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Moira Somers: How to Give Financial Advice That People Will Actually Take

A neuropsychologist discusses why clients don't do what their financial advisors tell them to do--and how advisors can improve upon that.

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Our guest on the podcast today is Dr. Moira Somers,  a clinical neuropsychologist and professor. She’s also author of the book Advice That Sticks: How to Give Financial Advice That People Will Follow, published in 2018. Dr Somers’ expertise is in brain functioning, behavior change, and mental health, topics that she often discusses in the context of financial advice. She’s a frequent public speaker and also consults with advisors on improving their client outcomes. 

Dr. Somers is a senior faculty member with the Sudden Money Institute, where she trains advisors and conducts research into the psychological factors at play during major life transitions. 


Moira Somers' biography 

Moira Somers' website 

Somers, M. 2018. Advice That Sticks: How to Give Financial Advice That People Will Follow (London: Practical Inspiration Publishing).

Improving Client Adherence

Behavioral finance definition 

Martin, L., Williams, S.L., Haskard, K.B., et al. 2005. “The Challenge of Patient Adherence.” Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, Vol. 1, No. 3, P. 189. 

Somers, M. “Does Your Advice Stick?Journal of Financial Planning, May 2018.

Stone, G.C. 1979. “Patient Compliance and the Role of the Expert.” Journal of Social Issues, Winter. 

Financial Jargon Your Advisor May Throw at You,”, Oct. 8, 2012. 

Beerens, M. 2019. “Listening, Empathy and Personal Attention Go A Long Way in Client Acquisition and Retention.” Investors Business Daily, Nov. 4, 2019. 

Lee, B.Y. 2018. “11 Seconds: How Long Your Doctor Waits Before Interrupting You.", July 22, 2018. 

Jung, D. 2019. “Nudge Action: Overcoming Decision Inertia in Financial Planning Tools.”, March 12, 2019.

Benartzi, S. 2017. “How Digital Tools and Behavioral Economics Will Save Retirement.” Harvard Business Review, Dec. 7, 2017.

Raihani, N. 2013. “Nudge Politics: Efficacy and Ethics.” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 4, P. 972. 

Eisenberg, R. 2013. “To Solve the U.S. Retirement Crisis, Look to Australia,”, Aug. 19, 2013. 

Frankenfield, J. 2019. “What Is a Robo-Advisor?, Oct. 1, 2019. 

Touchstone Pathway 

Gamification definition 

Kahneman, D. 2011. Thinking, Fast and Slow.