How Do You Protect Your Own Confidence As A Financial Advisor?: Kitces & Carl

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Kitces and Carl Podcast for Financial Advisors


When markets turn volatile and clients get stressed, at best, financial advisors face their own stress in trying to help clients stay the course; at worst, they absorb the ‘blame’ from clients who are unhappy with economic and market outcomes beyond the advisor’s control. And when clients turn negative, it is easy for mental exhaustion to set in and for confidence levels to take a hit. Yet when self-confidence suffers, so too can our motivation and productivity. Accordingly, taking measures to protect our self-confidence not only helps to preserve our ability to function optimally at work, but also helps to maintain our mental and emotional well-being by ensuring we focus our time on activities that bring us energy and positive engagement.

In our 36th episode of Kitces & Carl, Michael Kitces and financial advisor communication expert Carl Richards discuss how advisor self-confidence can impact productivity, offering some ideas for financial advisors to protect their personal confidence and keep a positive mindset. As for financial advisors, in particular, healthy confidence levels can help them to avoid ‘imposter syndrome’ (which can distort an advisor’s sense of personal value), grow through the business challenges they’re facing, and support their clients with the ‘rational overconfidence’ they sometimes need to display as effective leaders.

Confidence also plays a crucial role when the advisor needs to establish appropriate pricing levels for their services and value, where a lack of confidence can result in advisors discounting their own value because they fail to realize that clients are willing to pay the price the advisor is actually worth. On the other hand, advisors who are able to preserve a high level of confidence tend to price themselves and their services more fairly and will naturally find themselves facing more business opportunities. Confidence also helps advisors deal with difficult situations, such as losing clients or key employees, with more positivity and the ability to see the circumstance as an opportunity versus a setback, which can ultimately be the key that potentially distinguishes between business growth and stagnation.

Being able to recognize one’s ‘unique abilities’ (like those identified by Dan Sullivan’s Unique Ability Discovery Process program) or key strengths (such as those identified by Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment)  – activities that a person enjoys and excels at, and that are energizing – are key to maintaining one’s confidence and improving productivity at work. And once these ‘unique abilities’ are identified, finding the time to intentionally do those things as much as possible can help to stabilize energy levels and foster a positive mindset, which in turn tends to help maintain higher confidence levels. Equally important for protecting one’s confidence are recognizing the factors that erode energy levels and identifying how to take counteractive steps against the effects of those factors. For example, spending time outside in fresh air, going for a walk, and getting more sleep are some activities that can help prevent energy levels from dropping and, in turn, keep confidence levels from deteriorating.

Ultimately, the key point is that by taking steps to identify activities that not only drain energy levels but also increase them, financial advisors can protect their energy levels from falling, which is an important step in preserving confidence levels and a positive mindset – key elements of fruitful client relationships, successful career advancement, and overall business growth!





Michael Kitces is Head of Planning Strategy at Buckingham Wealth Partners, a turnkey wealth management services provider supporting thousands of independent financial advisors.

In addition, he is a co-founder of the XY Planning NetworkAdvicePayfpPathfinder, and New Planner Recruiting, the former Practitioner Editor of the Journal of Financial Planning, the host of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, and the publisher of the popular financial planning industry blog Nerd’s Eye View through his website, dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning. In 2010, Michael was recognized with one of the FPA’s “Heart of Financial Planning” awards for his dedication and work in advancing the profession.





Carl Richards is a Certified Financial Planner™ and creator of the Sketch Guy column, appearing weekly in the New York Times since 2010.

Carl has also been featured on Marketplace Money,, and In addition, Carl has become a frequent keynote speaker at financial planning conferences and visual learning events around the world.

Through his simple sketches, Carl makes complex financial concepts easy to understand. His sketches also serve as the foundation for his two books, The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money and The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money (Portfolio/Penguin).




This podcast first appeared on the Nerd’s Eye View at at and has been reprinted here with permission.

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