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Preview: Financial DNA - Discovering Your Unique Financial Personality for a Quality Life!

Financial DNA - Discovering Your Unique Financial Personality for a Quality Life!

Your financial future may depend as much on your personality as it does on your portfolio. That's the idea behind a growing trend in the financial planning industry. These podcasts will give you an introduction and graphic demonstrations of how this can

Published: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 20:57:58 +0000


Know Your Client's Trust Levels

Thu, 25 Mar 2010 21:03:07 +0000

Last week I was working with one of our Certified Wealth Mentors with my role to offer some behavioral insights on some difficult client cases. The cases were difficult because of the clients’ attitudes not only to financial decision-making but also to life. These cases reaffirmed to me how much trust is core to all dimensions of every client situation. This is why when we redeveloped our DNA personality system in the past year we made trust a new stand-alone personality factor. Often when we talk about trust it is in the context of our role as trusted advisor and building open relationships with clients. Certainly, this is an important dimension. Talking about trust in this way is fine. However, the heart of truly understanding trust and to knowing our clients is to know where trust comes from. There are a number of very important dimensions to trust that we all need to know. Let me ask you the question: How much do you trust yourself? Trusting yourself is the starting point of building sound relationships and also making sound decisions. Your own level of personal trust will determine whether you will trust others and then whether others will trust you. So, if you want to know whether your clients will trust you, reflect on your own level of self trust and then learn about their self trust.

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Do You Know Your Clients?

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 23:31:49 +0000

No matter the industry, providers of products and services are always saying something to the effect of: "You are blind as to who is going to walk in the front door for their first meeting with you. As you work with the client a bit you have a greater collection of knowledge but still not the whole picture. It can still take 10 years or more to really know who you are dealing with". Do you truly know the life and financial motivations of your clients? Their deepest desires? Do you know their risk tolerance? Do you know what types of products and services they want?

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Business Transformation

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 17:29:44 +0000

In recent weeks we have strongly focused our messaging around "business transformation". In particular, the need to address the client experience that is being provided in order to transform. So often, leaders regularly talk about getting the right people on board, developing the team and the leadership, having the right product, focusing the business plan, improving execution etc. These are all important dimensions; however, they are not all of it.

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Transform Your Client Experience to Grow

Mon, 07 Dec 2009 16:31:57 +0000

For advisors, growing your financial planning business is about getting more of the right clients who you can profitably serve on a sustained basis. This means you must have financial planning clients who will pay for the value you provide and will allow you to do so efficiently and with minimum wasted energy. I am sure this sounds logical and for many financial advisors this will sound obvious. The question is: are you acquiring clients and managing relationships as well as you can?

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Improving the Connection with Your Prospects and Clients

Mon, 02 Nov 2009 19:29:35 +0000

Have you considered what is going to propel growth in your business in the coming months and years? Schwab conducted a research study in March 2009 which shows the greatest 3 enablers of growth are: 1. Closing the deal with prospects - 75% 2. Maintaining quality service - 73% 3. Adding new technology for scalability - 67% So what is your strategy for closing more prospects more quickly and improving client service?

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Advisor Trust

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:07:25 +0000

The theme at this week's FPA Conference in Annaheim centered on trust. Becoming the trusted advisor is not a new idea however, it is increasingly talked about. The question is how do you become the trusted advisor? How do you accelerate trust in your advisory relationships, and for that matter in any relationship? Building trust is directly related to how you behave in relation to others. What many do not know is that the starting point for trust starts with your behavior. If you do not trust yourself, then you will not trust others and others will not trust you. What we have learned from research is that some people are not naturally wired not to trust and hence will always have more inherent difficulty in building trusted relationships. So, these skeptical people have to be more conscious in developing trust with clients (and their team).

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Bringing Children Into The Family Business

Wed, 16 Sep 2009 15:25:41 +0000

In my work with entrepreneurs and family business owners there are quite divergent views about whether to bring children into the family business when they are young adults, or even at any stage. Some say never and others have a desire to perpetuate the family association with the business. There are cases for both. Of course, rationality plays into it and the family legacy. In my own case, I had to work through many of the issues because our family had a pastoral (cattle ranching) business which I eventually managed for a number of years. I enjoyed it from a business perspective but ultimately did not have the passion to make it a life long endeavor. My brother was not interested at all. The big issue is, do the children want to be involved in the business? Then importantly, what is their passion for the business?

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New Financial DNA Developments for Addressing Risk Tolerance

Wed, 02 Sep 2009 15:45:09 +0000

Risk tolerance is a much talked about area in financial planning and it is one core component of an investor's unique financial behavior - what we call their Financial DNA. It is so fundamental that we are always talking about it and making decisions with reference to it. A huge difficulty has been reliably measuring an investor's risk tolerance. One of the problems is that an investor's risk tolerance is assessed today but then a portfolio is developed for the long term which has to cope with fluctuating markets. Do you truly know what your client's risk tolerance for the long term is? How much of your assessment of the client's risk tolerance is based on current situational factors and their emotional impulses today about the market? Then add in the fact that a person's risk tolerance may differ across different asset classes. Of course, an advisor's own risk tolerance can color the situation resulting in the client "eating" the behavior of the advisor. There have been lots of examples where a group of advisors addressing the same case facts at the same time will come up with different risk tolerance assessments for the client. After more than 10 years of studying financial behaviors, including risk, and performing research based on our online profiles Financial DNA Resources has now launched our "Behavioral Portfolio Report". You can download a copy of it here:

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Dream Bigger Than You Can Think

Wed, 12 Aug 2009 18:12:16 +0000

In recent times I have done a lot of talking about your "success impediments". What is getting in your way to success? A lot of the time it is our own mind. We allow negative thinking to get in the way. This will be true at any time particularly when times are tough and we are fearful. Or it will happen because we have limited experience or a lack of confidence. However, we should never let the big thoughts go away.

