For those of you who missed the podcast/video we sent out a few weeks ago, this particular topic turned out to be a big hit, so I thought I’d transcribe it into article form for those who prefer to read vs. watch or listen.
Donna (my bride) and I were on a date night with another couple one night, and we started talking about Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, “The 5 Love Languages.”
Now, I’ve got a secret to share… For those who know me well, they already know this, but the truth is, I’m a big time, closet romantic. I think our friends were pretty surprised to hear that, when I was only 15 years of age, I went out, bought, and read John Gray’s “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.” Then, I went out and bought “Mars and Venus, Together Forever” when it came out… again, when I was in high school! I’m a little embarrassed to publicly admit this, but it’s the truth!
So anyway, as we’re having this discussion about relationships with our two friends the other night, it got me thinking about the different types of personalities we work with – all the different types of clients, and what I’ll call “Money Love Languages” that exist out there.
Have you ever wondered what your “Money Love Language” is?!
To add some context to this topic (especially for those who have not read Chapman’s Book), here are his 5 “Love Languages”:
Words of Affirmation:
These are individuals who feel most loved when they’re praised and shown appreciation through verbal means.
These people feel most loved when their partner gives them undivided attention, when they make eye contact and exercise good listening skills during conversation.
People who align with this love language feel most loved with a touch on the arm, an unexpected hug or kiss, hand-holding, or a massage at the end of the day.
Acts of Service:
Individuals who feel most loved in this manner appreciate when their partner gasses up the car for them, does the dishes without being asked, or they “give mom or dad some time off.”
These people feel most loved when they receive unexpected gifts from their partner, however, it’s not about the gift itself, but the time and effort it took to find and purchase the gift.
So, those are The 5 Love Languages, according to Dr. Gary Chapman. Where do you think you fall?! And by the way, you can have a “primary” and “secondary” love language. You don’t have to pigeonhole yourself into just one!
Now, let’s talk about the “Money Love Languages.” There are technically nine, and I’ll share all of them, but I want to focus on the top-5 since they’re statistically much more prevalent than the bottom-4.
These are people who feel that wealth management is all about taking care of their family. They might say, “I’m relatively conservative in both my personal and professional life, and I don’t consider myself to be very knowledgeable when it comes to the wealth management process or investing in the market.” In a survey sent out to high-net-worth individuals nationwide, a whopping 34.1% of respondents considered themselves to be Family Stewards, making up the largest majority of “Money Love Languages.”
These are individuals who appreciate the personal freedom that money provides. They might say, “I feel investing is a necessary means to an end, and I feel like I do a pretty good job of saving for myself and my family. I’m not really interested in the process of investing or wealth management, however.” Of those surveyed, 16.8% responded saying that they consider themselves to be “Independents.”
Phobics are those who generally find the world of wealth management and investing to be both frustrating and confusing. They might say, “I don’t like managing my finances and I generally avoid talking about it. Trust is absolutely crucial to me, because without trusting the professional that helps me with my finances, I feel even more lost and frustrated…and even frozen in place.” Phobics represent 11.4% of the population.
These are individuals who put confidentiality above all, as their #1, biggest concern. They might say, “My money is my business, and no one else’s. When it comes to my financial affairs, privacy is of the utmost importance to me, and I often worry about cybersecurity threats to my accounts, so I need to feel safe and protected with someone I trust.” Looking at the whole group, 8.3% of individuals are “The Anonymous.”
These individuals would say something like, “I care more about growing my investment portfolio than I do about the retirement planning and wealth management process. One of my biggest priorities is to get a good return on my investments, but I often find myself frustrated with the results.” They don’t usually realize they’re Accumulators and tend to change financial advisers every few years because their focus is less on the plan, and more on seeing their money grow. That being said, they typically tend to be people who are frugal and live below their means, so they don’t tend to worry about running out of money. Only 6.1% of individuals are Accumulators.
Those are the Top-5 “Money Love Languages,” and like Chapman’s “Love Languages,” you can fit into a blend of the above. So, what is your language (or combination of languages)?
I promised I’d go over the bottom-4, and while they make up such a small percentage of the population, here’s what each of these personality types might say:
“I like being in control, and being rich means having power. I make quick decisions and rarely look back.”
“There are ways to get respect, and having money is one of them.”
“I consider myself to be pretty aggressive. I love the stock market, I think investing is exciting, and when it’s not… I get bored.”
“I’m a pretty sophisticated investor and I’m pretty tech-savvy, too. I love investing in derivatives and cryptocurrencies are the best thing since sliced bread!”
You’ve probably known someone, at some point in your life, who fits into one or more of these bottom-4 “Money Love Languages.” Frankly, these four are not typically good clients for us, so when we identify them during our 2nd Opinion Process, we tend to part ways as early on as possible, but I digress…
At the end of the day, one of the things that determine a successful retirement is knowing yourself. You’ve heard it before… quotes like “If you don’t know yourself, you don’t know anything.” Or another favorite quote of mine: “If you’re not happy with yourself, you can’t be happy with anyone else!”
Once you understand your “Money Love Language,” paving the path to a successful future becomes easier, much clearer, and less emotional.
When you know yourself, know what you fear, and put a financial roadmap in place, the rest is as simple as sticking to the plan and as your life evolves, making the required changes along your journey!
Till next time…
AdamCategories: Adam Koos, CFP®, CMT®, CEPA, Educational Articles