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Commentary

Tackling the Pyramid of Advisor Influence

Author of “The Better Letter” Bob Seawright breaks down how human behavior and decision-making influences how investors interact with their finances.

Bob Seawright, a chief investment and information officer at Madison Avenue Securities, unpacks the differences between investing and financial planning, and which skeptics investors should be listening to when evaluating financial decisions, on Morningstar’sThe Long View podcast.

Talking about the role of simplification in financial planning, Seawright discusses how financial advisors need to manage the behavior of their clients, facing the dilemma of mediating what their clients want and what they actually need. What they need, Seawright points out, is to have advisors who will build a plan and have them stick to it. However, investors want to pay advisors for advice at the top of the “Advisor Pyramid of Influence,” as Seawright calls it, skipping over the base of the pyramid: financial planning.