How Your Money Beliefs Choose for You, and How to Make Sure They Serve You

February 2, 2020 5 Minute Read

Prosper in 2020 – February News

I was fortunate to be a co-speaker at a recent mastermind group sponsored by Dan Leonard of Endeavor Mortgage.  My co-speaker was Linda C Sanicola, Ph.D. and I thought I would give you some of the highlights of our discussion.

How Did We Get Here?

Linda and I have been talking for months about the intersection of our professions or more specifically how we were ill-prepared for the other’s profession in our training.  She shared with me that although money was one of the key stressors in relationships and obstacles for her patients, there was zero training in the area of money in her profession.  I thought this odd until I realized that there was zero training in my profession about psychology.  Only recently has investor behavior even been discussed.

Though there is little training on the intersection of the two professions each of us came to the conclusion that the magic was at that intersection of our professions. At this intersection may be the greatest opportunity for each of us to make a difference. Why is this important? At our presentation, Linda shared a quote from Dr. David Krueger, author of Your New Money Story:

“Money is probably the most emotionally meaningful object in contemporaty life.  Only food and sex are its close competitors as common carriers of such strong and diverse feelings, significances and strivings.”

We’ve both observed that although our clients often knew the right things to do with their money, they were sometimes stopped from doing them.  Why?  I believe it is our money mindset or more specifically our money beliefs.  Those unconscious, unquestioned beliefs that run in the background making the decision for us when we think we are making them.  What is a money belief?  It is easy to see the obvious ones like “the love of money is the root of all evil.”  Or is it?  Lots of us have some belief about money that may not see money as evil but see it as something not to be talked about or something we had better not flaunt if we have it.  Even more powerful than what we heard about money from our family, friends and community are the unsaid.  What conclusions might you come to at an early age if you saw your parents arguing about money?  While I don’t have the answers, here are some of the things that came out of our discussion.

  • Our beliefs about money are not always positive. 
    • Even something like frugality can have positive and negative connotations
    • Some of our beliefs about money are limiting
  • Our negative beliefs about money are not always our own
    • Some of them came from our parents, teachers, community, and some were not verbal but impressions we received
    • Some were formed at a very young age when we did not have the cognitive ability to evaluate them as true or not
  • Our money beliefs may be running the show and we may not even be aware of it
    • We sometimes make money decisions from our unconscious mind and not our rational, reasoning mind
    • Daniel Kahneman, in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, describes this as System 1 and System 2
      • System 1 runs more on intuition and stored experience
      • System 2 is our reasoning brain
    • Unfortunately, System 1 often makes the decision without engaging System 2

So, what do we do with the above?  Some of the observations from the group were:

  • Listen to yourself and others when you talk about money and see if what is being said is true like a law (gravity is a law) or a belief.  If it is a belief, is it true?  If not true, look to replace the belief with a more positive one. 
  • Start a conversation. Talk about money.  Talk with your spouse or partner.  Talk to our children.  Talking about money for some of us is a taboo,  but it’s necessary to prepare young people to go out in the world and manage their money.  More importantly, it is important for you and your partner to be on the same page about money.
  • Listen to your values and the values of those you love and care about.  Someone gave the example that they had come to realize they valued experiences more than material things.  It was suggested that following our values might be more satisfying.
  • Ask for help. For some, there may be shame and embarrassment from talking about money.  Things like:
    • I should know how to do this
    • I should be able to figure this out
    • I should have more money saved
    • Etc.
  • Don’t let the embarrassment stop you

I continue to like these resources for those who want to learn more.  If you uncover a great resource, please let me know.

Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

You are a Badass at Making Money, Jen Sincero

I Will Teach You to be Rich, Ramit Sethi

The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace Wattles

Your Money or Your Life, Vicki Robin

What can you expect from us?

I will be focusing on improving the client experience, strengthening our relationship with our collaborative partners and growing the firm assets.  I hope to improve the client experience through more regular communication. Expect to hear from me in the monthly newsletter, in quarterly reports on your investments and in scheduled reviews.  My focus will be toward “how can I shift my mindset and that of others from one of lack to one of abundance?”

I like to post resources here that I hope will inspire, inform and illuminate.  If you come across things you want to share please reach out to me at [email protected].  Know that we appreciate you and we are here to serve you.  We exist to help you achieve a more predictable and comfortable future. 

The links provided are for educational purposes only. The links do not represent an endorsement by either Hicok Financial Solutions or ProCore Advisors, LLC.