Little Known Financial Phobias

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Empathy is powerful. But it’s difficult to be empathetic if you don’t understand the underlying concerns of your clients – especially when they are deeply rooted and qualify as financial phobias.

Many advisors aren’t familiar with financial phobias. They are common and can be debilitating.

What are financial phobias?

Financial phobias are irrational and extreme fears related to money. They are often manifested by avoidance behavior, like not checking your bank account, not opening envelopes containing bills, and ignoring your finances.

Symptoms of financial phobia

Researchers at Cambridge University listed the following symptoms those with financial phobia may experience:

45% – have their heart racing 12% – feel physically ill 11% – experience dizziness 15% – become immobilized

Who do they affect?

Financial phobias can affect anyone. According to Dr. Brendan Burchell, a member of the faculty of social and political sciences at Cambridge University, those with financial phobias are often high achievers who have “become entwined in this psychological syndrome,” making it very challenging to deal with their finances.

Common financial phobias

Here are some common financial phobias:

Chrometophobia: An extreme and overwhelming fear of spending money. Even the thought of doing so can trigger a panic attack.

Plutophobia: The fear of wealth. It may seem counterintuitive, but some people fear becoming wealthy due to associated responsibilities or potential negative impacts on their lives.

Atychiphobia: The fear of failure. This phobia can prevent you from taking risks, even calculated ones, in your financial pursuits.

Peniaphobia: An intense fear of poverty. Just thinking about poverty can trigger extreme anxiety.