There is a story that is told to clients by those of us in finance. You may have heard of it before; it goes like this:
There once was a blind man who was miraculously given his eyesight. For his entire life he had accomplished everything he needed to do without the benefit of eyesight. Instead of utilizing his vision, he leaned heavily on the use of his other senses. When he was suddenly able to see, he had nothing to relate his new eyesight to. What was once familiar was now strange and complicated. He was seeing things for the very first time, and he did not know how to travel his daily path by sight.
In the beginning, even with his repaired eyesight, he still relied heavily on all of his other senses to guide him. But eventually he was able to use his new perspective to inform his other senses about things he was already familiar with from another angle. He was able to see old things in a new way, and was ultimately more informed and better equipped to handle everyday challenges with his newly broadened scope of understanding.
This story parallels well with financial discussions because clients are often only seeing their money from one perspective: theirs. While there may not be anything inherently wrong with the way they see their money, there are other avenues of looking at finances that can make them easier to understand and work through.
As financial advisors and programmers, it is our job to show clients what they could be doing differently, doing better, to have a wealthier and more prosperous life within their current financial situation. In many cases, this means we have to change their view on money and what is capable for them to achieve. We sometimes have to point out threats to finances that they were previously unable to see, or point out successes that they turned a blind eye to.
Changing someone’s perspective can be difficult though, and there may be resistance. Adapting to a new way of thought often means putting aside the old way, and that can be difficult for clients who thought they had decent control over their financial situation. These situations should be approached with understanding and a shift in perspective on our side, too.
As finance professionals, we have been trained in concepts that clients may have never heard of and have a more analytical approach to money than most. Clients, on the other hand, deal with their finances from a personal standpoint, which can be harrowing and stressful when in the hands of someone else. That’s why perspective matters. It is our job to make clients see things from our side, but we must understand why sometimes our side is met with hesitance and resistance. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Chris Jacob is a Registered Representative with Saxony Securities, Inc. Securities offered through Saxony Securities Inc. (SSI). Member FINRA, SIPC. Non-security products and services or tax services are not offered through SSI. Cadeau is not affiliated with SSI.