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Michael Kitces’ #FASuccess Podcast: How Moira Somers Helps Advisors to Better Help Their Clients

Dr. Moira Somers explains why it’s unrealistic for even the most well-intentioned clients to always follow through on good advice.


Welcome back for the 101st episode of the “Financial Advisor Success” podcast. This week’s guest is Dr. Moira Somers. Moira is a clinical neuropsychologist who studies the complexities of how hard it is for people to change their behaviors, especially when it comes to money. What’s unique about Moira is the way she’s applied her financial psychology expertise not just to consumers themselves, but to advisors on how they can more effectively help their clients. Specifically, by teaching advisors how to better deliver advice in a way that actually sticks so their clients really do change their behaviors for the better.

In this episode, we talk about the growing base of research from the medical field about what doctors need to do to make their patients better comply with the drugs and other therapies they’re prescribed. How that patient compliance research is being applied to financial advice to help clients better adhere to their advice, the role of a financial advisor as an adherence partner to help clients follow through on advice, and why it’s unrealistic to expect even well-intentioned clients to always follow through on good advice they may be given.

We also talked about specific steps that financial advisors can take to improve their advice delivery in a way that increases adherence from clients. From better assessing client readiness to actually take and implement the advice, to giving better follow-through support on the implementation of advice, why it can be a good and valuable service to occasionally nag clients, and why Moira starts out every meeting with the simple question: “What would make this meeting the best use of your time today?” to ensure that the conversation is always focused on what really matters most to the client in the moment.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Moira talks about the importance of actually measuring client adherence. Why advisors should consider tracking how quickly and consistently their clients implement their advice or not, and why better delivery of advice that sticks can actually help to both justify and even reduce the cost of financial advice itself.

And so with that introduction, I hope you enjoy this episode of the “Financial Advisor Success” podcast with Dr. Moira Somers.

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