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Podcast Transcript

Episode 104, Season 1

Finding your client's deep relationship with money, with Luna Jaffe


Luna Jaffe (00:01):

My experience is, is that most women feel very disconnected from their money. I think men do too, but I work more with women so I’m speaking to what I experience. There’s just this disconnection. There’s more connection if you’ve earned it, than there is if you didn’t. And if you didn’t earn it or you got it in a divorce settlement or a death or whatever, inheritance, there’s a sense of like it’s not really mine.

Fraser Jack (00:25):

Welcome to the Goals-based Advice Podcast, where I have conversations with pioneers of the new world of financial advice. I’m your host Fraser Jack, I want to thank you so much for tuning in today. I’d also like to thank our supporting partner Advice Intelligence for powering this podcast. If you’re enjoying the show, then please help me spread the word and find your colleagues that don’t listen to podcasts and teach them how you find and listen to your favorite shows. I would also love it if you could leave me a review on your favorite listening app.

Fraser Jack (00:58):

In this episode I chat with US adviser, Luna Jaffe. Now Luna is not your normal financial planner. She combines her background of art and psychotherapy to uncover her client’s emotional side of money. She authored a book called Wild Money and she’s turned that book into a financial journal that her clients work through to unlock their relationship with money as they improve their financial literacy, competence and confidence. Luna takes us through her 18 meeting process and how she thinks outside the box to get results for her clients.

Fraser Jack (01:34):

We also discuss her side business called Sacred Money Studios and Prosperity Pie Shoppe. Yes, a real pie shop that runs financial literacy classes. It’s a very interesting initiative. So if you are looking for a new perspective on the traditional advice model, then tune in to this episode with Luna Jaffe. Welcome to the show Luna.

Luna Jaffe (02:00):

Thank you. It’s so great to be here.

Fraser Jack (02:02):

It’s fantastic to have you on the show. Now when you say here, where are you at the moment?

Luna Jaffe (02:06):

Well, at the moment I’m in Phoenix, Arizona, in the US and I’m from Portland, Oregon.

Fraser Jack (02:13):

Fantastic. So you’re on vacation at the moment.

Luna Jaffe (02:15):

I am, taking a chill break before the end of the year.

Fraser Jack (02:20):

Fantastic. Well, thank you for giving us some of your time. I appreciate it.

Luna Jaffe (02:24):

You got it.

Fraser Jack (02:25):

Tell us a little bit about you. Tell us about you and your business.

Luna Jaffe (02:29):

Oh, I kind of had one of those circuitous pathways to financial planning. I was a, graduated with a degree in bilingual education and decided to travel the world. I was never one of those people that was like, “Oh, I’ve got to get a job.” I was more like, “I got to get out and about and explore.” And ended up being after traveling and sailing halfway around the world, I decided to, or I really just fell in love with silk painting. I became a artist just on my own, not trained. Trained myself and had a pretty successful professional art career for 12 years and then went back and got a degree in counseling psychology based in union psychology. Wanting to have a more stable, so-called stable life, didn’t realize that psychotherapy was also self-employment.

Luna Jaffe (03:21):

And that was funny. I was like, “Oh, here I am again, self-employed.” And I decided that I didn’t love being a psychotherapist, some of the boundaries and the rules and the sense of it’s a one way relationship didn’t suit me. I love the learning process but I didn’t so much love being an individual therapist and ended up doing several different things and then back into, totally started over again doing high-tech, working in high-tech, doing computer software and hardware support and then became a manager and then was like, “Whoa, what am I doing in the corporate world?” That wasn’t really my destiny. But when I got laid off when 9/11 happened in the US and so many of the corporations just sort of cut back on the training world, I was 42. I had a two year old and I was like, “Whoa, now what?”

Luna Jaffe (04:10):

And I started looking around and taking, I took a sales job just to kind of keep myself going. And somebody recruited me into financial advising and I thought it was such a joke because I didn’t do anything with money, I didn’t know anything about it. I certainly didn’t budget, I didn’t have much in the way of investments. I just was a total novice. And I remember somebody saying, “You can learn this. The skills to do this job are really personality driven and the money part’s a learned skill.” And that was sort of stunning to me. I was like, “Wow, you can learn this.” I thought you had to be born with it.