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The Big Question

Wed, 05 Aug 2009 15:47:35 +0000

Last week I participated in a learning program for fast growth businesses conducted by Verne Harnish (founder of Gazelles, Inc) who is world renowned as "The Growth Guy". Verne has run training workshops for and coached many great entrepreneurs all over the world. He has a very straightforward approach to helping an entrepreneur stay focused.

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Importance of Private Businesses to Business

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 20:27:39 +0000

When one looks at business, it is easy to miss or not appreciate the importance of private businesses and entrepreneurship. How often do you look to the larger public companies for opportunities, marketing and jobs? Probably a lot. This is what many first think of doing.

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Global Transition for High Net Worth Individuals

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 14:44:07 +0000

I have just read KPMG's Swiss Financial Services Newsletter for August 2008. The newsletter provides very sharp insights into the increasingly complex international needs of high net worth individuals. The outcome is that the consulting team will need to have a greater global outlook and more sophisticated approach to the technical and human issues impacting the HNWI client.

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Effective Board Behavior

Wed, 15 Jul 2009 14:48:31 +0000

In recent months I have written a few blogs about corporate governance and business risk management. I have expressed the view that many of the corporate problems we have today are related to ineffective board governance. It has been interesting being in Europe for the past 2 weeks where this subject has come up in many discussions with business leaders and in the press. Clearly, the topic of corporate governance is high on the agenda. It needs to be because this is the source of so much corporate damage.

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Identifying the Human Behavior Risks in Your Business

Wed, 24 Jun 2009 16:03:41 +0000

Back in March of this year, I wrote a blog about managing the human risks in your business. This issue has not gone off the radar screen. Identifying the human behavior risks in your business is critical to success. Every person has natural "blind-spots" which, if they go unchecked, can lead to individual performance failures, team failures, leadership failures and ultimately significant business problems. Regardless of the size of your business, the behavior of your people will influence the result. The influence will be higher the more senior the person is in the business. Look at why some major companies have failed in recent years - it is not the poor economy or financial markets, rather they have exposed the fundamental issues, particularly the behavior of leaders.

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New DNA Behavioral Solutions to Accelerate Trust and Your Relationships

Wed, 24 Jun 2009 15:59:40 +0000

At the moment, more than ever, the whole notion of trust in every aspect of our lives is important. For many, trust is very low, if not shattered, with our leaders, advisors, partners and family members. Furthermore, trust in ourselves is low, which is the core of the issue. If your business and personal relationships are not working as well as you would like, or your performance could improve, see whether it is because your trust is low. “Relationships of trust depend on our willingness to look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others.” – Peter Farquharson My starting point with trust is always to ask 3 questions: How much do you trust others? Do you feel others trust you? Importantly, do you trust yourself?

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Partnerships and Money Personalities

Thu, 04 Jun 2009 16:51:45 +0000

In the past few weeks we have had a number of people contact us who are starting some form of business partnership together. Most of the time their request has been to find out more about their differences. Some of the typical issues they are seeking to understand are: 1. What are our different talents? 2. What should our role in the business be? 3. What areas do we have to watch out for? 4. Do we have shared values and purpose?

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Shirt Sleeves to Shirt Sleeves in 3 Generations

Tue, 12 May 2009 14:14:40 +0000

In recent years there has been a lot written about how wealth created by the first generation (the entrepreneur) is lost by the third generation. Often the second generation has also added to the wealth. Then the third generation has lost it through being irresponsible, idle or simply making poor decisions. Research from a range of sources is consistently showing that this is happening in over 70% of family wealth transfers. A significant aspect of intergenerational wealth loss is related to the fact that the financial and estate plans do not adequately take into account the human issues involved.

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Changing Lives with Powerful Questions

Thu, 30 Apr 2009 13:44:51 +0000

Today, I listened to a great presentation by Tal Ben-Shahar who teaches positive psychology at Harvard University. Interestingly, his 2 courses have been rated the most popular in the university. No wonder, he is so motivating.

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Know Thy Investments

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 14:59:42 +0000

The primary foundations of Financial DNA are "Know Thyself" and Know Thy Client". However, what I have not spoken up much before about is "Know Thy Investments". For both the advisor and the client this is absolutely critical to successful investing. Who at some point has been caught in an investment they did not fully understand and lost money?

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Redeploying Your Talents

Thu, 16 Apr 2009 14:37:27 +0000

The current financial crisis is bringing to light a huge workplace shift. For many baby boomers, they only had one career or expected to have one career. The thinking of this generation was that upon getting your qualifications you had one career - working up the ranks often in the same company. Today, it is expected that the Gen Y's will have 10 or more careers. They will job hop. Although, this may be more difficult to do in the current circumstances.

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Understanding Client DNA Behavior Under Pressure

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 15:17:37 +0000

When I was a financial planner and even before that a CPA, I had regularly observed that people's behavior and decision-making patterns changed when they were under pressure; the pressure often being caused by money and relationships. This observation was fundamental to my thinking when I was building the Financial DNA Discovery Process with my team. We wanted to know what a person's natural instinctive behaviors are as this would be key to predicting how they would really behave when there were difficult times and/or difficult decisions had to be made. This plays into the research we recently did of 100 advisors with AUM over $50million. 70% of them said that they were surprised by their clients’ reactions. Why?

