Scott Martin

ContactScott Martin has been covering the financial markets since 1996 and the securities business since 2001. He was a long-time columnist for Research, market writer at, and editor of Buyside; his work currently appears in publications like The Trust Advisor, Institutional Investor, and
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Investors Instinctively Dislike Advisors Who Copy Their Financial Attitudes edit
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 18:23

Tags: client communications | client loyalty

If you've been trying to mirror your clients' attitudes toward money, it might be backfiring, according to a new joint study from two European universities and the University of Minnesota's management school.

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While it's normally cunning behavior to adopt another person's posture and body language to establish a sympathetic bond, the researchers discovered that when money's on the table, reflection breeds resentment.


Instead, they say, money breaks down normal trust relationships and so forces advisors to find other ways to reinforce loyalty.


This is especially acute in situations where advisors from middle-class backgrounds try to emulate attitudes and behaviors that they see in their ultra-high-net-worth clientele. Projecting "what the rich think" onto them is risky business.


One hint from Financial Planning: keep reminding them that they came to you for advice. You're not pushing anything down their throats.






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