Fraser Jack (04:47):

It’s amazing, isn’t it? That journey with regards to the teacher, the therapists scenario is often how great advisers are developed, not through the numbers.

Luna Jaffe (04:59):

Yeah. And not through the numbers and not through necessarily schooling either. And so I just came into it with a firm here in the US that basically trained you from the ground up and they loved starting people from the beginning instead of having to retrain them into their own techniques. So it was a very sales oriented job at the beginning, it was not financial planning based. It was sell stocks and call people, cold-call people. We walked, we had to door-knock neighborhoods and business districts. It was a bit grueling. But it really stuck in my head. There was a ... I had a mentor who said, “This is going to be the hardest three years of your life and after that you’re going to get overpaid for everything you do.” And I was like, “Okay, I can probably do that. I could probably make it work.”

Luna Jaffe (05:42):

And so I was just like, “All right, I’m just going to get through those three hard years, get enough assets under management, that it’s doable.” And I loved actually the tangibility of it, the sense of I could see what I was bringing in in accounts and assets and I can see my revenue streams. I had a great dashboard at this particular firm. And I’d never had that as a self-employed person, I didn’t really know, I never knew how I was doing and I certainly didn’t have any comparisons. Whereas at this company I always knew where I was relative to my peers and it was pretty, I don’t know, I found it pretty easy to just kind of blow their socks off, so it was pretty fun. It was just like, it was a game and it was a game with myself, so that made it even better. So it was-

Fraser Jack (06:26):

Yeah. It’s interesting, isn’t it? That three year period often, I always refer to that as like the apprenticeship time whenever you start a new career, the first three years are always going to be a struggle and make no money in the first year and just start to make money in the second year and finally the penny drops and starts to work in the third. But it’s good to also have that structure around the old, not accountability, but that, where you can actually see the levels and measure where you’re up to.

Luna Jaffe (06:53):

Yeah, and I’ve learned a lot. There were several ... This company did a very good job of training us and they had people that were just super great at teaching you how to take a lot of the, basically the leading leadership type courses and trainings and implement them into a financial planning practice. Because we all had our own offices, I wasn’t in a corporate office. And in this company, everybody had their own offices in their own little town. Their motto was bring wall street to main street. And so I was kind of alone in my own little practice with my assistant. But I also had a large firm behind me and lots of meetings and opportunities to learn.

Luna Jaffe (07:37):

And one of the things that they said was, “You have to work on the things you have control over.” And that was really impactful to me. It’s like you can’t necessarily control how many people bring you money or open accounts with you, but you can control how many people you ask and how many people you call in and how many seminars you teach. And that helped, that helped me to give something like, “Oh, I can set goals around those things, and I can set stretch goals for assets under management or accounts.” But the thing I know I can meet any time of the day or week or month were the things that I could do, like the number of phone calls and door knocks. And so I learned a lot, it was a very, very challenging process.

Fraser Jack (08:21):

That’s really interesting, isn’t it? You setting goals around the actions rather than the outcomes. You mentioned before it was very sales based at the beginning and that was I guess a sign of the times, things have sort of turned around now of course, a lot of people are now focusing on rather on sales, on client’s goals and values and what their missions of success are rather than the measure of success that was traditionally the firm or the [inaudible 00:08:48].

Luna Jaffe (08:48):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, absolutely.

Fraser Jack (08:52):

Yeah. How do you do that with your clients?

Luna Jaffe (08:55):

How I do it now is, yeah, I mean now my focus is very much driven by financial planning and I bring people in. As a financial planning client, my process is fee based in that sense so it’s come in a flat fee for planning. I pretty much exclusively do a year long planning process. I don’t, it’s very, very rare that I’ll take anybody on for a short project or I definitely don’t take anybody on hourly. I just don’t want to do that kind of quickie diagnostics. It doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t provide a good relationship, it’s not satisfying.

