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Understanding Your Clients' Financial Personality Types

No two clients are the same, and neither are their approaches to money.

You may have risk-averse clients seeking to save every penny, investors willing to take big risks for big rewards or who are uncomfortable discussing finances. Regardless of where they fall among the financial personality definitions, understanding their approach is integral to meeting a client’s needs. Here, we share five general financial personality types and how best to serve each. 

The Saver

Key personality traits:

  • Associates saving with security
  • Prefers low-risk investments
  • Lives frugally

How to Serve The Saver

The good news is this client doesn’t have overwhelming debt or high credit-card balances. However, it’s likely they’ve been saving money without a strategy. Meaning: This client hasn’t given much thought to their overall financial goals beyond saving for the sake of saving. Find out what their hopes are for the future and then educate them on how their money can work for them.

The Spender

Key personality traits:

  • Comfortable spending money, even when they don’t have it
  • Makes purchases influenced by a need for the latest and greatest
  • Shops to soothe emotional distress

How to Serve The Spender

Because this client finds personal satisfaction in big and small expenditures and maintains a certain comfort level with high-risk spending behaviors, they may have racked up large amounts of debt. Your first order of business is to create a budget. Next challenge: helping the client stick to said budget. Show them how sacrificing purchases on items they don’t need can directly result in deeper gratification for things they will need, such as a retirement nest egg.   

The Avoider

Key personality traits:

  • Afraid of making the “wrong” financial decision
  • Uncomfortable talking about money
  • Has never organized their finances or created a budget

How to Serve the Avoider

Since this client has little idea about their spending habits, the first step for you as an advisor is to give them a clear-eyed snapshot of their financial situation. Where is their money going? What are the monthly expenses? Do they have any debt? Armed with this knowledge, then you can begin to build a detailed plan for their financial future.   

The Worrier

Key personality traits:

  • Focuses on worst-case financial scenarios
  • Lacks confidence in their money management ability
  • Terrified of losing money, even when they have plenty

How to Serve The Worrier

Determine from where this client’s fears stem. Did they grow up with financial uncertainty? Have they experienced job loss or bankruptcy in the past? Do they have a health condition that may pose challenges as they age? Once you understand the root of their worries, you’ll be better equipped to help them achieve their goals. 

The Investor

Key personality traits:

  • Makes decisions carefully
  • Driven to achieve money goals
  • Spends time tracking and following their investments

How to Serve The Investor

This client is hyper-aware of money, from where they’re spending it to how they need it to work for them. This makes it easy to have a frank discussion about their financial goals, and chances are strong they’ll be willing to follow through on a strategic plan. Take this client to the next level by sharing ways they can use their wealth for a greater purpose, such as with sustainable investing or donating to a cause they’re passionate about.

Opportunity Awaits

As a Farm Bureau Wealth Management Advisor, you’ll get hands-on support to grow your business and make a difference in your clients’ lives. Interested in joining our team of advisors? Contact us to learn more.