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Should You Be In The Business?

Thu, 02 Apr 2009 15:31:56 +0000

I have had some interesting discussions in the past week with financial advisors and managers of advisors. With the financial downturn everyone is evaluating where they are at. The big question being asked is: "Should you be in the business?" My feeling is that over the next 1 to 3 years many current advisors will give up or be forced out. When you think there is research showing that 89% of clients are considering switching advisors there is much to think about. The financial services landscape is going to change dramatically.

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Fix Corporate Behavior... Fix the Board

Wed, 01 Apr 2009 14:50:32 +0000

I have had some interesting discussions in the past few weeks with business leaders from many different industries and backgrounds in the United States. One of the areas that consistently comes up is poor corporate governance. As mentioned in my last blog most of the economic problems we have right now are due to the behavior of our leaders. Being direct, alot of leadership behavior is not properly monitored. So, a key step towards fixing the problems we have today would be to change the corporate governance structures in publicly traded companies.

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Manage the Human Risks in Your Business

Tue, 24 Mar 2009 16:13:40 +0000

At the moment there is alot of talk about the collapsing business and financial environment. For everyone it is having an impact in all sorts of ways. Of course, we all look at the numbers side of the equation; but what about the people side? What are the human risks in your business? How are your people behaving in these times? Then, also, how do you want them to behave to handle the crisis and then build your business going forward? We have been working with many companies all over the globe on managing and developing their human capital. In this regard, we have been using our Business DNA Business Risks Matrix. Review a summary here:

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Behavioral Profiles Leverage Your Intuition

Tue, 24 Mar 2009 16:11:22 +0000

In the financial services industry there are a lot of supporters for the use of behavioral profiles as part of the client discovery process and there are some detractors from using them. Like in any situation where there are detractors most have not yet had a positive experience or seen the full benefits or simply have been listening to the wrong information. This is human nature. Overall, I do believe that you can never have enough information about yourself, your clients and also your team. As Benjamin Disraeli said: "The most successful people are those who have the most information". Of course you also need to have the best and most accurate information.

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Investment Risks Rooted In Human Behavior

Fri, 20 Mar 2009 16:09:26 +0000

A statement I have been making to many people for the last 10 years is: "Investment markets cannot be controlled, but how you manage your reaction to them can be". Generally, for most investors the reason that they obtain returns which are on average 6% lower than market returns is because of their behavior. Investors generally make poor investment decisions because of their reactions to events and also to their own life circumstances. This can be because they do not know who they are or how to manage their emotional impulses which are driven from how they are wired to behave. I really want to emphasize that successful investing is about managing your behavior.

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Wealth Mentoring Your Clients....Managing Behavior

Fri, 20 Mar 2009 16:01:53 +0000

Hang on. Where is the market going to? Will the Dow be 5000 in the next few months by June 2009 or 22000 in 6 years? Who knows. They are interesting questions. I have placed my own personal wager on the markets reaching these levels in those time frames with some friends. I have often talked about this with friends and clients since 1999. Japan could still get messy for the world yet as it has many unresolved issues. These problems coming down the pipeline have been a big part of my move into the human behavior business. However, this whole discussion does call into question what is our role in advising clients? Is our role to help them manage their behavior or to get the highest maximum performance?

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Managing Your Clients Through Turbulent Times

Tue, 24 Feb 2009 21:15:21 +0000

Well the stock market has gone to 10 year lows. Has it hit the bottom? That is not necessarily the crucial issue although this downward spiral will be raising more fears. What is crucial is how you handle this situation in terms of your own behavior and managing that of your clients. If you read my last blog you will see research is showing that advisors are on the whole not going far enough in client discovery and in particular understanding behavior. Here are some tips for managing your clients which are all based on having greater behavioral understanding...

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Understanding Financial Behavior Under Stress

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 19:33:56 +0000

With turbulent financial markets it is far more likely that your true financial behavior will emerge and strongly influence your financial decisions. The degree to which this true financial behavior emerges and your ability to effectively manage it will to a large degree depend on how much pressure you come under because of financial concerns and difficulties. How are you going to navigate these difficult times? To what extent will your emotions drive decisions?

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Finding Meaning in Your Life

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 14:04:09 +0000

For a few years now there has been an increasing trend toward people taking steps to find greater meaning in their life. Gradually, more and more people are having the courage to do it and not just talk about it. This may involve turning their back on what is a well paid job and years of study and even moving from where they live. I even believe that this desire to find meaning will increase with turbulent financial times which could be quite dislocating for some. To survive emotionally and financially people will have to change their perspective on life and their relationship to money so that their meaning is not as much defined by how much they have.

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Uncovering Human Behavior Risks

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 16:39:36 +0000

Generally in business, and particularly in financial services, people associate risk with the markets or economy. What we fail to drill down into are the risks caused by human behavior. Another way of looking at this is to consider how people handle the market risks. What decisions do they make? What solutions do they come up with? How do they manage their emotions? How do they communicate?

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Dreams and Goals

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 16:51:44 +0000

Would you prefer to be asked about your dreams or your goals? Last week in one of our Wealth Mentor Community Calls we discussed this very question. Prior to the meeting, I had the Wealth Mentor participants read a book called the Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly. This book really brings out the connective power of encouraging people to get in touch with their dreams. The point that emerged during the discussion was that most people would prefer to be asked about their dreams rather than goals.

