Through NVC, Ms Lira is able to see that clients are, to different degrees, vulnerable and have anxieties and fears around money.
She says: “In my advice work just listening to clients about their feelings and needs is a big part of [NVC] – being able to go to a deeper level when they use certain words.
“For example sometimes clients are quite ashamed and use ‘should’ a lot: ‘I should be better with my money’, ‘I should have more savings’. ‘I should’ words are quite violent.So I try to reassure them that most people struggle to look at money and it’s normal to do so.”
However, being able to identify her clients’ anxieties and needs is only part of the story.
Ms Lira has also devised a series of money workshops and a newsletter to help her clients examine their relationship to money more thoroughly.
“Money is important, but we work for other needs like meaning, contribution, fun or play. Many times we are conditioned that we should earn so much, or work in a certain profession and we do things to please other people.
“But what we want to do is this other ‘something’ that brings us alive” says Ms Lira.
This is what Ms Lira calls “following your soul path, your soul passion”, as well as following a “life path”.
It works, because it helps clients unblock their unconscious biases around money like their fears and prejudices (around greed or immorality for example), and so engage with their finances more proactively and freely.
It tends to lead to better investment choices in line with her clients’ values and allows them to do things with their money they truly want.
She says this is important because “money systems work mostly for people with power and privilege.”
She adds: “Unless more of us become ‘conscious’ with money we cannot change the way these systems work.”
Her advice to other IFAs is to consider money coaching to supplement their advice work.
“I think a big part of the IFA’s role is behavioural coaching.
“It’s not the actual mechanics of investing – that’s the easy part. It’s getting clients to think about money and adopt healthy habits around money and their relationship to it. If they are willing to explore deeper and engage, it can really create a shift.”
Having a niche is also recommended. “I find that having a niche means clients come to me. They already have an idea of what they want, which is ethical investment, and they have read my website.