Mary Bell Carlson, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®: Emotional Intelligence & Client Relationships

Mary Bell Carlson, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®

How can advisors create a positive emotional experience with finances and financial planning for their clients?

This week on Framework, Mary Bell Carlson, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®, President of Financial Behavior Keynote Group, joins our host, Ana Trujillo Limón, Director, Coaching and Advisor Content, to explore behavioral finance in client-advisor relationships.

Dr. Carlson underscores the importance of listening, creating positive emotional experiences, and understanding the influence of early money memories. She advocates for solution-focused approaches, and the use of silence and emotional intelligence to better engage clients, especially women. Their conversation also covers the parallels between public speaking and client interactions, and the critical role of human connection in financial advising. Dr. Carlson also discusses research from her dissertation on soldiers’ financial behaviors pre- and post-deployment, emphasizing the value of emotional intelligence in financial decision-making and client retention.

Mary discusses:

  • How she fell in love with personal finance
  • The Financial Behavior Keynote Group
  • How her first money memories with the church and her father have shaped her relationship with money
  • How advisors can use their clients’ money memories in their financial planning
  • How applying behavioral finance frameworks can help clients feel valued
  • Why advisors need to get comfortable with silence and stop trying to fill in the gap
  • How those in the finance industry should reframe their thinking about behavioral finance
  • And more


Connect with Ana Trujillo Limón: 

Connect with Mary Bell Carlson:

About our Guest: 

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson is a financial behavior expert and has worked in both the military and government communities for the last decade. From the bowels of the Pentagon to international audiences, Dr. Carlson has presented numerous financial seminars and worked on a variety of financial planning and education projects. After getting married and having her two daughters, she started Chief Financial, a personal finance education platform to help busy moms. Currently, she also works as adjunct faculty for the financial planning programs at both the University of Georgia and Texas Tech University.

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