Decision Making

Too much information will degrade your ability and your clients? ability to make good decisions. If you are tempted to sign up for a Twitter feed, social networking update and/or RSS feeds, beware. The deluge of info can confuse and overwhelm your brain?s ability to make good decisions.

Search Newsweek.com, and then click on ?Authors? and then ?The Science of Decision Making? for Sharon Begley?s February 27, 2011 Article, ?I Can?t Think!? This Newsweek article describes how neuroscientists are learning about the relationships between information and decision making. Why is this important to a financial advisor? A key component of your value as an advisor is in making judgments (such as investment recom-mendations) for your clients and assisting your clients in making their own decisions (such as how much to save, where to invest and how to protect against risk.)

Some specific tactics to control your information consumption and improve your decision making:

? Have a 24-hour consideration period for complex decisions. When clients seem overwhelmed, give them 24-hours to think through their decisions. This allows both the logical and emotional parts of the brain to engage in the decision making process. This will lead to better decisions.

? Set aside three 30-minute time blocks in your work day to answer e-mails and phone calls. Take all that incoming communicating in small batches and don?t let it interfere with the rest of your work day.