What is a Money Quotient?

Money Quotient focuses on both the subjective and objective factors that either enhance or hinder financial satisfaction and quality of life.  According to Money Quotient’s underlying philosophy, an individual’s “real” financial well-being (MQ) is comprised of two essential components: emotional intelligence (EQ) and financial knowledge (IQ).

Therefore, rather than using net worth as a snapshot of financial status, we take a more holistic approach to measuring financial health and maximizing quality of life.

Money Quotient is IQ + EQWith this goal in mind, Money Quotient, the organization, created the True Wealth Process™ for nurturing purposeful and highly engaged client relationships.

How Money Quotient and Life Planning help your clients

Money Quotient has developed one of the most in depth programs in the Life Planning arena.  Based on Carol Anderson’s academic rigor, the MQ team has created a great program that reliably taps into and harvests from your clients’ inner needs.

MQ and the 4FP team have worked closely together for several years.  Jake has participated in their Research and Education committee.  The MQ team has been very supportive of the larger body of the Wagner Family’s work.

We can not say enough good things about how great this program is and can not emphasize enough how pivotal their program has been for numerous financial planning firms.  We appreciate how these tools create reliable insights into your clients’ driving needs.

This practical process helps differentiate practices, nurture long-term client relationships, and guide productive and mutually satisfying financial planning meetings.  They help you achieve the goal of getting to the heart of your clients’ values and priorities, with a framework that naturally helps align your financial advice with your client’s life goals.

Taking the next step with Money Quotient

The Fundamentals of True Wealth™️ Planning training course is the gateway for advisors to learn Money Quotient’s unique model of life-centered financial planning. Mark your calendars for the next virtual training, June 14 – 18th  with early bird pricing available through May 23rd.

If this podcast piques your curiosity about MoneyQuotient, catch their March 18th “Intro to Money Quotient” webinar from 12-1 pm to learn more about their multidisciplinary, research-based approach to delivering financial planning services.
If you are unavailable at these times, we encourage you to check out their event schedule.

Podcast Transcript

Introduction  00:00

Welcome to digital marketing for financial planners. The podcast where you learn which digital marketing strategies are working best for advisors, we interview financial planners who share what is working or not for their practice. here’s your host, Jake Wagner.


Jacob Wagner  00:17

Hello, and welcome to the digital marketing 4FP podcast. This is your host, Jake Wagner. And on today’s show, I have Amy Mullen from money quotient, one of my longest friends in this industry, and she does some really great work. I’m gonna want you guys all to know about it and what’s going on with Money Quotient. So welcome, Amy. Welcome to the show. How are you doing today?


Amy Mullen  00:39

Thank you very much. I’m doing all right. It’s sunny here in Portland. So I’m happy about that.


Jacob Wagner  00:45

Yeah, especially as the fall comes in. It’s always a great day when we can see the sky. That’s for sure. So, uh, one, my first question for you, is I wanted you to tell the audience a little bit about your firm about money quotient. And also especially even for those who are already aware of Money Quotient, you have some news that folks might not have heard about, and I want to make sure they know.


Amy Mullen  01:09

Great, okay, so Money Quotient has been around for 19 years, almost 20 years now. And we have been a nonprofit 501 c three. For the majority of those years, I think we got we officially got our nonprofit status in 2003. And have been really focused on research and new research and applying a multidisciplinary perspective to a financial planning approach with clients. So what we do is actually train financial planners to take their clients through a life planning process that helps them to uncover their values, identify goals that are really meaningful to the client, all for the purpose of building a high quality of motivation to follow through on the recommendations that the advisor provides, and also adopt healthy financial behaviors. So our whole purpose and mission really were focused on the end consumer developing healthy financial behaviors and making good financial decisions. And the way that we do that is by training financial planners to help their clients in this way. So the big news that you’re referring to is that actually back in May, we have broken out into two sister organizations. So we’ve been a nonprofit organization for quite some time. And we have just opened up a for-profit organization as well, one of the things that we realized is that many advisors really wanted quite a bit more support and assistance in building out their client experiences, flushing out the practice management side of their business. And so we have created quite a robust program, a consulting program to help them do that. And so Money Potion Inc. is our for-profit sister organization where we provide a lot of the training, consulting, and support to financial professionals who are integrating our tools and communication model. And then we still have our nonprofit side of our organization that is delving into new research projects, actually with several universities across the country. We’re pretty excited about our Research Consortium coming together from Golden Gate University, Kansas State, University of Georgia, and also University of Missouri to work with their graduate students there and to test out a lot of these different concepts and approaches. So that new research is then built into a lot of the new development in terms of tools and training for financial planners as well. So we’re, we’re pretty excited about our two new entities really kind of helping us to grow in a lot of new directions.


