Structuring The Getting to Know You Process

Imagine that you can ask your prospective client only two questions before deciding if they are a good fit for your practice. What would you ask, and why? The statement above is an example of a structured interview question. Structured interviews are a systematic way to get to know a client, applicant, or other new colleague that links interview questions to topics or competencies that are critical to understand at the beginning of that relationship.[…]

Changing Attitudes and Behaviors Related to Budgeting

An obvious mechanism to help an individual spend their cash flow in accordance with their financial goals is to employ some sort of budget. But for many of us the idea of constricting any type of behavior, especially the way in which we spend our money, is unpleasant. Even if we label it using the euphemism of a “spending plan.” Volumes of advice and technologies are available to help with the mechanics of putting budgets together and tracking[…]

The Commoditization of Portfolio Returns: What’s a Financial Advisor To Do?

We have an operating theory here at DataPoints that goes like this: portfolio returns are being commoditized for the vast majority of retail investors–either by robo-style services or index strategies, or both–and that this large swath of the population will be willing to pay less for the (likely illusory) promise of market-beating portfolio returns from their would-be financial advisors. This development will in turn put pressure on the financial services industry in general and financial[…]

Behavioral Assessments: On The Fintech Map

The financial technology (or fintech) landscape is evolving rather quickly, and some are calling it the “golden age of fintech.” I recall thinking only a few years ago that DataPoints didn’t quite fit in any of the categories of the various fintech maps that were published. The groupings of CRMs, financial planning software, re-balancing tools, etc. were clear enough. But there really wasn’t a place for psychology and behavioral science in the mechanics of financial planning[…]