Many financial advisors might say qualities they need to excel at their profession include being analytical, reasoned, rational and quantitative. Weathcare Capital Management founder and CEO David B. Loeper suggests another: an ability to make an emotional connection.

He told attendees at the Investment Management Consultants Association 2012 national conference today that advisors can better serve their clients by approaching financial planning with empathy for what clients really want financially out of their lives.

"It's about having an emotional connection in making a difference in your clients' lives," says Loeper, who received a college degree in mathematics before becoming a financial advisor. Loeper offered his views in a workshop session entitled "Goals-Based Planning: Orchestrating The Music of Your Clients' Lives."

Advisors who want to touch a client's emotional chord, says Loeper, should leave their egos at the door and exhibit a "little bit of humility and self-reflection."

Loeper said the goal of an advisor in making an emotional connection with their clients is to generate confidence by making them feel comfortable with his or her advice and to help them achieve their financial goals. "And when the financial markets are going bad, your are providing advice that makes your client feel comfortable, despite a very volatile market," Loeper added.

Loeper said frequent discussions about a client's goals and priorities are critical. "How can you know what client advice to give if you don't know your client's goals and degree of risk priorities if you don't ask them?" he questioned.
-Jim McConville