The Value of Feedback

Over the last twelve months, there have been many new tools and resources I created that weren’t even an idea one year ago today. That is amazing to me. And looking back, every single one of the tools and resources were created not because I thought of it, but because someone else (or many people) suggested it to me. The resources today are a result of their ideas and feedback, not mine.

Your Feedback Helped Me Improve

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 3.54.36 PMAs I presented to thousands of investors last year a common theme in the Q&A section of the presentation was “Do you have a book?” – then it was followed up by, “You really should.” I had pages and pages of notes and a lot of information in my head. Then last June I started writing it, and The Emotional Investor was published last fall. It quickly became an Amazon Best Seller. Thank you to all who suggested the book, and those who purchased it!

Since the beginning of the year I have rolled out three tools/resources for financial professionals: Personality Driven Financial Coaching, Mastering Investor Behavior and Mind Games. The Personality idea was given to me two years ago by an industry professional, and last year at this time the design was taking shape…but still not knowing if it would work or not. Based on feedback so far, it is working! And the idea for Mastering Investor Behavior and making Mind Games in an online format was not given to me until August of 2015. Those both have also been very well received, and there have even been discussions with several financial institutions about potential enterprise license agreements.

Feedback Can Sometimes Be Hard

Feedback conceptsI write this simply to acknowledge that many of the tools and resources I have created over the years (including the three above) came about because someone cared enough to share feedback with me. And I have to admit, sometimes feedback is tough to receive. It means I’m not optimizing something. I take a lot of pride in what I do and the time I spend doing it. When I hear someone say how I can do it better, my initial instinct is to get defensive…after all my ego is at stake. Thankfully all the feedback was made with genuine desire for something better, which allowed me to quickly swallow my pride and consider how I could take their feedback and improve.

I am a big fan of progression – professionally, spiritually and just as a person. Yet, much of our progression tends to come because someone suggested a different way to do it, a different way to see something or provided us an idea we had never thought of before. Feedback is immensely valuable for our progression.

Feedback In The Investment Realm

I believe one of the greatest values for investors working with a financial advisor is getting feedback. If feedback is a major catalyst for personal improvement, then an objective and trained advisor may help investors improve their decision-making process. Now feedback can be difficult because it is after the fact, and can hurt our ego. So I am more a fan of proactive coaching, let’s call it feedforward.

I believe that one of the greatest values of working with a financial advisor is that they can become an investor’s financial coach. They can share experiences and perspectives that can help investors navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of investing and more effectively filter the noise and temper the emotional impulses. Investing may be simple, but it’s not easy. An advisor who acts as their client’s financial (behavioral) coach can help investors make better financial decisions and have a more enjoyable investment experience, despite what the markets do.