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Managing Risk

Wed, 13 Aug 2008 14:44:17 +0000

On the weekend, I had the great fortune to listen to a very inspiring presentation by Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson is a leading pediatric neurosurgeon at the John Hopkins Hospital. In his career he has been a pioneer in performing highly risky surgery on children. He has a great book: "Take the Risk - Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk". Dr. Carson explained how he has often been faced with addressing the viability of taking a major risk in his work. What is there to gain? Will it be worthwhile? What if I fail?

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Family Meeting Questions

Wed, 06 Aug 2008 16:40:57 +0000

The stage is now set. The family have committed to a meeting. Further, the initial homework has been done with everyone completing their Financial DNA® Profiles, Family Quality Life Review and other pre-meeting exercises. Remember, there are a lot of settings for a family meeting. Further, there are a lot of times when key questions can be asked. Questions can be asked during meetings with professional advisors, whilst on vacation, over dinner at the family home or in more formal settings such as during a family retreat. The issue is now what questions will be asked at the family meeting?

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The Impact of Money on Your Family

Wed, 30 Jul 2008 17:41:27 +0000

What has been the impact of money on your family? This is a big question and one often addressed in a family meeting. Also, it is often asked by your financial advisor in the financial planning discussion. In many ways these impacts will shape who the family is, determine the family relationships, define the family legacy and how the family is remembered by others. My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-c7785816d46106f2dad9db212636c9c3}

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Review Your Relationship with Money

Wed, 23 Jul 2008 14:28:30 +0000

Recently, I have had a great experience in reading a book called “The Energy of Money” by Maria Nemeth. I would thoroughly recommend this book to any person who is interested in better understanding their relationship to money. After all, this is what I have been advocating very strongly in my past few blogs. To become financially educated and realize your potential, you need to understand who you are and why you make the life and financial decisions that you do.

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Financial Education in Turbulent Times

Fri, 11 Jul 2008 14:38:00 +0000

My last couple of podcasts have really hit on the issue of financial education to develop greater financial capability for the consumer. The need is now "red hot" with the financial markets in turbulence and many people very concerned about how they will unwind. Are we at the lows yet? It would not seem likely. So, there is potential for a lot more concern and emotion yet.

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The Role of Advisors in Consumer Education

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 16:51:41 +0000

Financial DNA was originally built based on our passion to see the consumer receive education to become more financially empowered and in our view this starts with greater self-understanding. Consumer financial education does not start with understanding the technical aspects of alpha and beta and what a stock or bond is, or hedge funds. So, we believe that financial advisors must play a greater role in consumer financial education starting with client behavior.

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Knowing Self Increases Financial Capability

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 21:36:46 +0000

Core to my passion is seeing people take more personal responsibility for their financial decisions. In the end this is actually key to your financial success, and overall quality life. To take more personal responsibility means increasing your financial capability. I believe there is an obligation on yourself to get the right financial education and also on your financial advisors to help you by providing it and guiding you. In the end, you need to be able to make more informed choices about the products and solutions you are buying, and not just rely on others to decide for you.

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Family Transparency

Wed, 11 Jun 2008 13:25:40 +0000

A common derailer that I have seen in many families is a lack of transparency. There is key information which is not being disclosed to other family members and, in some cases, to key people in a family business. Usually, this is caused by the holder of the information not trusting the other family members in some way.

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Organizing a Family Meeting

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 16:45:30 +0000

Do you want greater family unity, and hence greater family harmony, wealth and ultimately a quality life? If yes, the key then is to start planning a family meeting and hopefully make it an annual event. Remember, every family has some level of dysfunction so you need to realize that but not let it deter you from having a meeting.

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Birth Order and Behavior

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 14:12:39 +0000

One of the questions I am often asked is does birth order influence your behavioral style? Well, based on the research we have performed, birth order does not influence your natural behavior.

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Discover Your Investment EQ

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 13:41:48 +0000

Recent research into the human mind has found that the secret to success in any long-term endeavor, whether it be in business, relationships or investing, is an attribute called ‘Emotional Intelligence’ (otherwise known as ‘EQ’). EQ is a type of intelligence that’s significantly different to the standard IQ-based definition of ‘smart’ we’re all used to. The topic of ‘EQ’ has received significant coverage in the business world in the last few years, fueled in particular by Daniel Goleman’s books which are aimed at helping business people use the skill to further their careers and effectiveness.

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Being or Doing

Fri, 04 Apr 2008 15:20:08 +0000

Life purpose discovery is difficult and in many ways a journey in its own right. However, the process of discovery does become easier if a process is followed and you have a way of thinking about it. I recently read a great book on life purpose, and by chance today found out that Oprah is currently doing a series on it. The book is "A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle.

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Money Influences Leadership

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 17:48:29 +0000

The topic of money is missing from the coaching agenda full-stop. Why? Talking about money can be a very emotionally charged issue for both the leader and the consultant/coach. Many people are, when it gets down to it, mystified by money and the power of its impact.

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Information Flows Drive Energy

Wed, 12 Mar 2008 21:08:26 +0000

Last night I was called by a family friend (for the sake of the innocent Amy) who was being pushed by an advisor to make a major decision in regard to transferring her retirement savings account. Why was Amy asking me the question...?

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Balancing Life Return and Financial Return

Wed, 20 Feb 2008 17:42:03 +0000

Many financial decisions are a reflection of your life and behavior. Key to finding balance is helping the client objectively understand their inherent strengths and struggles based on who they uniquely are, and then their preferences. So, the balance will be different depending on our different behavioral styles.

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What Are You Passionate About?

