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BEHAVIORAL COACHING TOOLKIT

Guide clients confidently

Behavioral coaching helps you navigate through uncertainty—precisely when your clients need you the most. And our Market Hindsight Tool lets you give your clients a realistic glimpse at the benefits of following a financial plan.

Overview

Address client concerns with behavioral coaching

You make one of your most enduring contributions as an advisor when you help clients separate their emotions from their investment decisions. The biggest detriment to an investment’s return is often the investor’s behavior, especially when volatile markets or external factors create anxiety.

You add considerable value when you address clients’ concerns and temper their natural human reactions.1 That sort of positive approach, in turn, can build trust, motivate referrals, and drive assets.

Proactive coaching

PROACTIVE COACHING

Understanding your clients’ decision-making

Our normal decision-making processes tend to work well in most facets of life. But with investing, that isn’t necessarily the case. The whitepaper Right mindset, wrong market: Understanding investor decision-making and coaching for success examines why.

Read the report, then help your clients adopt the right mindset for potentially better outcomes when it comes to their investments.

 

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Advisor with clients

Take these 3 steps to behavioral coaching success

So what does behavioral coaching look like at the client-relationship level? Vanguard Investment Advisory Research Center has mapped out a framework you can apply to each phase of your client engagements. Using the steps “Assess, Address, Audit”—what we call the “3A Framework”—provides a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow sequence for addressing client concerns, taking appropriate action, and building trust.

The 3A Framework

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Assess

A client’s anxiety is often triggered by external stressors such as market or political headlines and life events. Responding effectively requires understanding a client’s specific situation as well as any potential implications of particular actions.

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Address

Taking action—or not—can be a burdensome decision. When facing change, we’re wired to act. Opting to not make a change can be perceived by clients as inaction or failure. Coaching means helping them to understand it was a thoughtfully made choice to protect their long-term interests.

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Audit

Establishing a process for evaluation provides your client with clear next steps as well as valuable context for future coaching opportunities. Auditing lets us call attention to historic value-adds and contextualize future decisions or actions.

Advisor guide
3A Discussion Topics
Behavioral Coaching Advisors guide

A crucial aspect of behavioral coaching is preparing clients for potentially stressful situations. That way, they can remain on track for their long-term goals regardless of short-term market conditions. Using our Assess, Address, Audit (3A) framework, you will learn:

  • How to purposefully consider your client’s needs in light of market conditions, their portfolio, and their emotional state.
  • What iterative steps you can take to help improve their chances of success.
  • How to evaluate your decisions in order to prepare for future opportunities.
Market Hindsight Tool

Use the Market Hindsight Tool

Show your clients with compelling charts the power of sticking with their investment plan. Use our Market Hindsight Tool to simulate market performance for landmark historical events, specifically highlighting comparative results for staying the course versus selling to cash.

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Client resources

Resources for clients

Investing in the markets doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating for your clients. Share these client-approved PDFs as you explain market dynamics and the strategies you can deploy together to manage them. There’s also a customizable version of each piece available for you to include your firm’s logo.

PDFs

DOWNLOAD

  • Whitepaper

    Understanding market downturns

    Share this piece with clients to help them gain a better understanding of market declines and how to respond to them.

  • Whitepaper

    Remember: Recoveries have rewarded patient

    Share this piece with your clients to help them understand the benefits of a long-term investing strategy.

  • Whitepaper

    When markets are jumpy, maintain focus on your goals

    Share this piece with clients to help remind them to place their long-term objectives ahead of worries about short-run turbulence.

  • Whitepaper

    Smart things to do (that many won't) in a down market

    Share this piece with your clients to help them understand that often, the best action to take in a falling market may be no action at all.

Customizable PDFs

Add your logo to these client-ready materials to enhance your firm’s brand.

DOWNLOAD

  • Whitepaper

    Understanding market downturns

  • Whitepaper

    Remember: Recoveries have rewarded patience

  • Whitepaper

    When markets are jumpy, maintain focus on your goals

  • Whitepaper

    Smart things to do (that many won’t) in a down market

More on behavioral coaching

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1 Francis M. Kinniry Jr., Colleen M. Jaconetti, Michael A. DiJoseph, David J. Walker, and Maria C. Quinn, 2022. Putting a value on your value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha. Valley Forge, Pa.: The Vanguard Group.

Notes

  • All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.
  • Be aware that fluctuations in the financial markets and other factors may cause declines in the value of your account. There is no guarantee that any particular asset allocation or mix of funds will meet your investment objectives or provide you with a given level of income.