Kol Birke, CFP

Kol Birke, CFP®, is managing principal, corporate strategy and financial behavior specialist, at Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, the nation's largest privately held Registered Investment Adviser–independent broker/dealer. With the firm since 1999, Kol fosters technology innovation by working with individual departments to design and implement their most impactful ideas, and he helps advisors align their clients’ actions with their goals, including calming emotions, reconciling risk tolerances, and facilitating life transitions. Kol received a BA in economics from Brandeis University and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Information about securities-registered professionals may be found at FINRA BROKERCHECK.

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Recent Posts

Building a True Meritocracy: The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

How to Help Your Clients Who Are Overspending in Retirement

Managing Your Clients’ Risk Perception

How to Help Clients Avoid Self-Destructive Financial Behavior

Nature Vs. Nurture: Can You Change Your Clients’ Financial Behavior?

Building a True Meritocracy: The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

Posted by Kol Birke, CFP

October 8, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Even leaders who don’t intrinsically value diversity and inclusion have learned that they improve corporate resiliency and help the bottom line. In fact, McKinsey, Deloitte, and BCG have all published quantitative research on the benefits of diversity. The results suggest that having employees and clients with different perspectives helps companies endure and even thrive in changing times. So, why is diversity and inclusion in the workplace still an issue—and how do we go about building a true meritocracy?

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Topics: Practice Management

How to Help Your Clients Who Are Overspending in Retirement

Posted by Kol Birke, CFP

July 17, 2019 at 1:30 PM

Do you have clients who are overspending in retirement? Chances are, you do. Perhaps they can’t say no to helping their kids, or they understandably want to enjoy their money before their health fails. Or they might be motivated by any other of the common reasons for “bad” financial habits. Whatever the cause, there are a number of straightforward techniques you can use to help encourage positive change when talking to clients about sticking to their retirement plan. 

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Topics: Behavioral Finance

Managing Your Clients’ Risk Perception

Posted by Kol Birke, CFP

July 16, 2019 at 10:00 AM

While we often focus on “risk tolerance,” when the markets head up or down precipitously, managing your clients’ risk perception is actually the key. Of course, to do so, we must first understand the difference between risk tolerance and risk perception. In a nutshell, the reason why people’s risk tolerance can change drastically during times of market volatility has to do with this notion called risk perception. Research from the CFA Institute shows that risk tolerance is a fairly stable “personality trait”—which stays the same unless someone has a life-changing experience. Risk perception, on the other hand, is an emotional, temporary judgment of the severity of a risk during a certain time frame.

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Topics: Behavioral Finance

How to Help Clients Avoid Self-Destructive Financial Behavior

Posted by Kol Birke, CFP

June 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM

I’ve heard advisors ask, “Why does my client want to go to cash when his portfolio has lost only nominal money?” or “Why is my client blaming me for something she pushed for months ago?” Rather than trying to explain why their instincts are wrong, it can be more effective to instead just affirm their feelings and then redirect their energy.

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Topics: Behavioral Finance

Nature Vs. Nurture: Can You Change Your Clients’ Financial Behavior?

Posted by Kol Birke, CFP

June 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Research suggests that our DNA affects our spending and savings patterns. Does this mean it’s futile to try to change your clients’ financial behavior? Maybe not. While DNA can affect your clients’ decision making, it isn't the sole factor.

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Topics: Behavioral Finance

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