Mon, 04 Feb 2008 18:20:23 +0000

My approach in working with client's has been to fairly early on in the conversation ask them: What are you passionate about? I have found this to be a very powerful question in finding out where their life is at and where they want to go. This is so important if you are helping someone set their goals and direction. I do not really believe you can do financial planning for a person without knowing their passion because it is so fundamental to their life. Having clarity of your passions regardless of what they are means you can make decisions with confidence and commitment.

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Discovering Your Potential Through Coaching and Mentoring

Mon, 21 Jan 2008 18:31:12 +0000

What sets a truly great individual apart from others is often found in their ongoing commitment to growth and personal development. An important step for business leaders, financial advisors or any person seeking to get to the next level in their life and career is being prepared to be coached or mentored. By experiencing coaching or mentoring you will also become better equipped to guide others to success and building a quality life.

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What is Balance?

Mon, 03 Dec 2007 17:26:39 +0000

During a recent Wealth Mentor Training with a group of financial advisors we were discussing our definitions of a “Quality Life”. A number of advisors made a very key observation: Is there such a concept as a balanced life? Can a person really have balance? This discussion really hit a chord with me as this point really gets to the core of what the Financial DNA program is all about.

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Who is in the Way of Your Success

Sat, 10 Nov 2007 14:52:55 +0000

Recently I asked the following question to a group of entrepreneurial businessmen that I was facilitating: “Who is in the way of your success?” I was amazed to hear the answer: “ME”. Yes, that is correct. All of them acknowledged that they are the person in the way of their own success. This was equally true in running their business or their own life and relationships. I was very happy to hear this answer because it is the truth. So often we have trouble seeing through our own ego and blind spots to acknowledge that it is us who is in the way. There are other factors too of secondary importance such as lack of capital, finding the right people, market forces etc

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Discover Your Relationship to Money

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 23:05:00 +0000

What does money mean to you? What role does money play in your life? What are your motivations for earning money? How do you measure your worth? What do you spend money on? These are big questions that have to be considered whether you are an advisor or an investor. The truth is that answering them says a lot about who you are, the life you are living, the life you want to live and your financial goals. Money is the vehicle that enables your life to happen. But while money itself does not have a personality, you do. Your relationship with money will be no different regardless of how much you have. It is inherently part of your Financial DNA Code!!

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Who is your client?

Sat, 27 Oct 2007 21:07:20 +0000

I have had some really interesting conversations with advisors during the past few weeks during presentations. In particular, when I have been talking about family dynamics and asking the question who is your advice really impacting? Generally, the obvious answer would be that your client is the person who currently has the wealth for which financial planning is required (the “Wealth Holder”). What about the beneficiaries of the wealth? Their lives are generally being impacted by the decisions that get made in the financial and estate plans. To some degree aren’t these beneficiaries also your client? In providing advice, you need to understand the unique behavioral styles of BOTH the Wealth Holder and the beneficiaries. If you do not take into account the unique financial personality of the beneficiaries then the plan could be useless once the wealth does transfer to them. Isn’t this at least partly why we see so many financial and estate plans practically fall apart, breakdowns in family relationships, and generally dysfunctional behavior?

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Life is More Important Than Money

Sat, 25 Aug 2007 23:24:31 +0000

Where is your focus? What message are you conveying? Whatever you are doing in your life or business, perhaps consider the message which is behind the following google research that I have recently done with one of our Certified Wealth Mentors George Vieth whilst "word-smithing" how we define our own values and brand messaging. This may help you re-define your own messaging in terms of focus, simplicity and connecting to what people are looking for. For us, it very much clarified the Financial DNA brand promise is that "we guide and give you the education to help balance your life and money". This is very consistent with our "Understanding People before Numbers Philosophy".

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Personal Confidence.....Remove the Gremlins

Thu, 02 Aug 2007 23:10:08 +0000

How confident are you in the business, financial and life decisions you are making? Do you have times of doubt? Have you ever created thoughts in your mind that are not reality, or what can be called gremlins? These questions are equally valid whether you are an investor, executive or advisor. When you have confidence almost anything can be achieved, adversity can be handled, your mind opens up to new possibilities, you get unstuck, relationships can get built, people are attracted to you. Personal confidence is an energy force that sustains you. With plenty of confidence, there can be never ending growth in ALL areas of your life.

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Accelerate the Application of Your Unique Gift - Financial DNA Whitepaper

Tue, 31 Jul 2007 00:04:33 +0000

What really drives you in your life? What types of activities motivate you? When are you the most productive? Where do you believe you could have never-ending improvement? These are questions we often guide people in finding the answers to. You may well ask what has this got to do with wealth creation. Well, if you believe the greatest source of wealth creation is the productive use of your human capital then it is significant. Discovering your Unique Gift is a foundational component of your Life Purpose which is vital to determining your goals and ultimately the purpose of money in your life.

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Accelerate Your Visioning - Financial DNA Whitepaper

Thu, 28 Jun 2007 01:03:17 +0000

Just as eye glasses or contact lenses improve the clarity of what you are seeing, the Financial DNA Discovery Process has been designed to clarify what you are doing with your life and how your financial decisions are aligned with your life. Seeing what you want is the first step – finding your passion. But it is vision that takes that discovery from a want to a plan. Vision is what allows you to flesh out a two-dimensional life of commitments to a three-dimensional life of vitality. Having a clear vision can deliver your life purpose by bringing your passions from the realm of your dreams to the realm of your waking life. The vision will determine the shape of your life, although people with very similar passions can end up with very different visions.