Jacob Wagner  04:23

So it sounds like so the nonprofit is now doing research into life planning, collaborating with a number of the great master’s degree programs in financial planning that are across the nation right now. And then that’s where you’re doing a lot of vetting and you’re validating and then on the for-profit entity, that’s, that’s newer, that what you’re doing is you’re training advisors who are then bringing the value that’s a part of these tools that you have to their clients. And so this is really helping the client’s life, it’s helping the client have a better relationship with money and then it’s also helping the adviser get some really nuanced insights into some of the way and some of the metal of how their clients work. And just in the realm of disclosure, folks, I have gone through Money Quotient’s fundamentals program. And I wholly encourage it. So some of what I’m talking about here is what you’ll learn in that program. Does that sound about right, Amy? And like, maybe do you want to tell us a little bit about the five E’s?


Amy Mullen  05:27

Yes, that is all correct. And the particular model that we have developed and teach advisors to use with their clients, we call the true wealth process, and it has five stages in it. And each of the stages starts with an E, which is why Jacob referred to it as the five E’s. So the first stage is the Explorer stage. And that has to do with the first time a prospect contacts the advisor, and also includes the getting acquainted meeting. So we really take a look at the psychological aspects at play in the relationship between the prospect and the advisor at that time, and we create a framework for the conversation that helps the client to really build trust for the adviser, while also helping the adviser under uncover what’s most important for that particular meeting, which would be kind of a high-level understanding of that client’s whole situation, what their main concerns are, and what they have coming up in their lives. And in terms of some major transitions that might need to be proactively planned for. So all of this is for the purpose of really understanding if the client planner relationship is going to be a good fit for both parties. And once that has been decided, and the client agrees to move forward, then they move into the next stage of the process, which is the engage stage. And this is all about defining point A for the client. So this not only means that the advisor is collecting all of their financial information, to understand their current situation, but it also includes a discovery process to uncover the client’s core values, what’s really important to them, what brings their life, happiness, and also gaining an understanding of their perspective, what their preferences are, really, who is this person and, and what matters most to them in life. So that’s all about defining point A in the engage stage, from here, the adviser guides the client in a process of really developing what they want their ideal future to look like. So it’s all about defining point B. And that includes part of the process where the client envisions what that ideal future might look like. And from that vision, you can identify some very specific goals that tend to be a lot more rich and meaningful to the client, which means that they build a strong motivation to then take the steps to reach that vision, which is why you end up seeing higher levels of follow-through when the advisor actually provides their recommendations.


Jacob Wagner  08:18

So Amy, just to make sure to clarify, you’re saying that an advisor who’s using these tools is actually getting more information and better if they’re when they’re giving advice to their clients, that the client is actually more likely through the studies that you guys have done to implement and enact that advice because that’s always one of the huge catch 22 is for any advisor is you can have all the best ideas in the world. But if the client doesn’t go and implement them, frankly, it can turn into a weird or bad situation with something that’s only partly implemented. And so creating this follow-through just really changes the motivation. And does it also change the depth of relationship that the advisor has with the client?


Amy Mullen  09:00

Yeah, so that the process really creates a high level of buy-in to the plan. So we’ve done a lot of research around this and, and received quite a bit of feedback from the advisors in our money cushion community that implementation tends to happen to a fuller degree, meaning, you know, they are implementing a higher level of their recommendations than those advisors who don’t use this sort of approach this in-depth discovery process. And the higher degree of buy-in leads to implementation to a fuller degree and also at a quicker pace. That’s what I’m getting at here too. And the second biggest benefit to for the advisor is that it creates a really solid relationship with the client. When the client feels that the advisor really understands who they are and what they want. Then they’re really relationship depends less on what the market is doing. So the market could be going all kinds of crazy and they feel like, Well, my advisor really knows who I am and knows what I’m trying to work for work towards. So they have my best interests in mind. And even if the market is going crazy, they’re going to know the right move for me to make during this time. So yes, it does develop quite a stronger relationship in that regard.


