Link To Guest Website: Centerpoint Advisors

Title: “Financial Therapy As A Route To Greater Financial Wellness”
Guest: Ashley Agnew of Centerpoint Advisors
Interviewers: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC & Nathan Gobes – Radio Entrepreneurs

Click here to read the transcript

Jeffrey (0s):
Welcome back to radio entrepreneurs. And my name is Jeffrey Davis and I am all pumped because I love talking about entrepreneurship and business and the economy. This time I brought my cohort. Nathan Gobes was my producer of the show, and this is probably a serial guests we’re going to be talking about right now that our guest is Ashley Agnew, director of relations, relationship development at Centerpoint advisors and teaching financial wellness and anxiety. Welcome back Ashley to radio entrepreneurs.

Ashley (33s):
Thank you, Jeffrey, and very excited to be talking about financial wellbeing and what we’re doing to help here at Centerpoint.

Jeffrey (39s):
Well, Ashley, just to give our listeners some background, you’ve been quite the popular person recently. You’ve been talking to the press a lot about wellness. Why don’t you give us a sense of what the everybody’s been asking you to talk about?

Ashley (54s):
Sure. So I’m on the board for the financial therapy association and the mission there is to help people think, feel, and behave differently around money, to be more comfortable with their wealth, whatever that means to them. So it’s nice to see the organization’s mission picking up steam, and we’ve been getting a lot of media inquiries as we see more folks getting interested in not just the balance sheet portion of their finances, but also how they feel when they have to confront it head on. So I’ve had the pleasure lately of speaking with CNBC Boston, globe NPR on a bunch of different topics surrounding finance from, you know, revenge spending that we’re seeing post pandemic, which is pretty interesting to think about after folks had been sheltered in for a couple of years and getting back out there, taxing society

Jeffrey (1m 44s):
And revenge spending. It’s not a divorce term. This is about finally getting out and being able to spend money again,

Ashley (1m 50s):
Exactly. This is about people saying, you know what, I’ve been cooped up. I’ve seen my savings bulked up and I’m ready to go out and treat myself. And there’s this whole idea of, it’s almost like the roaring twenties. We’ve all heard that analogy, right. But what we’re not thinking of is in the war, roaring twenties, all of the businesses that failed during that time, right? The fact that domestic abuse ticked up very heavily during that time, it wasn’t all the great Gatsby, big parties, right? So just bringing some awareness to your bulked up savings account can be an opportunity, you know, rather than a chance to be frivolous.

Ashley (2m 30s):
And you know, what, what is, what are you gaining from this type of spending? Where are you looking what’s the whole year looking to fill?

Jeffrey (2m 38s):
Well, that’s all very interesting. So, you know, being the financial therapist that you are, what advice do you try to get, give people right now? So that they’re staying, let’s say in a, in a good balanced life money situation.

Ashley (2m 55s):
Sure. So some of the best advice sounds simple, but it’s putting speed in your own way. So when it comes to spending, especially in our culture, everything’s, you know, all of the red tape is almost gone, right? We used to pay with cash, then you’re at the register and you’re counting out bills. Right? Then it got a little bit easier that it got to checks where you’re writing it down, but at least you’re making that connection right. Then it got to plastic. Now we have contactless pay. Now we have apps where you don’t even have to remember what credit card it’s linked to. You’re just putting your fingerprint in or tapping by now. So trying to bring back the space between the decision and the purchase is one of the best things that we can do for folks, or one of the best things we can bring attention to.

Ashley (3m 45s):
That’s not going through a complex financial plan, you know, running a million different apps or understanding each and every investment. Just taking a breath and putting a pause between your decisions and thinking about how you feel before, during and after the spend is probably the best, most attainable advice that we could give.

Jeffrey (4m 5s):
Yeah. Wow. It sounds like a class in psychology that you’re saying that we moving towards an immediate stimulus response society and that we need to open that gap again and have something going on cognitively in between stimulus and response and teaching people to not go to their natural instincts and just react is what you try to do. Is that correct?

Ashley (4m 28s):
Exactly. And instant gratification feels pretty good, doesn’t it? You know, you work with, You know, right. So when you’re working with people, it’s really easy to be reactive, right? It’s not easy to take a step back and take a breath, but you’re absolutely right. You know, it’s getting away from that caveman reptilian brain and using more of your, yeah. More of your logic to slow down a little bit. And, and everybody’s so busy now that we’re launched back into a different type of normalcy, right? Folks are busier than ever. So whatever they can put on autopilot and just get out of the way and the boxes, they can check off most quickly, whether that be with a convenient spend, right.

