How to Be Emotionally Intelligent About Your Finances

April 15th, 2015

Prudent and successful investing is as much about managing attitudes and feelings about money as it is about managing the money itself.  It’s all in how we use it that brings us the greatest satisfaction and success.

If we are self-aware and self-confident, we feel more of a sense of mastery.  We feel we are making the best use of it because we are using it to reflect our core values and our sense of ourselves.

Daniel Goleman has written extensively about the benefits of having and using “emotional intelligence” in our life’s pursuits.  In his book, “Leadership:  The Power of Emotional Intelligence” he posits that the ability to identify and monitor one’s emotions is imperative to being a competent leader.

He has a short list of competencies leaders must possess including self-awareness and self-management.  If you are self-aware, you have realistic self-confidence—you understand your own strengths and limitations. His point is that effective leaders understand how their personal dynamics, principally emotions, make an impact and learn to manage them so that they are used most effectively.

In my work at Financial Psychology Corp., the same principles are applied to money management.   In working with the financial services industry, it became clear early on that understanding feelings and being able to manage them was a key competency in mastering wealth accumulation.  Financial advisors had the greatest influence with their clients if they understood the importance of managing attitudes and feelings as well as finances—both their own and their clients.

Investing by its very nature is an emotional business and being able to understand our feelings and the impact they have on how we are using our money, enables us to make smarter choices and ultimately make the best use of our money.

I have seen too many otherwise highly intelligent investors allow their emotions to cloud their better judgment.  They react impulsively and inappropriately to market swings and use their emotional money minds instead of their more rational money minds.

The skill set is the same whether you want to be a good leader or you want to be a good money manager:  you have to know yourself and how to profit from reinforcing your attitudes and feelings which are assets and shoring up those that may be liabilities.  We can become our greatest financial asset if we learn how to use our personality traits so that we profit from them.  It all starts with knowing ourselves.

The mission of my company, Financial Psychology Corp., is to give people insight into their financial behavior so that they can make the best use of their money.  Visit and learn more about how you can discover the personality traits which make an impact on your financial sense of well-being.

Just as leaders use their personal attributes to achieve the most powerful influence in their pursuits, investors must be able to use the same skills and competencies to have optimum influence in how their money is being managed:  realistic self-awareness and self-confidence of doing the right thing.

Women and Wealth: The Gender Gap

April 17th, 2014

The blog describes the speech by Kathleen Gurney, PhD

Living Fulfilled Is Letting Go of Fear

September 13th, 2011

As the ominous day of the 10th anniversary of 9-11 passes, many in the world are sensing a great weight lifted from the shoulders and spirit. (more…)

Money Talk for Couples: Some Guidelines for Compatibility vs. Conflict

September 7th, 2011

I’ve recently had conversations with three very different couples – different backgrounds, different ages, different cultures – but they shared a commonality in financial incompatibility.   (more…)

How “Threat Sensitive” Are You to These Market Conditions?

August 18th, 2011

The current markets are nervous, full of uncertainty and highly reactive to any news – positive and negative. Investors are confused by the daily fluctuations and are challenged to maintain a sense of calm and control. (more…)

Successful Wealth Accumulation Depends on Maintaining A Steady Course

October 27th, 2010

Panic and our inability to manage it can be a costly consequence of our inability to manage our financial behavior. Too often we want to rid ourselves of an uncomfortable feeling and make an impulsive action that we haven’t thought through. No one likes to lose money especially if they initiated the action that triggered the loss. (more…)

Do Your Reflexes Pay Off for You?

September 14th, 2010

We all know that habits are hard to break – before we know it, we are doing the same thing that we’ve been trying to change. It might be spending less when we go food shopping, keeping up with our investments, and so many other scenarios that are true for most of us. In all of my years working with clients in helping them to alter these habits which may get them into trouble over time, it’s not focusing on the habit that helps them make positive changes. It’s actually just the opposite: figure out the more productive and satisfying habit that you want to enforce. So, instead of going shopping without a plan or list, make sure you have something concrete to follow or instead of free-floating throughout the year unaware of how your investments are performing, make a plan to get 6-month updates that you actually review. (more…)

Why The Affluent Are Pessimistic about The Economy: Unrealistic Expectations, Entitled or Both?

September 9th, 2010

CNBC Squawk on The Street reported the latest findings from the Ipsos Affluent Survey today – apparently the affluent are not happy with the economy. Their greatest concerns are the number of unemployed dragging on the economy and the debt in the US with little faith in the government to make any positive improvements. They are looking for efficiency rather than higher taxes as the answer to the dilemma. As a result of their pessimistic outlook, they have tightened their spending compared to previous years. That said, those earning over $250,000 are still planning to take a vacation out of the country (54%), buy or lease a car (32%) and perhaps take a cruise (20%). (more…)

Investors’ Flight from The market May Indeed Be A Rational Defense

August 23rd, 2010

Some experts are calling the recent mass exodus of small investors from the market an irrational reaction to unfound risk; others are hypothesizing that small investors need cash and their home values no longer support equity loans to survive so they are using their 401k investments to pay bills. (more…)

Will Self-Interest and Social Interest Prevail on Wall Street?

March 21st, 2010

I ALWAYS enjoy Fareed Zakaria’s show, GPS, and watch or tape it every Sunday. It never disappoints and certainly didn’t today. One of the guests, Michael Lewis, has written about Wall Street for the past two decades making notoriety with his first book, Liar’s Poker, about the bond scandal which he predicted would bring down “The Street”. He was admittedly wrong then and has hope that the new regulatory movement and measures will protect consumers from themselves. (more…)

Moneymax Couples Report
Couples Report
Moneymax Couple Report

  • Increase compatibility in managing your money with your partner
  • Helps you to break through barriers and differences
  • Insure couple satisfaction in your money management and investing
  • Make smart money decisions together so you can make the best use of your money
Moneymax Book
Moneymax Book
Moneymax Book

Your Money Personality

Learn about the nine money personalities. Find out more about who you are and thousands of others like you in your group, how some succeed and what ultimately satisfies them.


Learn how to profit from personal financial traits and avoid costly pitfalls in your money management style with a proven and powerful tool. The questionnaire is easy and fun and only takes 5-10 minutes. Empower yourself with your customized money action plan.