this virtual working has offered solutions to improve service offerings. Going back to the same old same old just won’t cut it. Clients want something different as do advisors. Now’s the time to take a deep dive into understanding the personalities of the people that make up your business. Whether an advisor or client. Whether receptionist, the board, or the C suite, we will set you up to face the ‘new world’ by using our extensive tools to improve your bottom line.

BeFi API is A Must for Broker-Dealers

A robust Behavioral Finance platform will enable Broker-Dealers to meet the fast-growing need for mega-customization. Such a platform will not only provide insights into how clients invest but also reveal habits to how Broker-Dealer employees and investors spend, set goals, communicate, work, live, and make decisions. These insights become transformative when powering core Broker-Dealer workflows such as:

• Advisor-client matching programs (which advisor is suited for which client)

• Optimizing marketing spend (who wants steak dinners vs. Super Bowl tickets)

• Sending customized behavioral driven marketing content to clients

• Developing customized onboarding playbooks

• Arming advisors with the perfect behaviorally generated scripts to deliver at the right time

• Predicting fearful and opportunistic clients on a real-time basis with Market Mood™

To learn more, download our E-Book.

Don’t Reinvent Tech; Add Behavioral Power

– First Published on Nasdaq –

People are complicated. Some tell you their life story in the first few minutes. Others take time – and deep questioning – to reveal even the smallest details.

Financial advisors know that, around the emotional subject of money, gaining insight into clients’ financial personality is hard. But it doesn’t need to be. No matter how complicated – and different – each person is.

Knowing your clients at a deeper level and having real-time access to innate client behaviors and decision-making inclinations puts advisors in a powerful stance. Ready to deliver top-flight service – and results.

How will a client react to market movements? What are their biases? How do they consider and deal with risk? And what are their spending habits? Clients can tell you about themselves, and you can subjectively observe, but what if you had validated, objective client data built into systems on which you rely?

You’ve got tech; add #behaviortech

The solution is part of the move toward greater use of behavioral science. Financial advisors (and their clients) are coming to the realization that bona fide behavioral insights improve the effectiveness of financial advice – communication, service quality and outcomes.

Layering a behavioral data-gathering addition into your existing tech stack is easier than you may think. Hint: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Even if you don’t know what an API is, for instance, your IT people do. Imagine: A plug-in that adds behavioral info to the tech you already have.

This addition makes it possible for financial advisors to identify, engage and deliver client solutions in real time, leveraging data that informs financial planning from end to end. A behavioral tech stack combines customer engagement technology and behavioral insight data to inform client engagement. It enables the knowing-me-knowing-you element that creates trust from openness and transparency.

Plugging in personality

Client data collected through a quick, simple behavioral discovery informs the advisory process in significant ways:

  • Defining financial personality.
  • Advisor/client matching.
  • Individual client financial journey needs.
  • Quality life goal analytics.
  • Real-time access to client behavior data.
  • Client engagement via more effective communication.
  • Insights to inform marketing.
  • Eliminates information silos between client support teams.

Every financial advisor should have access to interactive business intelligence tools. And that includes but goes far beyond client EQ, to include a full range of behavioral insights. (In some cases, as many as 500-plus such insights.) That’s the power of modifying your tech stack to include the behavior module.

Be(havior) on the cutting edge

Imagine: In advance of every client meeting, whether face to face, on social media, conferencing platforms or the phone, an advisor could, at the click of a button, be able to deploy dashboards and personalized information to respond to specific client wants and needs. (Even wants and needs they may not know they have or cannot verbalize; again, you’ll be tapping into innate behavioral info.)

Best: The behavioral tech stack is so integrated into other advisor systems and platforms that client info and prompts appear as needed, with the advisor not even having to push that proverbial button. As an example, a pop-up might remind you the client you’re about to meet with has difficultly following set procedures and offers a checklist of ways you can simplify processes to ensure they stay on track.

This approach creates an experience tailored to individual client needs. Moreover, it’s the way of the future.