BFA™ Certification

 BFA™  Certification in Behavioral Financial Advice.

While the BFA™ designation is fairly new, the concept is something Dave has been practicing for many years. Both our goals-based financial planning and our values-based investment strategies support Behavioral Finance concepts.

A main focus of the BFA™ training is helping clients make better financial decisions. To help with this, Dave learned a tool called the Alignment Model. The Alignment Model shows the relationship between our Ideal Self and our Real Self.

Our Ideal Self includes our principles, values, and beliefs. Our Real Self includes our thoughts, feelings, and actions. By practicing self-awareness, and recognizing the differences between our Ideal Self and our Real Self, we can create goals to help bring the two into alignment. The Alignment Model provides our advisors with a framework to help clients with goal-oriented financial planning that is in alignment with their principles, values, and beliefs.

Another tool Dave learned in the BFA™ training is the four Rs. The four Rs — Recognize, Reflect, Reframe, and Respond — is a decision-making process, which aims to make better decisions by taking highly-charged emotions out of the equation. Using the four Rs helps us:

  • Recognize our thoughts, emotions, and physical experience
  • Reflect on the big picture and our Ideal Self
  • Reframe our self-talk to avoid responding to highly-charged emotions
  • Respond with a decision consistent with our Ideal Self

We can use the four Rs to help clients when they are experiencing stress that threatens to derail them from their financial objectives. This stress might be from personal issues they are experiencing, or from headlines heralding imminent catastrophe. Either way, by using the four Rs to guide the decision-making process, we can help keep clients focused on their investment objectives and not waiver from our disciplined investment strategy.

Importance of the BFA                BFA four-step Process