Phoenix (Jan. 10, 2003) -- With economic uncertainty leaving consumers confused and apathetic, it's up to advisors to steer them in the right direction and help them deal with the emotional issues surrounding money, financial psychologist Kathleen Gurney told CPA advisors this week.

In a session on investor psychology at the American Institute of CPAs' Personal Financial Planning Technical conference this week, Gurney told CPA advisors that the "do-it-yourself" mentality of investors has gone by the wayside. "Eighty percent of the population doesn't know if they'll be OK if they take a risk -- they're looking for people they can trust," said Gurney, chief executive of Financial Psychology Corp.

"Believe what they (clients) do -- not what they say," Gurney advised practitioners. "Clients overestimate the amount of risk they are comfortable taking."

Advisors must also understand clients' habits and their "blind spots" and help them plan for feelings as well as finances, she added.

-- Melissa Klein

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