Jacob Wagner  10:31

That’s really cool. And also one thing that is like for folks who are listening in here, and just for you to elaborate a bit on and this is my opinion on the tools, and maybe we need to get a little bit further into the five E’s as well. But, and I’ve implemented some of these tools and instruments for clients who all who are licensed money quotient partners. And what we’ve found is we’ve looked at that is that really like the first he, and that discovery phase that she’s talking about, that is great to have on the front of a website, I like it. And Amy, I believe you like it. And I believe that Carol wants people to make sure to get the nonverbal interaction information from their clients. And I think that’s just really important. And the other part is that the other stuff, it deepens the engagement, and it’s wonderful for the service that you provide the clients, but you shouldn’t do anything more than that. First he and your implementation and even then, what are the licensing? Like? How am I like, Amy, can someone have a quiz on the front of their website on what are the rules around that like copyrights? And those things? Mm-hmm.


Amy Mullen  11:37

Well, for advisors to use the resources that we have and implement the program that we teach, and we do require them to be licensed with Money Quotient. And the first step to getting licensed at money question is to take the fundamentals course that you referred to before we call it the fundamentals of true wealth planning. So our training is required. And then having a licensing agreement with Money Quotient gives you permission to utilize our copyrighted materials, and our trademarks as well. And that being said, in terms of what advisors can utilize on on their website, we have a number of different practice management resources that have really effective language that they can pull from to put as content on their website. But they can also use the first couple of questionnaires that we have for the prospect stage of the process. And they have permission to put those on their websites as well. And I think that this is a really great way for financial planning firms to differentiate themselves from others because the questions are much more about their life and their level of satisfaction with different aspects of their financial lives. also talking about and taking a look at what life transitions they might be experiencing now and what they anticipate may happen in the future, that have financial implications that go along with them, and may need to be financially planned for so it’s a little different of approach than a lot of the traditional financial planning firms out there that are trying to collect really more of the financial data from those prospects upfront This is more asking about their lives and, and their levels of satisfaction with their life and what their financial life.


Jacob Wagner  13:37

Part of how I like to think about it is there are different bottom lines, you know, there’s profit as the bottom line, there are triple bottom lines, you know, there’s ESG, valuation and all that kind of stuff. And a part of what life planning trainers do is that it enables advisors to instead of trying to think about the bottom line is the thing that creates the most profit, the bottom line is the thing that creates the best life for your client. And that different orientation is really helpful. And it gives you a completely different series of strategies that are also far more tailored to the client as a result, then, and also Yeah, it really does create a deeper relationship with the client. And as folks, if someone who’s gone through the fundamentals course, that something that I really appreciated was the sequencing of these tools, which Carol’s really led the way on and there’s a lot of research on how and why they’re laying these things out when they do not know any of that research. But what I can tell you is that the work that I did with their tools on the third day of the workshop, I would have never found those answers if I hadn’t have done the work that we did on the first day of that workshop. And there’s something that I was thinking about that was a random idea while I was on that first day turned into the deliverable. There was my heartfelt and reflected upon conclusion on that third day, and I just really appreciated that from you guys.


Amy Mullen  15:08

Well, I think one of the biggest misconceptions in the financial planning world to this day right now is there’s this assumption that consumers or clients who come into the office, already know what’s important to them, they already know what they want their goals to be. And the truth of the matter is, is that most people do not have clarity around what is their priorities, what is most important to them, what their goals should be, they have probably a fairly hazy idea of various needs and wants, but not a lot of clarity around it. And so this process is really meant to guide their thought process, to really gaining clarity around what’s truly important to them, what their priorities should be. And, and, and the end result really is creating a decision making framework when you have clarity around what your values are, and you have clarity about the actual strategies that the advisor has provided, you’ve given this really valuable gift to the client, that is a decision-making framework. Now, it’s very clear to the client, which decisions will take them closer to their vision and their values, and which decisions are going to take them away from that. So that decision making framework can be such a relief for clients to have, and I think that is, you know, one of the ultimate benefits of going through this process.


