In a world rife with specialists, it might be easy to believe that providing the best knowledge, insights and expertise on investing or portfolio management is all that's needed to secure a loyal, affluent client. But as the readers of Private Wealth are no doubt aware, working successfully with the wealthy requires a lot more than financial acumen.

Beyond the financial expertise required in a wealth management relationship, there are new dimensions to the advisor-client dynamic. If the popularity of wealth management has taught us anything, it's that managing someone's wealth is about much more than money. It's also much more than increasing a client's assets, though that's an undeniably valuable skill and often easier said than done. Sometimes it's about preserving the assets but sometimes it's about giving them away or transforming them into something more tangible, say an Azimut luxury yacht or a recently discovered Modigliani.

While results are critical, your continued success may be largely dependent on having an innate and intimate understanding of how clients' wealth affects them and their loved ones. Knowing, for instance, how a client came into money and whether it caused unexpected or difficult changes can reveal a great deal about his or her attitude and expectations. Similarly, how clients make spending decisions and to what extent their identity is related to their personal net worth are also good indicators of past and future behavior, as is the emergence of money-related problems (such as intra-family disputes) or concerns (establishing values and a work ethic among younger generations) that can detract from other accomplishments.

In a nutshell, the psychology of wealth becomes ever more important as you search for relevance in your role as a trusted advisor and help your clients translate their thoughts, feelings and actions into a life of fulfillment and meaning.