207. Brian Portnoy of Shaping Wealth: Funded Contentment and the Importance of Focusing on the “Who”

Brian Portnoy is the founder of Shaping Wealth, a learning technology platform transforming the human experience of money. It combines science and story to show people how to underwrite a meaningful life, and is the source of the term “funded contentment. He previously led investor education across a series of investment firms and prior to that was head of manager selection at a Chicago-based fund of hedge funds.

Our conversation starts with a quick summary of Brian’s background, his academic journey through politics, economics and sociology and his love of teaching. We trace this speciality into his career in investing, which always involved a deep involvement in learning and education, and then examine his research around wealth, and in particular the study of the goals of wealth management.

Brian is credited with coining the term “funded contentment” and we establish what this is, and why the concept has resonated so well with his audience. We also dissect the current state of behavioral science and in particular examine the type of behavior that a chief behavioral officer might focus on.

Brian asks whether we should be focusing on the “who” and not simply the “why” when it comes to analyzing a client’s objectives.  He posits that everyone has multiple versions of themselves now and in the future. He suggests that a really, really good financial plan is going to tap into those multiple identities and that requires the adviser to have some good questions prepared and some thinking on this topic.

This is a robust and stimulating discussion about what matters for financial advisors, their clients and the future evolution of the industry. There is more information about Shaping Wealth and their Outsourced Chief Behavioral Officer program here: https://www.shapingwealth.com/

This podcast is brought to you with the kind support of Tom Raber and Alvine Capital, a specialist investment advisor and fund placement boutique with offices in London and Stockholm. An early adopter of the “reverse enquiry” form of placement, Alvine relies on insight and dialogue with its pan-European investor base to develop and source investment solutions from a wide variety of industry providers.