Jacob Wagner  16:47

Absolutely. I mean, you know, having enough money so they can live the life that you want to live till the end of your life is crucial outliving your money is a disaster for any of us. And it’s part of why financial planning is so needed, you know, we spend a third to half of what we spend on health care in the last few months of our lives. It’s a huge deal, be prepared for that. But also be prepared for getting to the life that you want to be having, helping somebody having those conversations making those conclusions and in helping a couple actually go through that process and make the understand what they want. And that it’s not the same thing as making a will. This is more like there’s what sort of life do you want to live. And that that’s just some of the best results some of the best deliverables that you can possibly give to a client. And it’s a, it’s more personalized and nuanced than you should definitely put this much money into your IRA this year, right? Something like that. That’s more at a 1.0 level.


Amy Mullen  17:51

Right. And you kind of bring up a good point too because you mentioned couples. And I think that’s another really huge benefit of this kind of discovery process is it gives couples the opportunity to learn and understand each other’s perspectives, and kind of develop a vision together, which helps them to really build compassion for one another, and then get on the same page when it comes to making financial decisions. So what we’ve seen in our research and with the feedback from the advisors in our community, is that it can really help couples communicate with each other around their financial lives, which we all know, money is the biggest issue when it comes to divorce the number one issue with divorce. So this can really help couples to find that common ground and to create a path moving forward that they can both agree on and that has shown in the feedback that we get.


Jacob Wagner  18:53

So yeah, so tell me about the challenges that an advisor might have as the working with the money question stuff, I mean, even if it’s for mon emotions, or if it’s about implementing operations or whatever.


Amy Mullen  19:06

Some of the challenges that we see advisors have when they are beginning to implement this, in their practices, is one of the biggest hurdles is their own kind of mental obstacle of stepping outside of their comfort zone and trying something new. So they have probably a method that they’re pretty used to using in terms of their discovery process. And a lot of advisors feel fairly, pretty nervous to use some of the tools for the first time and some of the suggestions that we have to get past this initial nervousness are to actually try and go through the materials, facilitate the process with a friend or a family member, or identify a few of their favorite clients and ask them if they would be willing to go through a process with you That you’d love to hear their feedback if they got value out of the process. And this helps the adviser to kind of get past that initial fear. Usually, what we hear from these advisors is that they immediately recognize the value of the conversation that they’re having, even in these first couples of practice rounds. And that just gives them a lot of confidence to then move forward and implement it with the rest of their clients. So it tends to be a hurdle for advisors coming on board for the first time, but it is something that they can get past fairly quickly. And then move forward with implementation


Jacob Wagner  20:38

is it kind of like they have to learn a new operating system, a new way of thinking and kind of have to like, let it all gel together and understand how what they learned in school is then integrated with what they learned from you, and then bringing that into the practice operations. And then bringing that to the clients. And you guys have support for that the whole way around long to you’re not just, hey, go talk to your wife about this or whatever. I mean, you’re right, you’re there every step of the way with folks as they come in.


Amy Mullen  21:07

Right, exactly. We are a high-touch organization that really walks with the advisor in their implementation process, for sure. And I think there tend to be some fears around or concerns that maybe some of their clients won’t want to have some of these conversations, or that it is a little bit too in-depth or they might feel uncomfortable with it. Again, this is more of an advisor fear than it is a reality. Typically, when a client understands the purpose of the process, and they understand the outcomes, and how they’re going to receive a financial plan that’s much more unique and customized for them, that they tend to be very willing, and actually quite excited to go through this process. So we also help advisors develop that language right up front, to help them explain, you know, what the purpose of the processes, what the outcomes can be, and really set those client expectations. So that usually gets any confusion off of the table right away.


Jacob Wagner  22:14

So as an advisor, have to like, start all over again, from square one. So becoming a money coach and partner or, I mean, just Yeah, let’s do some of that. Like, as they bring these tools into their practice and these changes, I mean, it’s clearly a different way of thinking. But I don’t want folks to get fearful or think that there’s it’s too much to learn about this. Because I also I think that these are wonderful tools that make both you as an advisor better, a better advisor, a better person. And same with your clients. I mean, it’s a wonderful, deep look at how you really feel about the world and the impact that you want to make in it.