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Advisor-Client Chemistry

Thu, 21 Jun 2007 05:46:30 +0000

Do you have the right clients? This is a very topical issue for many financial planners, particularly those who have already built a business to a reasonable level. Actually, it is as important as the client selecting the right advisor. In the end there must be a mutual relationship with the parties comfortable with each other. The relationship cannot start out (but it often does) with the client simply having dollars in the bank account and some financial planning needs, and on the other side the client believing the advisor has the skills and the necessary integrity. In fact, these are all assumed to get to the point of the first meeting. Bob Veres of Inside Information ( has written a great article this month called "Segmentation or Bust" mainly directed at advisors to consider the structure of their client base.

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Mastering Your Personal Energy....Build Wealth

Tue, 12 Jun 2007 02:59:51 +0000

This topic came from a discussion I was having this morning with some of our wealth mentors. So, you may well ask the question: What on earth has mastering your personal energy got to do with building wealth? Let me tell you it is totally connected if you believe in an "inside-out" approach to building a quality life and creating wealth, whether that be measured on financial or non-financial factors. There is no doubt I am seeing this more and more for myself every day and also a fast growing number of others are experiencing it too. Your personal energy can be described in many ways and is sourced from many things. Let's try describing it as your level of personal confidence, the positive way you feel, the balance of your emotions, your mood, contentment with your inner self, the warmth of your heart, comfort in dealing with others, the ability to show gratitude, and there is much more. Perhaps, your personal energy is at its highest when you are living in alignment with yourself and totally believe in who you are.

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Initiating Difficult Conversations......The Benefit

Tue, 05 Jun 2007 01:52:56 +0000

An activity I enjoy doing every month is moderating a discussion amongst a group of high powered, highly successful and highly interesting entrepreneurs with very different businesses and from different backgrounds. When you are amongst them for a few hours every month the ideas and perspectives that come out can be mind blowing. For me also, in a subtle sort of way, it is an opportunity to play the role of educator. Of course that connects to my passion and purpose in life. At the start of the last meeting, as usual I asked this group an "Ice Breaker" Question: How has initiating a difficult conversation resulted in a benefit for you?

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Trust Yourself....Gain Client Trust

Wed, 30 May 2007 00:57:11 +0000

We all know that successful long-term advisor client relationships are built on trust. The question is ... are we as advisors trustworthy?. There are many levels and dimensions of trust and it can be examined and discussed in many ways. Trust is not just about character, it can simply be about how we act or come across to another person. In the same setting with the same actions, one person may trust you and another may not. So to develop trust with different people you will need to adapt your behavior to meet them on their terms. In our work of mentoring people based on behavioral styles we teach that for a client (or any person for that matter) to trust you, then the FIRST STEP is for you to trust yourself.

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Listening in the Wealth Mentoring Conversation

Mon, 28 May 2007 23:47:29 +0000

Many people say that they are a good listener. If you are, is it natural or learned? What are your conversations like? The reality is that many of us are not naturally good listeners. In fact, for many of us we were not born to listen rather to set the agenda. Associated with this trait is the natural tendency to assume or hear what we want, to reach our goals. This will be even more true for a dominant person where such behaviors are very hard-wired in. Please do not take this as a judgement as it is you. You will no doubt have many strengths and this is just a consequential struggle, which can be managed with some recognition and heightened consciousness.

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Mon, 28 May 2007 05:13:51 +0000

Have you ever been asked a question and then said "aha"? I now get it. Wow, that question has really crystallized some thoughts for me. If you are an advisor, can you recall asking your client that powerful question which gave them an "aha" experience? Just imagine how liberating that would be if you asked such a potentially life changing question of someone you are interacting with. By asking the question, the trust in you really accelerates and interestingly for the person also, trust in themselves. Their decision-making confidence really increases. This is priceless in any way you want to measure it. I have to admit some of my close friends, mentors and business associates have asked me these types of questions. Frankly, such "aha" triggering questions are a major reason for why I am doing what I do today.

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Raising Your Consciousness

Mon, 28 May 2007 00:30:58 +0000

I am often asked by advisors "Do I really need to do a profile? I already know my clients". Then some clients (i.e. investors) may say "but I already know myself" or "over time I have seen these behaviors come out". However, whether you are an advisor or client, this begs the questions ... "How conscious are you of the people you have relationships with? Are you really noticing when there is connection or when expectations are not being met?" I often ask advisors, "Are you sleep walking through the advisory process?", meaning you may know your process well, you have all the steps and procedures and you have learned to follow your intuition with clients. However, are you really picking up all there is to know about the client?

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Holding Your Space In Critical Conversations

Fri, 25 May 2007 00:04:49 +0000

I was having a discussion with an executive coach about how you remain comfortable when having a potentially difficult conversation. There are a lot of theories about this and to some degree everyone will do it differently. One of the interesting thoughts that arose was that the course of a conversation can go in many directions and you will not necessarily know how it will turn out. All possibilities can exist at one moment. You need to remember you are not the only party to that conversation. What the other person says or how they react or their tone of voice can totally change the outcome. Their reaction may ultimately trigger you to move in another direction. This has been true for me in a number of difficult conversations that I have had.

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Living On Purpose

Thu, 24 May 2007 00:15:42 +0000

Wherever I have gone this year more and more advisors and people at large are talking about living a "life on purpose". Advisors are saying to me, we are having deeper conversations with clients about purpose. These conversations are becoming the core of how they help clients find fulfilment and make more discerning decisions. There is also a ground swell of people in all walks of life wanting to have a life with more meaning and they are starting to engage in discussions about their purpose. To me this is very exciting. I believe people can truly develop and build a quality life once they get close to their purpose and have the courage to start living it.

