Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Client Psychology, you will:

  • Adapt to disruptive change in the financial planning industry by becoming more client-centered.
  • Articulate how better knowledge of client biases, behaviors, and perceptions can help you build deeper, long-lasting customer relationships.
  • Gain skills that will help your clients achieve better outcomes by understanding their needs and preferences and helping them cope with life events and market volatility.
  • Study with the renowned Wharton finance faculty, leading scholars from a variety of academic disciplines, and CFP® professionals to gain day-to-day practical skills to serve and grow your client base.
  • Improve your communication skills with a stronger grasp of how client psychology can guide clients toward better decisions.
  • Develop new insights into how to adapt to a changing population and a surge in millennial clients with different views on elements of financial planning.

Experience & Impact

Client Psychology led by Christopher Geczy, the academic director of the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative and the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research, combines the power of top finance experts from Wharton with the experience and know-how of the Certified Financial Planner Board — which certifies and set standards for 92,000 professionals — and its Center for Financial Planning.

This first-of-its-kind program consists of synchronous and asynchronous modules covering a range of content. Through insights based on rigorous research, experience, and interaction, participants will not only learn from thought leaders but develop new methods for communicating with clients, helping them achieve their goals, deal with potential financial stress and hardships, and make key decisions. This specially developed course takes an interdisciplinary approach that draws on the latest breakthroughs in behavioral finance, psychology, therapy and counseling, and even neuroscience.

The academic study of client psychology is a burgeoning field, which merges traditional financial knowledge with an understanding of best practices from aspects of finance, financial planning, and a variety of the human sciences. The course will focus heavily on how practitioners can hone their skills in client communication through observation, exercises, and even role playing. The goal is for financial planners and advisors to gain both the know-how and the tools to refocus their practice to emphasize the client, thus achieving better results and building life-long relationships. Participants will learn how to relate better to a fast-changing client population and gain cutting-edge tools to build closer bonds with clients and ultimately deliver better outcomes.

Session topics include:

  • Resilience and Optimism
  • Persuasion and Influence
  • Risk Aversion and Client Personality
  • Future Self
  • Self-Efficacy and Reflective Practice
  • Client Behavior and Decision Making
  • The Challenges to Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • Understanding Client Communication Styles
  • Heuristics and Biases
  • Building Relationships Through Neuroscience
  • Elements of Clinical Psychology Including Spending, Saving, and Money Disorders
  • Expert Perspectives From Practitioners

Wharton LIVE Online Programming

Real-time peer learning with deep faculty engagement and global networking

The live, online version of Client Psychology is a monthlong program that will be delivered online and taught by the same Wharton and CFP Board faculty who teach in the on-campus program. The sessions are structured with both synchronous and asynchronous components, running Tuesdays and Thursdays, (except for the last week of November), to allow for continuous interaction and Q&A pertaining to all aspects of client interaction and relationships.

Participants will have direct access to Wharton and CFP Board faculty throughout the program and engage in dynamic group exercises that help reinforce the learning and enable networking among the peer community. Application work will set the foundation for faculty-led discussions where participants will pressure test assumptions from the past and plan for the future.

This online program is a fully immersive and structured learning experience that culminates with a new set of knowledge and tools that can be put to immediate use. Participants must complete all four weeks of content to receive CE credit.

Program Duration:

  • Jul. 18 – Aug. 11, 2022
    3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT
    Kickoff: Monday July 18, 2022
    1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT
    Tuesdays and Thursdays
    for four weeks

Building Your Network

The Client Psychology program will also include multiple opportunities for you to get to know the other participants and build your professional network. These sessions include:

  • Pulse of the Market: Q&A Networking Forum
    During these sessions, faculty will examine and discuss the most promising opportunities and most significant challenges participants' organizations are facing. Participants act as a sounding board while simultaneously identifying the commonalities that connect the issues across organizations.
  • Wharton After Hours
    Wharton and CFP faculty will lead an online discussion board that moves beyond the day’s content into global current events. Think of it as faculty office hours but online.

audio icon

Listen to the Audio Clip:

Academic Directors Christopher Geczy of Wharton and Charles Chaffin of the CFP Board talk about Client Psychology on Wharton Business Radio, SiriusXM.

Convince Your Supervisor

Here’s a justification letter you can edit and send to your supervisor to help you make the case for attending this Wharton program.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.

CE Credit

certified financial planner

Each module of Client Psychology qualifies for 21.5 credit hours of continuing education by the CFP Board. If you are a CFP® professional, credit for your participation in this program will be automatically recorded after you have successfully attended this Wharton program. Please provide your CFP Board member ID number in the required field on the application.

audio icon

Listen to the Knowledge@Wharton interview:

Christopher Geczy, Academic Director of the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative; Kevin Keller, CEO of CFP Board; and Charles Chaffin, Director of Academic Programs and Initiatives of the CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning, discuss the rationale for Client Psychology.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed broadly for any professional who advises clients on investments, insurances, or other aspects of financial planning. Faculty looking to better prepare their students to enter the profession would benefit greatly from this new and growing interdisciplinary topic. The insights into understanding client psychology, improving communication with investors, planning subjects, and achieving better outcomes will be valuable for a wide range of potential attendees, including:

  • CFP® professionals and those on their way to obtaining CFP certification
  • Financial planners working within a variety of client-centered business models
  • Investment advisors, brokers, and counselors
  • Any investment professional with a “Know Your Client” role
  • Professionals in accounting, insurance, or related fields


Chris Geczy

Christopher Geczy, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Adjunct Professor of Finance; Academic Director, Wharton Wealth Management Initiative; Academic Director, Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research, The Wharton School

Charles Chaffin

Charles Chaffin, EdDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Director of Academic Programs and Initiatives, CFP Board

Date, Location, & Fees

July 18 – August 11, 2022Live Online$2,4953:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT
Kickoff: Monday July 18, 2022
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT
Tuesdays and Thursdays
for four weeks

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

Download ScheduleApply Now

Program Information

Prices are subject to change.

In Partnership With

Center for Financial Planning

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