You won’t be shocked to hear this: The Orion team loves technology. At the core of our work is a belief that tech can transform the modern financial advisory practice for the better. It can help you work more efficiently, and it gives retail investors unparalleled control over their financial health. This helps make the advisor-client relationship more collaborative and fruitful.

While technology can support your business in many vital ways, the one thing it can’t do is replace the human element you bring to client interactions.

Even with the impressive strides fintech has made in recent years, investors remain hungry for human connection and personal guidance. In a recent survey of respondents with minimum investable assets of $100,000, seventy-five percent of US millennials and 67% of Gen Xers have a financial advisor.¹ These adults in their prime earning years want help making sound financial decisions.

You can be that source of expert advice. By pairing the best technological advances with empathy and a deep understanding of behavioral finance, you can distinguish yourself as exceptional.

Here are some tips for embracing EQ and tech to deliver for your clients.



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Head and Heart: The Symbiotic Relationship Between Data and Emotion

Technology gives you and your clients access to large amounts of valuable data. But data on their own won’t do much — retail investors rely on the knowledge of a financial advisor like you to interpret the numbers, communicate the learnings, and incorporate them into actionable advice.

Take a tool like stress testing as an example. This tech solution can provide you with reams of data about potential financial risks and opportunities.

But no matter how useful the tool’s output is, your expertise in synthesizing and factoring it into decision-making is still essential. Then, you must tap into your emotional intelligence to effectively communicate your data-informed action plan to your clients.

This intersection of data and EQ is at the heart of successful modern financial advisory practices.


What Is Behavioral Finance?

This convergence is also where behavioral finance (BeFi) comes into play. BeFi encourages advisors to consider the psychological factors that impact financial outcomes. 

We see BeFi forces at work on a macro and micro scale. A bank run is a macro behavioral finance event: Group fear leads many depositors to demand their money simultaneously. 

BeFi also shows up on the individual level. Your client who traces their spendthrift tendencies back to their childhood is also exhibiting the interplay between psychology and financial decisions.

When you acknowledge the connection between psychology and finances, you can begin to use BeFi to:

  • Identify financial biases, which may be held by you or your clients.
  • Tailor your financial advice. When you understand an individual’s money mindset, you can make suggestions aimed at helping them achieve their goals while acknowledging underlying fears, motivations, or emotions.
  • Enhance clients’ interpersonal relationships. If you work with couples, you know money can be a source of stress and tension; BeFi can help you help your clients find common ground.

You don’t have to be a BeFi expert yourself to begin implementing BeFi-informed tactics into your work. 

Technology can help you incorporate BeFi into client conversations from day one. It may be through a 3D Risk Profile that’s informed by demographic and psychological factors. Or perhaps it’s with the BeFi20 assessment, which creates a money profile that defines your client’s thoughts and feelings toward money. There are countless ways tech can assist advisors in delivering more nuanced, BeFi-informed financial advice.


Empathy as the Key to Delivering Tailored Advice

Tech can help you better understand your client’s money mindset — a vital first step in providing personalized guidance. But it’s your expertise and understanding of the psychological aspects at play that allow you to shape and deliver tailored suggestions.

For example, learning that a new client is fearful of not having enough savings for retirement is helpful background. But your expertise can take you beyond that first layer of information.

You may start by assessing this client’s demography and financial statistics. Here, you learn that their retirement savings look healthy based on their age, current earnings, and projected needs in retirement. This is a sign that something else is going on — it’s time to tap into the empathetic side of things.

Sit down with your client and get to the heart of why they’re worried about retirement. Active listening may help you uncover a narrative they picked up that led them to feel an unfounded lack of security.

Build rapport through reassurance. Tell your client that it’s common for people to feel this way, and perhaps share a relevant anecdote from your own experience. 

Finally, connect your advice with your client’s why. When you understand the deepest psychological motivators informing someone’s actions, you should lean into that knowledge when communicating financial advice.

This doesn't need to be complicated — in fact, keeping things simple and direct is often most effective. Recap your conversation to show you have been listening, validate your client’s feelings, then transition into your advice.

Taking the time to walk through all of the stages of a BeFi-informed discussion helps you build trust for the long term.


Going the Extra Mile with BeFi and Communication

Since longstanding client relationships are the goal for any advisor, it’s wise to lean on BeFi tools and techniques throughout your relationship.

People change, and when you work with clients over many years, you’ll likely see their circumstances, values, needs, and desires shift. The best thing about employing BeFi tools and an empathetic communication style is that you’re well-equipped to meet your client at any stage of their financial journey.

Incorporate BeFi check-ins into your annual client review process. Ensuring you have an up-to-date understanding of each client’s mindset and needs can help you offer timely advice that meets a client’s current situation.

If you learn that your client is going through a significant life transition, check in again with an eye toward BeFi and empathy. Any big life change can spark major shifts in money mindset. When you know about those shifts and how they’re impacting your client personally, you’re well-positioned to support them through life’s ups and downs.

Lifelong client relationships become more sustainable when you can blend emotional intelligence, behavioral finance, and technology. As your thoughtful, well-informed advice builds trust, you encourage more open communication from your client, which in turn enables you to provide more nuanced guidance. This virtuous cycle can fuel longstanding client relationships, and it’s made possible by uniting tech and empathy.



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1Source: "Millennials Want Financial Advice, Not Trophies”,, May 2022.