Some advisors are helping clients recognize their emotional relationship with money.
"We use a very relational approach to financial planning, as we have clients do two to three hours of therapeutic exercises and debrief them with our staff therapist," said Rick Kahler, CFP, owner of Kahler Financial Group and co-author of three books on financial psychology.
In addition to traditional data-gathering, clients are given a series of Web-based homework assignments, which include filling out a questionnaire to uncover unconscious beliefs about money and drawing sketches of a personal money history and family dynamics chart.
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"People tell us things they don't tell their clergy or therapists," he said. "There's no other place for them to discuss money issues."
"Our retention and bottom line has been positively affected," added Kahler, who started this form of practice in 2000. "Clients view us as an integral part of their financial and emotional support team, as opposed to just a money manager where worth is measured only by alpha."
Kahler's practice has seen a retention rate of more than 90 percent, with an average growth rate of 15 percent per year.