Amy Mullen  22:55

Right, good. Yeah, well, what we see is that you know, most advisors have their process set up in a somewhat similar way. And they may differ in terms of the number of meetings, length of meetings, and you know, just the level of depth of discovery that they already do with their clients. But when we’re working with them to kind of flesh out their client experience, most of these firms actually don’t change the number of meetings they have, or the length of the meetings, they just enhance the conversations that they’re having within the meetings to add a little bit more efficiency, effectiveness, and value to those meetings. So we specifically designed our model to enhance the CSP. At the time, it was a six-step process. Now I know it’s a seven-step process, but it still


Jacob Wagner  23:53

uses me to I still have to say six-step most of the time, it’s just like, I’m sorry, I’ve done it for 20 years, I’ll get there before the next 20 years or


Amy Mullen  24:01

so our model was really designed to enhance and make more effective those processes that we’ve learned from the CFP six, Step six, or the seven-step process itself. So it’s when we work with advisors, they typically have meetings that align with this six-step or seven-step process already. So it’s just a matter of helping to enhance the meetings that already exist.


Jacob Wagner  24:30

What if someone’s an AFC?


Amy Mullen  24:33

Well, we do have FCS in our community as well. And I have to say, you know, they’re still very important similar steps in terms of the data gathering and analysis, you know, delivery of draft of recommendations, modification of those. I mean, there’s still a sequence of conversations that those advisors are having with their clients as well. So the money quotient process And materials really just make those more effective and more efficient.


Jacob Wagner  25:05

And it’s a structure, which creates a streamlining effect, which is one of the ways that it can help an advisor’s business for sure.


Amy Mullen  25:13

Interestingly, the majority of the advisors who have come to us and are interested in our model, majority of them already understand the value of these types of conversations with their clients. And most of them actually do it already in a very intuitive way. They just, you know, are naturally curious about their client’s lives and have a desire to really help their clients live a fulfilling life, that’s, you know, comes from within for most of the advisors who come to us, but they’re just looking for more of a structure to put to that so that they can make sure that they’re hitting all the important parts with their client that nothing’s falling through the cracks, and they couldn’t create more of a consistent client experience. So I think we are really fortunate at money quotient to have the opportunity to work with quite extraordinary, lovely people. Lovely,


Jacob Wagner  26:14

awesome community.


Amy Mullen  26:15

Yeah, it really is.


Jacob Wagner  26:20

A wanna just talk about just how some of this relates to how we, the 4FP agency, you know, how this relates to marketing from my what I’m seeing here. And you know, when we talked about how really like, especially before someone’s in the client agreement, nor really just focusing on the beginning portion of the money coaching process, just one, it is what I think is the most effective way to do it, but also their licensing structure, they really want you to do it that way, as well. I’m including saying, you know, making sure there are copyrights to money quotient on any external quizzes and stuff like that. But this process is really in play through the whole custom client lifecycle, and so is marketing, our partner company, Digital Marketer, one of the things that Ryan Deiss, who runs that company says is, you don’t stop dating when you get married. And that a part of what happens. And what this entire process is, is that when you’re bringing somebody to you, you’re wording that deeper information that you want to know about them. They’re receiving better, more benefits because of what they’re learning about themselves as they go through it. And it also helps streamline the beginning of the process with the financial planning and onboarding, with a new client. But also, I mean, as you continue to go through the process with a client that there are questions that come up, like, okay, you’re one you wrote a financial plan, great. As you get into years two and five, differentiation is a very different thing. And you can see with their tools that it continues to create a deeper relationship, that there’s a value that’s provided, which makes it so that you’re providing the service that your client really needs. And that then is going to get them to refer people to you because you’ve made their lives better. And frankly, this entire approach comes back through in your website and your copy and what you want to write for a blog post for a social media piece. And you’re a whole lot more likely to be compliant as you do it. Because you’re never anywhere in here, there is no promise of performance returns, there’s no danger of it, there are no percentage signs, this is all on the intangible side of things. And so it actually really helps you create consistent value more efficiently and more compliantly. And I just think it’s a magical system. Yeah, Amy, do you want to tell us a little bit about where folks can go to learn more about Money Quotient and your sister company?


