How your own personal dynamics can shape financial advice

Posted 4 June 2024 by Jaskiran Mangat

From navigating ever-changing regulation to proving the value of advice in an era of fee pressure, robo-advisors (and fin-fluencers!), advisers and planners face a neverending list of challenges. 

Yet, between the spreadsheets and strategies, lies the very thing that sets you apart: the often overlooked personal narratives that influence your unique approach. The ‘why’ behind what you do and the ‘who’ behind the trusted adviser clients turn to with their life goals. 

Today I’m going to delve into these themes and uncover how personal experiences can profoundly impact the way advisers interact with clients, manage their businesses, and ultimately, find fulfilment in their careers. 

I’ll cover understanding your own history and money narratives, to building community and self-care to build a sustainable practice and avoid burnout - after all, you need to put your own oxygen mask on first, before attempting to help others.

Understanding the influence of personal history

Our money habits are largely set by the age of seven! It's essential to recognise that past experiences, both positive and negative, significantly shape all our perspectives and behaviours - not just clients, but our own too. 

We may carry subconscious biases or fears rooted in past financial struggles, familial dynamics, or cultural influences. By acknowledging these influences, we can gain clarity on our motivations and decision-making processes. 

If left unchecked, our clients’ challenges may trigger an emotional response in us that impairs our ability to provide the best and most appropriate advice for them and their life goals. 

Exploring money mindset and beliefs

Money is often loaded with emotional significance, stemming from childhood messages, societal norms, or traumatic experiences. 

Exploring our own beliefs and attitudes towards money allows us to understand how we may unconsciously project these onto our clients. 

By fostering a healthy money mindset and challenging limiting beliefs, we can better serve our clients and build trust. We can start to better understand our own relationship with money by discovering our Money Scripts developed by expert financial psychologist Dr. Brad Klontz. 

Recognising trauma and its impact

Traumatic experiences affect us all at some point. They also usually affect peoples’ finances and how they manage them. Whether its financial loss, the death of a loved one, divorce, illness or other unexpected life events, these experiences can leave lasting impacts on clients - and us too. 

We may encounter clients who are navigating similar traumas, triggering our own unresolved issues or biases. By adopting a trauma-sensitive approach, we can create a safe space for clients to share their experiences and collaborate on holistic financial solutions. 

Managing boundaries and self-care

The demanding nature of the profession can take a toll on your own wellbeing if boundaries and self-care practices are neglected. 

It’s becoming easier to take our work home with us, especially since the physical barriers between work and home have been broken down. Understanding our limits, setting clear boundaries with clients and ourselves, and prioritising self-care are essential for sustainable practice. 

Nervous system regulation is key to showing up as your best self for your clients. Think exercise, stretching, meditation, breathing exercises and other somatic practice to help you feel embodied and relaxed. 

Energy is contagious and by prioritising your own wellbeing, you can better attract and support clients, cultivating a business you love.

Embracing vulnerability and authenticity

Clients seek advisers who are not only knowledgeable, but also empathetic and genuine. 

Embracing vulnerability and authenticity allows us to connect on a deeper level with our clients, fostering trust and loyalty. 

By sharing personal stories or struggles (appropriately), we can humanise our practice and create meaningful long-term client relationships. If you’re wondering why personal finance influencers are doing so well right now, this is it - they’re authentically vulnerable and relatable (and really good at digital marketing). 

Cultivating a growth mindset

In a profession marked by constant change and uncertainty, a growth mindset is essential for adaptation and resilience. 

Embrace continuous learning, feedback, and innovation to better equip you to navigate challenges and seize opportunities. 

Use technology to optimise your workload and take the mundane tasks off your plate. Practise what you preach and reframe setbacks as opportunities for growth. With the UK market AUM at $9.36tn in 2024 and set to reach $11.29tn by 2028, there’s plenty of room to grow a thriving and resilient business. 

Building community and support networks

This journey can be isolating without a supportive network of peers, mentors, or professional communities. Engaging with like-minded professionals, attending industry events, or seeking mentorship can provide valuable support, perspective, and camaraderie. Seek out and embrace diverse voices in a traditionally not-so-diverse field to widen your perspective and prospective client base. 

Hopefully you can see that by embracing a trauma-sensitive lens from our own perspective, we can gain deeper insights into our own motivations, biases, and triggers, ultimately enhancing our client experience. By addressing personal themes and fostering self-awareness, we can not only navigate the challenges of the profession, but also create a business we truly love — because it’s one that reflects our own personal values, passions, and purpose.

Jaskiran Mangat

Jaskiran Mangat

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Jaskiran Mangat

Jaskiran Mangat