Technology, regulation, and competition have radically disrupted financial planning and the relationship between advisor and client. While fintech and quantitative forces may increasingly be involved in the selection of investments, clients still crave the human hand of a financial advisor who understands their unique needs and can develop strategies that are right for them. For planners, this shift requires new thinking that relies on better understanding a client’s psyche, improving communication, and focusing on stronger long-term relationships.

Launched by the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning and the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Client Psychology is a new course that aims to help financial advisors develop a more effective client-centered practice by drawing heavily in advances in psychology, behavioral finance, evidence-based decision making, and the human sciences to better understand the biases, behaviors, and perceptions that impact client decision making and financial well-being. CFP® professionals attending this program receive 21.5 hours of general CFP Board CE credit, offered by Wharton as CE provider.

Information on future offerings of the course will be announced on this webpage. 

Participant Profile

This program is designed broadly for any professional who advises clients on investments, insurances, or other aspects of financial planning. Faculty looking to better prepare their students to enter the profession would benefit greatly from this new and growing interdisciplinary topic. The insights into understanding client psychology, improving communication with investors, planning subjects, and achieving better outcomes will be valuable for a wide range of potential attendees, including:

  • CFP® professionals and those on their way to obtaining CFP® certification
  • Financial planners working within a variety of client-centered business models
  • Investment advisors, brokers, and counselors
  • Any investment professional with a “Know Your Client” role
  • Professionals in accounting, insurance, or related fields

In Client Psychology, You Will:

  • Adapt to disruptive change in the financial planning industry by becoming more client-centered.
  • Articulate how better knowledge of client psychology, decision making, and behavioral finance can help you build deeper, long-lasting customer relationships.
  • Gain skills that will help your clients achieve better outcomes by understanding their needs and preferences and helping them cope with life events and market volatility.
  • Study with the renowned Wharton finance faculty, leading scholars from a variety of academic disciplines, and CFP® professionals to gain day-to-day practical skills to serve and grow your client base.
  • Improve your communication skills with a stronger grasp of how client psychology can guide clients toward better decisions.
  • Develop new insights into how to adapt to a changing U.S. population and a surge in millennial clients with different views on elements of financial planning.

The academic study of Client Psychology is a burgeoning field, which merges traditional financial knowledge with an understanding of best practices from aspects of finance, financial planning, and a variety of the human sciences. The course will focus heavily on how practitioners can hone their skills in client communication through observation, exercises, and even role playing. The goal is for financial planners and advisors to gain both the know-how and the tools to refocus their practice to emphasize the client, thus achieving better results and building life-long relationships. Participants will learn how to relate better to a fast-changing client population and gain cutting-edge tools to build closer bonds with clients and ultimately deliver better outcomes.

Session Topics Include:

  • Investor Psychology Across Generations
  • The Challenges to Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • Heuristics and biases
  • Building Relationships Through Neuroscience
  • Elements of Clinical Psychology Including Spending, Saving, and Money Disorders
  • Expert Perspectives From Practitioners

For additional information on the Client Psychology program, please view the webinar recording below.