Ray’s financial psychology journey continues at Sydney Uni

Financial Psychology

Above: Abercrombie Building
Below: Original sandstone campus of Sydney Uni

I am delighted to be able to continue my studies in financial psychology at the grand old institution of Sydney University.

Treysta has had a long standing relationship with Dr Helen Parker of Sydney University where together we have been creating a sound academic platform for providing enhanced financial advice entwined with psychological factors.  I am grateful this relationship has facilitated the opportunity for me to work closely with Helen.

What initially strikes me about the environment of Sydney University is the great contrast between the recently completed business school campus building, the Abercrombie Building, with its ultra modern facilities, and the iconic sandstone quadrangle which is the face of the university.  The original campus took over one hundred years to be fully built, having commenced construction in 1854 — four years after William Charles Wentworth proposed the idea for Australia’s first university.

It is this grand old building which one clearly has in mind when hearing Sydney University being referred to as a member of the wealthy “sandstone establishment”.

I am humbled to learn about some of the famous members of Sydney University’s alumni — including no less than five prime ministers like Edmund Barton (who in 1901 won Australias inaugural federal election) and a number of noteworthy trailblazers in human rights and medical innovation.

For me, it feels rather befitting to be going across to the contemporary Abercrombie building, because I see it as a symbol of my academic agenda.  I am looking  to build on the foundations of the “sandstone establishment” of financial services and funds management, and create our own Abercrombie — in the form of psychological applied finance, which we call Financial Life Management.

I am here at Sydney Uni for a preliminary meeting with the coordinators with whom I will be working with over the next eight months.

So, what is the initiative?

I will be giving more detail about my studies in later posts but those familiar with the finance industry would understand the significant changes being faced at the moment. We are seeing the likes of “BID”, “FASEA”, and “FOFA” to name a few. For those of you out of the industry, these acronyms are part of the vernacular for Financial Advisers thinking about their value proposition and redefining how they add value to their clients’ lives.

At Treysta, we believe an Adviser’s core value is focused around helping people understand their relationship with money, and in doing so helping promote a financial world in which people align their personal values to the decisions they make with their money. No more keeping up with the Jones’s — ask them, they’re no happier than you are!

In my pursuit of this, I am in the twilight of a psychology degree (under the sponsorship of Treysta Wealth Management for which I am so grateful) where I am required to conduct 250 hours over 8 weeks of work placement.

The supervisors I am working with at Sydney Uni have been successful in securing a research grant from the NSW State Government to use Treysta as a case study. The case study will be framed around evaluating and providing an academic position for the application of psychology in financial services. Answering questions such as “If Joe goes to see a planner and gets an investment portfolio vs seeing Ray who provides a framework for having a healthy relationship for money, does this make Joe any better off?”.

You see, I do think that we are on a winner with what we are building towards. And while there is a plethora of things we can do to enhance the client experience in the current engagement model around Financial Life Management, I am confident that a model such as ours which includes financial psychology will deliver favourable outcomes for all clients.

With all of that said, I now eagerly join the team at Sydney Uni to learn just how true all of this may be.

Ray Jaramis
Treysta Financial Life Manager