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Making Sustainable Change In Your Life

Wed, 23 May 2007 00:28:11 +0000

Are you one of the majority of people who finds it hard to make changes to your life? Do you actually want to make changes in your life? Do you know how to make changes in your life? Do you know where to start? In my work as a Wealth Mentor, (which involves a blend of being coach, trainer and advisor) helping people make changes to the way they work and live is a big part of what I do. To be honest, I have had to make many big changes personally to be doing what I am doing today. Becoming aware of a deep passion to educate others to become more empowered to make better financial decisions has been a catalyst for me making many changes in my life. Clearly there have been other changes that I have made at times, such as losing weight or getting fitter, that have not always been directly tied to a passion. But even then, those changes were made in the broader scheme of improving my overall life and enabling me to better live my passions. I believe discovering your passion is an important first step because it is foundational to your life purpose and hence helps you define a goal that is worth fighting for.

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Financial Freedom or Financial Complications

Mon, 21 May 2007 23:51:00 +0000

One of the financial advisors in a group asked me whether everyone would go through Financial DNA. The answer is potentially yes. We have had people with very little wealth and some with over $1billion go through the process, and all of them have been greatly liberated by the personal knowledge they have gained. This triggered the response from one of them, "Well if I was super wealthy I wouldn't bother, I would be out of here. I would have my financial freedom". Such a comment raises many questions and issues which cannot all be addressed right now. But my response was: "Well do you really have financial freedom with super wealth?". Many wealthy people are in actual fact prisoners of their wealth. It brings a whole new set of financial complications, let alone the personal issues. I mentioned that it is not always a life on easy street with these people. So perhaps financial freedom at this level is not really the dream?

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Defining Your Relationship with Money

Mon, 21 May 2007 23:37:10 +0000

So, what does money mean to you? There has been a lot written on this topic from many different angles. My sense is that this is a topic of thought that has always been there for many people but not necessarily at a very conscious level. For some, they may even find it very confronting and others may query its importance. Others are more interested in how much they can have and not so focused on what it means. Today, in our wealth mentoring work we are providing guidance for many people to find the answer to this question. The question is important because it goes to the core of who you are and what your life goals are, and consequently your financial goals. I do not believe you can make committed decisions and ultimately build a quality life until you know the answer to this question and are comfortable with that answer. The journey of discovery will be life shaping and fun. The great thing is that the answer is different for all of us and so whatever money does mean to you, it will become foundational for your life.

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Financial Consequences

Thu, 17 May 2007 23:03:25 +0000

Many people have commented to me recently that one of the powerful messages I deliver, is the reality that every financial decision is driven by a life issue and every life decision has a financial consequence. In essence, life and financial decisions are totally integrated. Therefore, when doing financial planning it is absolutely vital that you understand what drives your financial decisions. To me, the primary driver is your financial personality, or what we call your Financial DNA. Your financial personality is in essence your natural born behavior shaped by your environment, experiences and education. Or we can break it down into behaviors, passions, values, beliefs, purpose and knowledge. All of these factors make up who you are and in their own way fundamentally drive your life decisions and consequently your financial decisions.

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Sharing Yourself from the Inside Out

Thu, 17 May 2007 07:15:16 +0000

Did you know that icebergs connect below the surface? Well people do as well. This is where truly lasting relationships are formed. So how do you get below the surface and connect with others? I am not just meaning a one sided conversation where you find out the other persons dreams and aspirations. How do you share some of who you are with them? What I am talking about is creating a safe environment for a Wealth Mentoring Conversation, which is by its very nature mutual. Why would a prospect or client, or for that matter any one else, start totally sharing who they are with you, if you do not reciprocate? I appreciate this is not the normal approach in a traditional advisory relationship, which by its very nature is somewhat one-sided. However, in a wealth mentoring relationship where you are building a long term relationship with the client to be their trusted guide, it is absolutely foundational. This is a key differential in building trust along with listening.

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Connecting Your Wealth Creation and Behavior

Tue, 15 May 2007 02:29:44 +0000

At the start of a radio interview, I was asked a fundamental question: What is the relevance of behavior to your wealth creation? In my view, your behavioral style is foundational to your wealth creation. When I use the term "wealth creation" I do not just mean money or financial wealth, it also includes your whole of life wealth. I adopt the approach that the correct place to start building true wealth in your life is from the inside. In essence, I have an "inside-out" approach to wealth creation.

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Integrating Multiple Passions Into Your Life

Sun, 13 May 2007 23:57:59 +0000

What do you do when you have multiple passions? This is a great position to be in, particularly as many people do not lay claim to having one passion. If you do have multiple passions then in my view you are very wealthy in terms of having a quality life. Some may be surprised to know that Financial DNA is not my only passion. I add in the development of youths as another, then watching cricket (sorry not baseball!!) and other sporting activities, and wine tasting. The key is to work out how all of your passions can get squeezed into your busy life.....

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Facilitating Your Clients With Financial DNA

Thu, 10 May 2007 01:25:37 +0000

In my last topic on engaging the client, I concluded with the comment that facilitating the Financial DNA profiles with your clients is easier than you may perceive, and does not have to take you away from being an advisor to a counsellor. There is no doubt this is a concern for some advisors particularly for those who have been more focused on the investment side of the business. In my training sessions, I often use the golf analogy, if you already have a good golf swing meaning you are a good client facilitator, then Financial DNA is putting a much better golf club in your hands. So we are not here to change your swing, just make the ball contact better and straighter, meaning have a more powerful conversation. I wish to be clear that the goal is not to convert advisors to being counsellors or defacto psychologists. Rather, our goal is to take a lot of the guesswork and assumptions about client behavior out of the client discovery process.

