The man, myth, and legend, Carl Richards, recently tweeted:
Please believe me…being a financial advisor IS NOT about spreadsheets and calculators. It is about emotional intelligence…
— Carl Richards (@behaviorgap) January 19, 2017
And I could not disagree more.
Richards is right, that there are plenty of otherwise good advisors who can’t communicate expert ideas at a beginner level and fail to connect with (especially) their less financially-fluent clients.
But there is another side, and I’d argue at least as important and more numerous, which is made up of advisors who are great at sounding convincing, but couldn’t calculate for the time value of money if a financial calculator hit them on the nose with NP, PMT, INT, and FV already punched in.
These are the kinds of shucksters who make calculations for 60 years out and don’t bother to discount the number for inflation or opportunity cost. I’ve talked with many of them, and frankly I think it’s less of a Sinclair problem and more of an intellectual firepower and technical skills problem.
To be fair, I think EQ has probably been underrated for a long time in most advisory professions (tax, law, finance, etc.), but it doesn’t seem to me to be the case any longer.