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Left Brain vs. Right Brain Financial Planning

Left Brain vs. Right Brain Financial Planning

March 30, 2022

There have been a lot of articles written over the years about the influence of the left brain vs. right brain when it comes to how people save, spend and invest.  

Although people use both parts of their brain on a daily basis while accomplishing a variety of tasks, each person typically has one side of their brain that is more dominant than the other.  Those that are left brain dominant tend to be more logical, analytical or methodical in their approach to problem solving.  Those that are right brain dominant tend to be more creative, intuitive and emotional.

The problem many people face when it comes to their finances is that there is an incorrect assumption that financial planning is primarily a left brain function.  In fact, many advisors themselves are left brain dominant, which is partly what makes them good at their job since there is no denying that being logical and methodical is important when approaching wealth management.

But the mistake that is often made by both advisors and clients who are left brain dominant is not giving adequate attention to the right brain components of financial management.  

When we meet with new clients, our very first meeting is focused around a discussion of seven dimensions of life that involve both the left and right brain.  Some of questions we explore within each dimension, although at first glance may appear to have nothing to do with wealth management, are intended to draw out the right brain side of a person and are actually critical to understanding the whole person.  And understanding the whole person is critical to understanding the entire financial landscape.

To understand the whole person, we discuss topics such as how you spend your time outside of work, how important your family is to you and how often you see them, what health struggles you have had in the past and how you navigated those, if you like what you do for a living, who you spend time with both within your family and without, if you like to travel or prefer to be home, if there is an organization that you spend a lot of time or money helping, your most memorable accomplishments, and your best and worst financial decisions.    

For an advisor to more effectively provide a client financial direction, he or she needs to understand the bigger picture.  By understanding the whole person it provides a broader and clearer picture of a person's entire financial landscape.  In addition, these types of questions also help the client think about things they may not have previously considered. 

So whether you are left or right brain dominant, both sides have an important role to play in financial discussions and should be accessed by both the client and advisor when making financial decisions.  If you are interested in exploring this further through our Sherpa Expedition, give us a call today or schedule a free 30-minute introductory consultation.