Why do your doctor clients have such a hard time translating their high incomes into wealth?
Biology plays a role!
The biggest challenge in building wealth may well be the task of connecting our current behaviors with future consequences. The brain wiring that drives most behavior is about the here and now.
In fact, if your clients act on their biological urges day after day, they will most likely go broke.
Here are a few tidbits about what we know about the intersection between biology and wealth:
Born spenders and born savers. When you decide about whether to purchase something you want, the nucleus accumbens—a portion of the brain involved in reward and addiction—lights up. Conversely when you are concerned about the cost, the insula—a part of the brain that activates in times of fear—lights up.
Neurologists suggest that spenders and savers are wired to be more sensitive to one part of the brain than another, much like being biologically programmed to be right-handed or left-handed.
Incidentally, the insula lights up when stress is high. This explains the observation that many physicians use spending as a stress management tool.
Born risk takers. Studies of skiers and snowboarders show that those willing to take more risks on the mountain had specific variations of the DRD4 gene. The propensity to assume risk has clear financial consequences.
Illness and financial choices. Overspending seen during episodes of mania, compulsive gambling, and dementia lead to devastating consequences.
Could unchallenged biologic urges explain why half of physicians are behind in retirement planning?