MK: Hello, and welcome everyone to a new episode of FinTrust Capital Advisors’ From the Desk Of, our podcast about markets, life, and things financial.
My name is Mary Katherine Glassman, and I am here with Donna Rasile to talk about Emotions in the Market. Donna is a Senior Vice President and one of our investment advisors here at FinTrust. She has over 30 years in the financial services industry and holds the Registered Life Planner® designation.
Donna and I have a shared passion of behavioral finance. It’s been amazing working together to serve clients on their financial journeys. I have been inspired by Donna’s work ethic, intelligence, and how she incorporates being a Registered Life Planner® when working with clients. For me personally, her mentorship has been tremendously valuable.
Donna, could you share a little more about your Registered Life Planner® designation?
Donna: Sure, I’m happy to, Mary Katherine. I’m excited about our conversation for today. First, thank you for your kind introduction. It is a privilege to mentor someone like yourself, a true professional who shares a passion for our industry with the goal of delivering our clients a personalized, consultative approach to help them achieve their financial and life goals.
So, to address your question, I have always enjoyed working with clients and getting to know them at a deeper level – having meaningful conversations that go beyond the numbers, learning more about them, their families, and what is truly important in their lives. I wanted to hone my interpersonal skills and have a framework that could deliver a Financial Plan that would have life added in it. Becoming a Registered Life Planner®, I obtained skills to help clients discover what’s truly important to them and then align their life goals with their financial resources to create their Financial Life Plan.
MK: Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve met some of your clients who have gone through the Financial Life Planning process who have found it to be incredibly beneficial. Can you speak to how your specialized expertise impacts your investment approach with clients?
Donna: Sure, our clients are the core of our business, and our mission is to deliver financial peace of mind. My goal is to create a comfortable space for clients to share what is most meaningful to them, their concerns, and what would make them feel confident in their financial life.
The process is one of intentional inquiry – important questions are asked. As an advisor, or as I like to refer to myself, “a financial advocate,” we ask critical questions and then – sit back and listen. “Active listening” helps lead the client to identify the human side of their money.
MK: I love the intentionality in your approach. In meetings with you, I have seen firsthand how you put clients at ease. Oftentimes, I can hear clients have a lighter, less stressed tone in their voice by the end of your meetings. You develop such a deep level of trust. I know this is helpful during volatile markets like the one we are now experiencing.
So, what are your thoughts on how our emotions impact our decision-making during market volatility?
Donna: Emotions play a critical part in our decision-making, especially during uncertain times – whether that be your personal life or financial life. When you think of money, what emotion does that evoke? How does it make you feel? Empowered, anxious, worried, secure? These are just a few emotions that come into play when working with clients. Some of these emotions can play a role with clients, especially during volatile markets and economic disruptions, and may lead to reactive and sometimes poor decisions.
My goal as an investment advisor is to help clients navigate the uncertain times; therefore, it is critical to help identify what is driving their emotions. Your relationship with money, which at times is rooted early in one’s life, can be significant.
As a Registered Life Planner®, we try and help clients build a positive relationship with money and then empower them so that they can focus on their life goals – the numbers are just the backdrop.
Empathy plays a very important role in these types of conversations because clients’ emotions are very real. So, I like to take the time to understand their concerns and reassure them that what they are feeling is normal and how can we get them to a better place.
MK: Empathy is SO important – whatever emotions a client goes through are perfectly normal! In fact, When we feel stress and anxiety, there is usually internal messaging signaling us to protect ourselves from negative experiences. However, as you said, taking action now may lead to consequences that adversely impact your financial situation in the future. Can you explain some of why that is?
Donna: Sure, when markets get volatile, it can be tempting to make changes. During times of stress, following the herd mindset may lead to poor decision-making. Following what “others” may be doing may not be right for you. Everyone’s personal financial situation is unique to them, and therefore even though it seems like everyone else is investing a certain way doesn’t mean it is your right decision. There are a correlation of emotions with shorter-term stock market performance. However, fundamentals are what impacts the market over the longer term. During those shorter periods of time, our emotions get in the way. When we believe we may be at risk, we tend to make a more knee-jerk short-term decision and lose sight of the longer-term goal.
Therefore, the financial planning process is so valuable. It outlines what is important in your life, creates a vision that represents your goals, and shows how over time, your investments support the success of your plan. Volatile markets are not the time to abandon your plan. It is the time to revisit your plan, reinforce the steps you have already taken, and make small course corrections if necessary.
MK: Clients definitely find this helpful, particularly during these volatile markets. In fact, they often feel reassured when this strategy is utilized. At Fintrust, we like to stay in front of our clients in all types of market environments. So one last question – Are there any suggestions for listeners who feel uncomfortable in our current market environment that may help them to stay the course and remain invested?
Donna: Of course, we like to use history as a guide – not a predictor of the future, rather something we can learn from, like early life experiences that help prepare us for future life events. Similar with the markets, we have experienced many historical events have impacted the stock market; however, markets prove to be resilient. There are more bull markets than bear markets, and the duration of the bear markets tend to be shorter vs. the bull markets. It is helpful to remember it is the time in the market, not trying to time the market. Keeping up with news and market commentary is important to many; however, spending too much time on daily headline news, especially during volatile markets, may create more worry. This may lead to making a change in your portfolio strategy that could impact your longer-term financial goals.
My recommendations are think twice before following the herd, limit news overload, and be confident that a plan well designed will serve you well over the longer term.
MK: Those are great reminders; thank you so much, Donna!
At FinTrust, we pride ourselves on helping our clients make decisions that benefit their financial and personal lives. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out, and we are happy to speak with you. Thank you all for listening!
Disclaimer: Securities offered through FinTrust Brokerage Services, LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC) and Investment Advisory Services offered through FinTrust Capital Advisors, LLC. Insurance services offered through FinTrust Insurance and Benefits, Inc. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity. Trade instructions may not be accepted via email. This material does not constitute an offer to sell, solicitation of an offer to buy, recommendation to buy or representation as the suitability or appropriateness of any security, financial product or instrument, unless explicitly stated as such in the transcript or audio of the podcast. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns. Performance numbers have not necessarily been independently reviewed or audited and therefore we make no representation as to its accuracy. Any reference to the terms of any contracts should be treated as preliminary only and subject to our formal written confirmation. This information should not be construed as legal, regulatory, tax, or accounting advice. This message (and any attached materials) is for the sole use of the intended recipient or recipients and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. Any review, dissemination, distribution or duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited.