Have you ever considered the spending habits of someone with ADHD? Or how the intrinsic values of an individual with autism could differ from someone without?
We all know that financial planners are the key to smart investments, where we put our money and achieving our financial goals. But how do we know that it is inclusive for everyone without putting a magnifying glass over the barriers it might have for some?
In episode 118 of the Financial Planner Life Podcast, host Charlie Scott speaks with Jai Street DipFA Ⓥ🌱, Financial Planner and Director of the appropriately named ‘Mindful Wealth’, discussing how they go the extra mile to be mindful of their clients’ needs when providing Financial Advice. Jai talks about his own experience with ADHD and how it’s affected his journey and given him insight into the potential needs of clients in similar circumstances.
So, let’s take a look into neurodivergence from a financial planning perspective…
First, what is neurodivergence?
Neurodivergence, or neurodiversity, refers to any condition or disorder that affects the way the brain and nervous system work. This can include conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and dyscalculia.
The UK has seen a huge increase in the need for improved neurodiversity awareness worldwide in the past decade. With increased waiting times for diagnosis on certain conditions, motions in parliament to set aside emergency funds to help decrease this backlog, and an increase in empathy from employers around adults suffering with ADHD, all industries are having the conversation about what they can do to accommodate for this shift in neurodiversity awareness.
Why is there a barrier for financial planning?
The financial planning process can be particularly challenging for individuals with neurodivergent conditions. Those with ADHD may have difficulty setting and achieving financial goals, organising their finances, and staying on track with their budget. They may also experience difficulty with task initiation and completing tasks, meaning that they may procrastinate important financial tasks and also have difficulty with impulse control when it comes to spending and budgeting.
Planning a strategy for success
This is where a financial adviser can make a huge impact. As an adviser, it’s important to be aware of the issues some people with a neurodiverse condition may come across and be prepared to work with their clients to develop strategies that will help them manage their finances and reach their financial goals.
This can include creating a budget that takes into account their unique needs, utilising prompts and reminders, and providing guidance on how to save and invest money. Additionally, advisers should be aware of the potential cognitive biases that can affect individuals with neurodivergence, such as the tendency to make decisions based heavily on emotional influence.
Taking a deeper look into the individual
Financial advisers also need to be aware of the potential mental health challenges that come with neurodivergence. For example, individuals with autism spectrum disorder may experience anxiety when dealing with complex financial tasks, and those with ADHD may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they are presented with.
Then there’s the legal and regulatory requirements that come with working with individuals with neurodivergent conditions. This includes understanding the laws and regulations that protect the rights of individuals with disabilities, as well as any restrictions or accommodations that may be necessary to ensure a safe and successful financial planning experience.
Creating an equal opportunity
By being aware of an individual’s unique needs and challenges, advisers can help their neurodiverse clients gain greater financial stability and peace of mind.
Are you creating an equal opportunity for all your clients? Is this a question you need to be asking?
You can watch the full episode here: