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Is Your Financial Advisor In Their Right Mind?

No, I’m not asking whether your financial advisor is crazy!  I’m asking about his/her propensity to use their “left brain” versus their “right brain”.

Let’s start with the basics:

  • The right brain is normally thought of as the creative side of the mind. It focuses on looking at things simultaneously, looking at things in context, and looking at the big picture.
  • The left brain is normally thought of as the rational side of the mind. It focuses on looking at things sequentially, looking at the text or literal meaning, and looking at the details.

At first glance, most people would say that they want a financial advisor that is focused on the “left brain” activities.  After all, when it comes to your finances, you want the facts and data.  You want certainty.  You want the rational.

News flash.  While you may want the rational and facts/data, when it comes to financial planning the most important part is often the IRRATIONAL and the FEELINGS.  That is why you want to make sure your financial advisor has a well-developed “right brain”.

Skeptical?  I’m not surprised.  Most people approach financial planning as a purely logical, mathematical exercise.  And, in a way, that is the core essence of planning.  However, how many of you are in the same situation today that you were in one year ago?  Five years ago?  Ten years ago?  Do you think that the left-brain, purely logical advisor will be able to paint a picture for you of what you need to do in five years?  In ten years?   Or, would you be better served to have a right-brain advisor that helped you to look at all the facts, the context surrounding your situation, and the big picture?  My guess is that the vast majority of folks would want the advisor that is in their “right mind”.

Now mind you there are no absolutes in life.  An advisor that is ONLY right-minded, is likely going to overlook many of the important details.  That can be dangerous.  However, through the training most advisors undertake, through advances in technology and via the extensive support/partnership arrangements that many advisors have, they are often well equipped to address the facts and data.  Conversely, the “right brain” skills can only come through experience – both personal and professional.

So what’s the point?  Simple.  The next time you sit down with your advisor take a look at where the focus is.  Is it on the minutia of the facts and data?  Or is it on the big picture of where you want to go as a family?  If it’s on the minutia, you might want to help your advisor to get back in their right mind.

At F5 Financial Planning we focus on helping individuals and families find balance between faith, friends and family, fitness and finance.  We make sure that they have the financial freedom to enjoy those things in life that are important to them.  And while we believe the left-brain facts and data are critical; we work with our clients to get them in the right state of mind to focus on the goals they want to achieve.

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Curt Stowers

Curt Stowers

Curtis Stowers helps individuals and families across the United States grow their financial assets, particularly in the Naperville, IL region. He is a Certified Financial Planner, holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois, and is the founder of F5 Financial.