Ashley (5m 9s):
A revenge spend, because you feel like you’re, you’re treating yourself or whatever that may be. It takes many faces.

Jeffrey (5m 16s):
It seems like you’re following a natural trend of people learning who are healthy impulse control, because you have people who do drugs, who drank, who eat too much, who exercise too little or exercise too much for people who eat too much sugar or different things. And you’re also saying the same paradigm for healthy living also exists for financial living. And as long as you create these proper structures and programs as human beings to live your life, you’ll live a better life and live longer in a better way.

Ashley (5m 51s):
It sure does. And it’s all about understanding it, right? So we know right from wrong in most cases, right. We know, okay, what’s the key to investing, buy low, sell high. What’s the key to having money save more than you spend. What’s the key to losing weight, work out more, eat less. It’s all of that. But if you have the gym membership and you don’t go to the gym, it’s not going to work. And if you don’t know why you’re overeating or under eating, then you’re not going to fix your problem. It’s the same thing with money. It’s making the mind body connection with that. Now we were faced with an average of 12 financial decisions a day, and that can be as simple as do I buy the organic bananas or the discount bananas, or it can be, do I loan my family member money for the 16th time when they’re in trouble?

Ashley (6m 39s):
Right. It can be, do I, do I switch jobs and relocate my family? So these are very, very big things, you know, and if you don’t understand why you’re making the decision when you’re faced with it, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.

Jeffrey (6m 55s):
Well, this is all so interesting and a new field. You’re the first one to talk about it. So since you’re now our financial wellness sensei, how did you get all this knowledge? What did you go through to get there if you get to this show?

Ashley (7m 7s):
Sure. So, you know, I worked for Centerpoint advisors and we’re a wealth management firm just outside of just outside of Boston and we offer more family office services. So we’re on our fourth generation of clients and we’re pretty much on referrals. So we get very, very intertwined with our intertwined, not the best word, but very involved with our client planning and some complex planning. And there’s a lot of trust in our relationships. So after a lot of calls, we were here in our clients say things like, I feel like I just talked to my therapist or you know, this, this is some heavy stuff. I, I can’t believe I just shared all of this with you. So we wanted to make our clients feel better about these conversations because they are so important to the success of their financial plan.

Ashley (7m 52s):
We want to codify our skills and we wanted to do it. Right, right. We wanted to do it ethically. So I started to look at programs surrounding financial psychology, and I found a great program at Creighton, but thank goodness for that advisor, because I was ready to cut the check and go there. And they said, you know what? This program is more about investor behavior and biases and things like that. Why don’t you check out the program at Kansas state, which is a financial therapy program that has more of a practical board debt modalities, right? So more applications, not just the understanding, not the more academia, more, how can you help clients? You said, BP’s are, we’d love to have you here, but before you cut the check, give them an interview.

Ashley (8m 34s):
And it was the best move I could have ever made because that program was excellent. It’s where I found the FTA. It’s where I found my research team, my mentor there, and they’ve done some great work. So I went, I finished that program, that graduate certificate, and then finished the educational series through the FTA.

Jeffrey (8m 53s):
Wow. All very, and can I twist your arm to get you to come back and talk more about this and talk to us about financial wealth and health continuation for people? Because during this economy, I think we’re all in transition right now. And it is a source of stress for a lot of us.

Ashley (9m 11s):
I agree. And I’d love to.

Jeffrey (9m 13s):
So if somebody wants to reach out to you regardless of this interview, or let’s say separate from radio entrepreneurs, how would they find you?

Ashley (9m 21s):
So they could find me on LinkedIn. So to Ashley agno, Agne w you can find, and we’re also on Twitter at CenterPoint underscored now.

Jeffrey (9m 33s):
Wow. That’s pretty easy. And I want to thank you for being on the show today. Remind everybody, this is radio entrepreneurs, and we’re going to continue to tell stories of how people are dealing with this economy. Thank you, Ashley, for being on the show today.

Ashley (9m 45s):
Thank you so much,

Jeffrey (9m 47s):
Right? Remind everybody. This is radio entrepren.

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