The Behavioral Financial Advice (BFA) program and Values Card exercise from think2perform has helped Money Script Wealth Management CEO and wealth advisor Yohance Harrison grow his business, build deeper relationships with new and existing clients, and live his values.
Background: From Advisor to Entrepreneur
Yohance Harrison started his career at American Express Financial Advisors, now Ameriprise, at a time when its leaders included think2perform’s Doug Lennick and Ray Kelly. “Ray was very instrumental in my life and actually helped me get promoted to being a manager,” Yohance says.
After many years at Ameriprise, Yohance wanted new challenges, professionally and personally — namely, working one-on-one instead of being in leadership. “I wanted to work with clients. I wanted to lead people to make better financial decisions,” he says.
Yohance founded Money Script Wealth Management, a fiduciary firm that helps high-income earners take charge of their finances, with services including cash flow planning, debt reduction and wealth management. The company was a success and grew steadily for several years.
Challenge: Uncertainty in His Business and Career
2019 was a challenging year for Yohance’s business, with flat revenue growth and employee turnover. While he took on new clients, it wasn’t the growth he sought.
The uncertainty extended to his career, where he questioned his path. “Is this alright? Is this what this looks like?” Yohance asked himself. “Yeah, I have the freedom to do what I want to do, but I’m not energized and excited to get out and do it.”
He needed to make changes that would fuel his purpose, grow his business, and deliver more and better value to his employees and clients.
Solution: Adopting BFA and the Values Card Exercise
Yohance describes himself as “dabbling” in behavioral finance for years. But in 2020, when the pandemic hit, a friend called Yohance and said, “Stop what you’re doing and go get your BFA designation.” After noticing the BFA’s affiliation with think2perform and Doug Lennick, it was an easy decision to order the materials and get started.
“A few months later, I had the designation, and to be honest, it was kind of a breeze for me because I was so familiar with it,” Yohance says. “I was so excited to put my stake in the ground for my firm and say, ‘No, this is what I stand for. This is what I’m going to do.’”
Similarly, Yohance had conducted a values exercise with his wife for years, but it wasn’t nearly as structured as the Values Card Exercise. After learning of think2perform’s version, he incorporated the values exercise into his practice, including the digital values presentation.
Today, new clients are onboarded with the values exercise, and existing clients are introduced to the exercise during annual reviews.
Results: Business Growth and Values Alignment
The BFA designation and values exercise helped Yohance make lasting chances to Money Script Wealth Management’s fortunes, with revenue up nearly 100% since 2019 and the client roster more than doubling.
The values exercise also is proving to be a powerful recruitment and referral tool. Clients initially will send referrals for the values exercise rather than financial planning. Yohance walks them through the values presentation and then says, “Let’s talk about why we’re doing it.” It then “turns into a financial planning conversation,” he adds, “so it’s changing how I introduce myself to the world.”
Just as importantly, BFA has changed Yohance’s approach to the work, his employees and his clients.
With clients, “the biggest difference between 2019 and current is I don’t spend a lot of time talking about numbers as much,” he says. “I mean, we talk about them, but it’s a smaller part of the conversation.”
The conversation has shifted from money to alignment. Yohance spends more time asking about the why, a la Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why.” “Most people think financial planning is about what, when and how,” Yohance says. “But for me, it’s more about the why, and so I find myself now spending more time on the ‘why is this important to you?’”
By shifting the conversation, Yohance can help people make deeply personal decisions by leaning into their values — even when those differ from the norm. For example, while saving for education is an important goal for many, it’s not in alignment for some clients. Similarly, some clients might value a job that pays slightly less than their full market value because of other benefits it provides. They can live in their values while still meeting their financial goals.
With Yohance’s employees, the BFA and values empowered him to set clear values and expectations for working at Money Script Wealth Management. Not everyone stayed, which was OK. By establishing clarity on values, Yohance’s employees have better interactions with him and with clients. Yohance, meanwhile, commits to helping his people grow in their careers.
“At some point, this relationship is going to end, but my goal is that I leave you better than when we met. And if I can help you do that, if you understand your values and alignment, then we had a great relationship, whether that relationship was six months, six years or six decades,” he says.
BFA also helped Yohance personally by giving him new passion for the work and launching a second career talking about BFA to his peers. Public speaking not only drives Yohance’s business but also “gives me something to be excited about because I get to live in my values.”