When money changes, life changes, and when life changes, money changes.Nearly two decades after introducing this core concept in my book, Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall (Wiley 2000), I’m even surer than ever of its truth. In the late 90s, inspired by my observation of certain behavioral, cognitive and emotional patterns among my own financial planning clients, I looked to social science, psychology and even physiology to learn more about what clients truly need in order to work through change confidently and successfully. What I learned led me to present a first-of-its-kind model for helping clients adapt to life transitions through a blend of technical expertise and in-depth understanding of humans’ normal responses to change. Since the book’s publication, I have continued learning, expanding, and refining my process for fully serving clients by addressing the universal truths regarding humans’ individual and collective response to change. But today, in the ever-evolving world of 2018, the basic tenets of Sudden Money prove even more valuable than when they were first introduced. And I’d like to share the book with you. What Sudden Money Can Do for You and Your Clients The majority of your financial planning clients are undoubtedly facing major change. Divorce, the death of a spouse, retirement, an inheritance – whatever the change, it affects far more than your client’s bank account. Yet, to this day, financial advisors still have a tendency to lean heavily toward a technical change model. Even an advisor known for their personal skillset can benefit from learning more about specific processes and tools for integrating the technical and the personal to empower clients to move successfully through transitions. Sudden Money explains how the following components will help you partner with clients to make their transition journey as meaningful and productive as possible.
- See the dynamics of change in your clients. As financial advisors, we’re practically hardwired to focus on getting things done. But we can learn to slow down and pay attention to the universally important things that happen when a client faces a life-altering change.
- Name and normalize your clients’ experiences to help them feel more present, available, and aware.
- Arm your clients with tools that help them experience change – not expedite or shortcut it –while learning to make good decisions critical to the rest of their lives. (For example, tools like the Decision Free Zone® and Bliss Lists™ can be particularly helpful to clients struggling to sort and prioritize daunting to-do lists or identify changing options and/or goals.)