The Persuasive Power Of Being Positive


Photo by Jordan Ladikos on Unsplash

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Persuading people to change their mind about anything is daunting. Trying to convince a prospect to switch from an active to a passive investing strategy can be an uphill battle.

It is crucial to understand the research about what is and isn’t effective.

Positive or negative?

The initial choice you need to make is whether to accentuate the positive or the negative. For example, you could show higher expected returns using passive management and link the additional wealth to meeting goals like leaving bequests to family and charity, and maintaining a higher quality of life. That would reinforce the positive.

Or, you could accentuate the negative and use a Monte Carlo analysis demonstrating the higher likelihood of running out of money in retirement using active management, having to cut back on quality of life and maybe even dying impoverished.

Which approach is likely to be more effective?

The clear winner

You would think healthcare workers in hospitals would be highly motivated to follow basic guidelines about hand washing. But according to this article from Berkeley Wellness, “Infections acquired in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities sicken more than a million Americans every year and kill about 100,000 of them, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, and cost billions of dollars to treat. Especially worrisome is the fact that increasingly these infections are resistant to antibiotics.”

There’s ample evidence that many of these infections would be prevented by simple hand washing.

Despite this data, the data on non-compliance with hand washing protocol is shocking. In one study, average compliance was only 48%, with even higher rates of non-compliance in intensive care.