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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

CFP Board, Wharton to Offer Client Psychology Course for Advisors

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The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning and the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are putting their heads together for a new client psychology course for financial advisors, planners and brokers.

The program aims to help financial advisors and planners transform their practices into more client-centered entities, as the field itself adjusts to the effects of technology such as online automated investing. The client psychology course gathers the latest advances in behavioral finance, clinical and cognitive psychology and human sciences with the fundamentals of financial planning to create tools to build long-lasting, deeper and prosperous relationships with investors.

Aimed at helping financial professionals better understand the biases, behaviors, and perceptions that affect the decisions clients make, as well as their financial well-being, the course is co-directed by Christopher Geczy, Ph.D., the academic director of the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative, and Charles Chaffin, Ed.D, director of academic initiatives, and was developed based on the book “Client Psychology,” for which Chaffin is the lead author and editor.

Geczy noted, “The big questions for today’s financial advisors are ‘how do you understand the potential to take risks? How do you understand the client personality as it relates to outcomes and wellness? How do you best interact with them? How do have a client for life and deliver the best value?’”

The course addresses such questions, says the report, through sessions on evidence-based decision making; investing habits and goals across generational lines; the role of recent breakthroughs in neuroscience, heuristics and biases; and elements of clinical psychology including spending, saving, and money disorders. The course will be taught by experts from Wharton, scholars from a variety of academic disciplines and CFP professionals.

It will be offered in two three-day modules, slated for spring 2019 at the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia and August 2019 in San Francisco.


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