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Engaging Your Clients in Financial DNA

Wed, 09 May 2007 00:37:54 +0000

Interestingly, the most common question that we have been asked by financial advisors is: How do I get my clients to take the profiles? Will they do the profiles? I have been in the shoes of the advisor introducing the Financial DNA Profiles and fully appreciate the questions. Being honest, when I started down the track of introducing the Financial DNA profiles to my clients in 2001 and, before then asking more probing life orientated discovery questions, I did not necessarily expect such a process would be for everyone. Particularly in Australia where there is less personal openness than in the United States. There is no doubt that I was expecting resistance.....

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What the Advisor Said......What the Client Heard

Tue, 08 May 2007 00:52:00 +0000

Communication is a significant theme in Financial DNA and one that I am often asked to talk about. Certainly, it is a foundational starting point in all of our work with advisors and clients. How advisors and clients communicate is not only important to the quality of the relationship but also to the quality of the financial decisions that get made. What happens when the communication is poor is that people start making decisions around each other because the trust has been diminished. Also, poor decisions get made because the information has not been heard as intended. The same is true when couples, families, business partners and teams communicate.

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Accelerate Goal Setting - Planning To Get Where You Want To Go

Sun, 04 Feb 2007 23:59:13 +0000

January is traditionally a time to decide on a New Year resolution and then for most people, within a few weeks, to break it! Some manage to stay the course and succeed but most would agree that successful New Year resolutions are few and far between. Why do most people fail in achieving their resolutions? The reason is very often because they do not have a process for converting the resolutions to goals and then writing them down with an accountability framework. to find out more, please listen to this podcast, or visit our website -

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Living Your Values - Financial DNA Whitepaper

Mon, 30 Oct 2006 22:33:59 +0000

In order to understand where you are going (in life and financially), you first need to understand who you are. And in order to understand who you are, you need to understand where you came from. Your values, education and environment all interplay in a complicated way to determine your financial personality, and understanding the impact of these influences is key to the self-discovery process. Whether you are aware of it or not, your values are a very important part of what drives your day-to-day decision-making. However, many people go through life purporting to have certain values yet these values do not correlate with the way they live their lives. How many people say they value family but spend little quality time with their children? How many claim independence as a high priority and then work in a job that is more like a prison sentence? In cases like these, it may be that they are not acknowledging or recognizing their true values. Or it may be that they are not really living their lives in accordance with their values.

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Financial DNA Whitepaper - Uncover Your Passion for a Quality Life

Fri, 29 Sep 2006 01:09:40 +0000

No one can deny the power of someone being passionate about something. We have all witnessed the all-consuming, potentially irrational attitude that is associated with a person pursuing their passion, whether it is their business, a religion, a sporting activity or the latest addition to the family. Uncovering your passion and then finding ways to incorporate that passion into your everyday life can be a difficult process. It can also be invigorating. Living with passion covers every aspect of your life so that even the most mundane acts become flushed with purpose. This is why understanding your passion is a fundamental part of the process of developing your financial plan. If you don’t know what drives and motivates you, how can you manage your financial resources appropriately?

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Financial DNA White Paper - Accelerate Your Quality Life

Tue, 05 Sep 2006 23:11:56 +0000

Where is your life going well now? Are your business and family relationships aligned? What is the purpose for your life? Are you making committed decisions? How do you want to be remembered? Building a Quality Life is a continual journey. There is always a way to make your life better no matter where you have got to: whether it is having extreme financial wealth, being the President of your company, a sporting star or community leader. Ultimately, how well you synchronize all aspects of your life is the key. In particular, what we have seen is that you cannot separate your life and financial decisions. They are integrated. So how does one continually balance these choices?

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Financial DNA White Paper - Accelerate Your Communication

Thu, 24 Aug 2006 00:06:20 +0000

This podcast will address how enhancing your communication is foundational to making more optimal decisions and enhancing the quality of your relationships and your overall life. We naturally communicate based on who we are, and how we see the world. How the other person hears the message, depends on who they are, so there is often a gap that needs to be bridged between what is said and what was heard. One of the keys to success in any relationship is closing this gap by communicating with the other person on their terms, and not your own.

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Financial DNA White Paper - Accelerate Your Trust for Great Relationships

Sun, 13 Aug 2006 23:36:51 +0000

This podcast will address how building trust in your self is foundational to the quality of your relationships and your overall life, and then five key trust building steps that you can adopt.

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Financial DNA White Paper: Accelerate Your Risk Profile Discovery

Thu, 20 Jul 2006 14:40:40 +0000

This podcast will address a new framework for uncovering your risk profile which involves starting with your natural hard-wired behavior and then examining the impact of a wide range of influences that impact the risk you will take in making financial decisions.

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Financial DNA White Paper - Accelerate Your Life Purpose

Sun, 16 Jul 2006 20:35:42 +0000

The podcast will address the importance of knowing your life purpose for setting goals that you can be committed to, and an easy 5 step process for discovering your life purpose.

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Financial DNA Introduction by Hugh Massie

Mon, 10 Jul 2006 01:17:48 +0000

Hugh Massie talks about Financial DNA - learn to understand your unique financial personality and how this can enhance your Quality Life.

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