Are You Financial Dependent on Your Advisor?

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In researching financial dependence for last week's column, I realized this money disorder shares similar characteristics with dependent personality disorder as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). If you think a client may be affected by financial dependence, you may gain some insight from my adaptation of the eight criteria for dependent personality disorder outlined in the DSM-5. The criteria are if a client:

1. Has difficulty making every day financial decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others.

2. Needs others to assume responsibility for the financial aspects of your life.

3. Fears losing support or approval if you express or confront financial disagreements with others.

4. Has difficulty initiating financial actions or doing financial tasks on your own.

5. Goes to excessive lengths to obtain financial reinforcement and support from others.

6. Feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to financially care for yourself.

7. Urgently seeks another financial professional as a source of care and support when a current relationship with a financial professional ends.

8. Is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to make financial decisions for yourself.