Using high-net-worth psychology enables you to better understand and communicate with affluent clients and prospects. This regularly translates into an ability to, most importantly, do a better job for these investors, but it also results in significantly more business for you.

There are times when an affluent investor’s high-net-worth personality is so pervasive it’s impossible to miss. However, as this isn’t always the case, we developed the Profile Diagnostic System. Basically, the Profile Diagnostic System is a series of open-ended questions you ask the affluent investor. The answers to these questions enable you to zero in on his or her exact high-net-worth personality through a process of elimination.

The PDS is comprised of four open-ended questions, as well as a few follow-up questions. What makes this system so effective is not so much the questions, but rather that advisors will see the unmistakable traits of one of the nine high-net-worth personalities.

Question No. 1: What Would You Like Your Investments To Achieve?
Family stewards are affluent investors whose primary life motivation is to protect their families in every way possible, including financially. So if you ask the question of family stewards, you will hear all about what they would like their money to do for their family, ranging from funding the college education of a child or grandchild to taking care of an elderly parent to estate planning that ensures a harmonious division of assets for their children.

Independents will answer this question at the other extreme. Independents seek just that—personal independence. Their portfolio buys them personal autonomy, or freedom, the thing they value above all else. If you ask the question of independents, you will hear about their dream house on the golf course or about their sailing around the world or about their being able to retire at 55. Listen carefully, though, because the theme of freedom and independence is not about personal possessions.

Question No. 2: When You Think About Money, What Concerns, Needs Or Feelings Come To Mind?
The word “accumulate” or its synonyms will smoke out the accumulators. They are singularly focused on one goal—accumulating more assets. Accumulators are not particularly concerned about what can be done with their money; they are driven to accumulate it. Hence, their answer will be something like, “I just want my money to grow as quickly and safely as possible.” They may have a specific long-term goal in mind, like $5 million by age 60.

Moguls and VIPs are interested in money because of what it can do for them. Moguls value money because of the power it gives them. They like to control people and environments around them. More money enables moguls to have more things move their way. They tell stories of affiliations and friendships with powerful people. Also they see themselves as power figures holding considerable authority in their families, businesses and communities.

VIPs are status oriented. They like to be recognized and acknowledged. They like prestigious surroundings and trophy possessions. They tell stories of interactions with celebrities. They are interested in what money can do for them, but their examples will focus on material possessions: a wonderful new house, fabulous trips, a new boat. VIPs invest for what money can buy and the lifestyle it can confer.

Question No. 3: How Involved Do You Like To Be In The Investing Process?
The question is extremely effective in identifying phobics, gamblers and innovators.

Phobics dislike investing; they are scared of it and highly intimidated. When you ask them a question like this, you will hear a lot about how they do not like investing and how they are burdened by it—how it’s one more thing they have to do or worry about. Either that or they will change the subject entirely.

Ask the question of a gambler or an innovator, and you will hear enthusiasm and commitment. They like (some even love) investing.
Gamblers and innovators are by far the most knowledgeable and expert of all, and this knowledge will come across in their answers.
Listen closely to tell the difference between gamblers and innovators. Gamblers live and breathe investing. It is their hobby and sometimes their life. Gamblers love the thrill of market volatility.