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Dave Yeske: The Crucial Role of Psychology in Financial Planning

Jamie Hopkins - December 29, 2022 - 0 comments

Financial freedom is about having choices and designing a life where you can pursue the things that interest you and spend time with the people who matter to you. This is the view of Dr. Dave Yeske, CFP, founder and Managing Director of San Francisco-based YeskeBuie and former Chair of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). And with his firm’s motto of “Live big,” it’s a goal he’s helping his clients work toward.

The CFP Board recently introduced a program focusing on the psychology of financial planning, something Dave welcomes as long overdue.

“I realize they can’t be ahead of the curve, but in my mind, it’s about time,” he says.

In fact, for the past two decades, this has been a focus of Dave’s as director of Golden Gate University’s financial planning program.

“With the CFP’s embrace, it’s now unambiguously clear to everyone that emotions are an essential factor in successful financial planning. You can’t spur action without the emotional component,” he says.

Part of Dave’s framework for success has been volunteering for organizations such as FPA.

“Financial planning is hard work, and it feeds my battery to know I’m engaged in a community of peers and colleagues who are facing the same challenges and sharing the same experiences,” he says.

He believes his active involvement has inspired him to be a better practitioner and business owner.

“I hear about people who try to build a practice by themselves, and I couldn’t do it,” he says.

Most recently, he finished a volunteer stint as Residency Program Dean for a six-day FPA program that allows participants to role-play, work in teams and apply the technical knowledge they’ve acquired on to real-life client scenarios.

In today’s episode, Dave talks to Jamie and Ana about lessons learned working with his spouse, his favorite volunteer roles with FPA, the books he would recommend to fellow financial planners and the best Halloween costume he ever had.

Key Takeaways

  • To truly enjoy your business and life, it’s imperative to put strong systems and processes in place that will allow you to scale.
  • You can only go as deep with your clients as you’ve gone with yourself.
  • The quantitative part of financial planning is the “easy” part. It’s the emotional component that’s more challenging because people struggle with change.


“Our role as financial planners is to help clients adapt to change, both external changes imposed on them and volitional changes. You have to understand the emotion and psychological components, or you won’t succeed as a financial coach and facilitator.” – Dave Yeske


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