Amy Mullen  28:56

Sure. Will we have one, it’s probably easiest if you go to money quotient.com as this is the website that talks about the training that we have the program, and also the consulting that we have for financial professionals who are interested in implementing this, we actually work with our advisors in a very similar way as they would work with their clients. So if you contact us and express your interest in our program, we will set up a getting acquainted meeting with you so we can learn about you and your firm, and what you’re really looking to do with your process and your client experience. And we will also share with you exactly how we work with advisors so that we can see if it’s a good fit very much like you might do with a new prospect that contacts you. And then during that getting acquainted meeting, we’ll make sure that you understand What our requirements are in terms of coming on board and all of the benefits of being a money quotient partner and answer any of your questions from the website, I just told you about money quotient.com, there is a link that is on the right side of the screen that says MQ research. And it’s highlighted in a neon green box, so you can’t miss it. But that link will take you to the website for our nonprofit organization, which is called MQ research and education. So you can take a look at our Research Consortium and learn a little bit about the mission of our money quotient, nonprofit organization. And feel free to reach out and ask any questions that you might have for either one of those organizations.


Jacob Wagner  30:49

I just came up with one more question. Sure. When is it a bad idea for an advisor to work with you guys is there like is this? I mean, I love what you guys do, but it’s not for everybody, right? Like who wouldn’t be a good fit with you.


Amy Mullen  31:07

I would say that those who might not be a good fit for our program are those who are looking at this as just a sales pitch. Because really, the financial planners who are interested in our program are truly people who want to make a difference in their clients’ lives and who are willing to spend some additional time upfront with those clients, to really deeply get to know them and create a real customized financial plan for them. So you do need to know that this does take a little bit more time with clients to create that in-depth foundation of knowledge and understanding for that financial plan.


Jacob Wagner  31:51

What else do you want to make sure that the audience knows about your guyses process, what an advisor might experience what clients experience, or just really anything that you think is important for them to know?


Amy Mullen  32:06

One thing that I would add, that we didn’t talk about before was our focus on Money Quotient, what one of the things that we’ve learned in our research is how important it is to tap into the emotional brain in order to really get buy into the plan to get follow-through, build the motivation to take action and actually make decisions to change your own behavior. So the emotional brain is really, the limbic brain is really important to tap into and include in the communication with clients. So the tools that we have, exploring a client’s values, helping them to create a vision of their ideal life is really engaging that emotional brain in order to get the best results on the other side. And what has been interesting to see is that many of our advisors in our community have said, This process is really what has helped to engage partners or spouses who’ve never been engaged in the financial discussions before. So that’s important to think about if you do have clients that you work with where one person within the couple tends to be, the main contact tends to be making all the financial decisions, that this can be a method for really engaging that partner who has not been a part of these discussions in the past, something that they can really relate to, and a way for them to express what’s important to them for their lives as


Jacob Wagner  33:44

well. And I have to add my own anecdote on that, which is something that I’ve heard from different money quotient events that I’ve been at, is that there’s been a repeated experience of one a couples coming in, and one person’s gung ho for it, and the other person’s kind of like, I don’t know, this sounds a little fluffy. Seems a little too, you know, hippie-dippie, for me. And then many times as the clients are going through that the client who was resistant, has these amazing and huge aha moments in their lives. And it absolutely changes their relationship with money. And even though they came in and they were resistant, they got the most benefit out of it. I just think that’s an amazing result.


Amy Mullen  34:29

It’s not uncommon.


Jacob Wagner  34:31

Well, Amy, I want to thank you for coming on the show with pleasure as always, and I’m looking forward to the next time that we actually get to have a meal and a drink in person for sure.


Amy Mullen  34:41

Me too. Yes. Thank you so much for inviting me, Jacob. This is always fun to talk about what we’re doing and talk with you.


Jacob Wagner  34:50

Yeah, exactly. And, guys, if you see either of us at some conference down the line, we encourage you to come and join us and join the next stage of this conversation, but with that, I’m going to close up this episode of the show. And so I want to thank you for listening to digital marketing for FP Take care and have a great day.


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