Dr. Moira Somers is a psychologist, family wealth consultant and executive coach. Her work is divided between direct client services, on the one hand, and consulting to family business offices and financial services, on the other. Although Canada is her home, her client base is international.

Individuals and families reach out to Moira for help in dealing with the surprising complexities ushered in by significant wealth, particularly when that wealth is being generated by family-owned businesses. She is an experienced thinking partner for people who want to examine and direct the ways in which family wealth is affecting one or more domains of life: work, friendships, family ties, and various aspects of identity and well-being. Common concerns include raising caring and responsible children, addressing issues of privilege and effective philanthropy, preparing for business and personal transitions, and dealing with wealth discrepancies in families and friendship circles.

Dr. Somers works closely with financial professionals who serve UHNW families. She helps family office team members address client-facing challenges such as non-adherence, cognitive impairment and addictions, transition stress, and an array of family struggles. Where appropriate, she also provides direct services to the firm’s clients.   She has delivered keynote addresses to organizations such as the National Football Players’ Association, the Financial Planning Association, XYPN Conference, and a wide array of banking, insurance, and investment companies. She offers Mastermind Groups and in-house training for those who want to increase their expertise on the personal side of financial counsel.

Her book, Advice that Sticks: How to Give Financial Advice that People Will Follow, has become an international bestseller. It tackles, head-on, the problem of unimplemented financial advice. It has been adopted as an authoritative guidebook by such diverse groups as postsecondary institutions, private firms specializing in Ultra Hight Net Worth clients, and credit counselling agencies.

Dr. Somers is a faculty member at the Ultra High Net Worth Institute and at the Sudden Money Institute. She leads the Financial Psychology Special Interest Group for the American Psychological Association. She is a featured guest and writer for many financial advising / family office podcasts and publications.

Dr. Somers is frequently called upon by media to discuss the quirks of humans and their money. Here is a sampling:

What are the biggest worries of the wealthy?

No matter how high your net worth, wealth comes with its own set of issues. According to a study at Boston College’s Center for Wealth and Philanthropy, significant wealth brings with it worries about family, relationships, and even concerns about the wealth itself. The study, which surveyed more than 160 families, most of whom had $25 million or more, found that respondents:

  • Felt they lost the right to complain about anything because they didn’t want to sound ungrateful.
  • Worried that their children would grow up to be spoiled or to resent them for not leaving them a sufficient inheritance.
  • Noticed that outside relationships were affected by their wealth—many wondered if friends would still like them if they didn’t have that great vacation house or boat.
  • Were constantly asked for things like a loan or a charitable donation.
  • Still didn’t feel totally financially secure.

Addressing The 4 Biggest Worries of the Wealthy (2018).
Tiger 21 (website).

Read on…

Podcast with Courtney Vien about how accountants can improve their advice delivery (February 2019)

Courtney Vien interviews Dr. Somers for the Journal of Accountancy professional skills podcast.

In this podcast episode, you will learn:

  • The biggest mistake advisers make when giving advice.
  • Questions you can ask clients to determine whether they understand your advice and are ready to act on it.
  • How to help clients facing interference from family members.
  • What to do when clients are ambivalent toward your plan.
  • Why clients going through major life transitions struggle to follow advice.

Listen to it here.

Adviser 2.0 Interview (August 2018)

Robin Powell of UK-based site Adviser 2.0 about reinventing financial advice interviews Dr. Moria Somers. Read it here.

ThinkAdvisor interview with Dr. Moira Somers:

Do’s and Don’ts for Getting Clients to Follow Your Advice