Luna Jaffe (09:31):

I will do a 10 minute phone call with new prospects. In that 10 minutes I basically say, “What are you looking for? What motivated you to make the call at this point? How did you find out about me?” And so I’m trying to gauge whether they know about how out of the box I am, because my practice is pretty wildly different than most. So that’s usually why they’re there is because they want somebody who has kind of the combined financial therapy and financial planning practice that I do have. And so in 10 or 15 minutes, I can pretty much gauge whether they’re going to be a good fit for me.

Luna Jaffe (10:05):

And then I try to help them ask the right questions of me so that they know that I’m a good fit for them and they have to buy-in right away. I mean, they’re going to either buy-in or they’re not going to buy-in. And I have no qualms about just like, yep, it’s $6,000, it’s going to be a year, you’re going to get 18 sessions. We’re going to go through budgeting, we’re going to learn all the financial planning processes and you’re going to do the whole wild money process, which we can talk about. And that’s what it looks like. And there are always going to be those people that are like, “Whoa, that’s a lot.”

Luna Jaffe (10:38):

And then there’s others that are like, “Oh my God, this is exactly what I’m looking for. How do I sign on the dotted line like now?” And I typically will go from that to just booking people. I don’t see people for a second face to face. They either make the decision in that time period or they don’t.

Fraser Jack (10:54):


Luna Jaffe (10:55):

Yeah. It’s a [crosstalk 00:10:56].

Fraser Jack (10:56):

I’m desperate to know about this one year long planning process. And I love the fact that you call it a process, but I feel like I’ve just skipped the part which is you deciding to start this business in the first place and then leaving your job. Let’s go back a step and have a chat about that.

Luna Jaffe (11:13):

Absolutely. Yeah. So in, after seven years at this firm, I completed my certified financial planning. I basically took the CFP in ... I started the coursework and seven months later took the exam. It was a two year program and seven months. I’m not a person that can kind of draw things out. I just like intensity, and I wanted to get it done. And up until that point, I had been told by everybody else like it was way too hard and I would never ... They didn’t say I couldn’t do it, but my feeling was like, why would I try that? It’s overwhelming and everybody fails. And I just said, “Okay.” I just finally felt like, no, that’s the next step I need to do that.

Luna Jaffe (11:57):

And I passed the exam on the first try, which was in the US, I don’t know what it’s like in Australia. In the US our pass rate is only 40% of the people that take it. So it was great, I was like, “Awesome, that’s done. I can put that behind me.” And then I went to my compliance department and I said, “I really want to write these books and I don’t know really know what they are yet because I haven’t started writing them, but I can tell you they’re going to be kind of out of the box.” And they basically said, “Good luck with that, and let us know when you’re famous.” I was like, “Yeah, that ain’t going to work.”

Luna Jaffe (12:32):

So I quickly within about three months I was like, “I guess I have to leave this firm.” I didn’t know anything about the independent world and it was a huge leap, like it was not ... When I look back on that process and how little I knew about it and how I went to a firm that really didn’t have a process to really onboard me into the, here’s how you transition out of a firm that has all of the bells and whistles all tied together in a nice little bow, to being independent and having to find all those software solutions and processes. And the whole system was just so chaotic and challenging.

Luna Jaffe (13:09):

And then the building I moved into, which was supposed to have been completed several weeks before I resigned from the other firm was not available. So I ended up having to move and work out of my living room for about six months and it was insane. Luckily my assistant who’d been with me for seven years came with me. And so even though it was a big kind of nightmare transition and, oh, and they sued me on top of it, so it was really fun. But at least we were figuring it out together. We knew each other well. It wasn’t like I lost that kind of right hand woman piece of it, which was awesome.

Fraser Jack (13:45):

Yeah, so a massively difficult transition in that respect. Obviously everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong. But that’s sort of like the groundwork I guess for the business. And the philosophy that you wanted to bring, that’s pretty evident in your book. I do want to talk about that philosophy and the books that you’ve written.

Luna Jaffe (14:06):

Yeah. I transitioned over in 2010 and then I started writing my books about a year later. It took me two years to develop the books and the books are called Wild Money: A Creative Journey to Financial Wisdom. It ended up being two books because it just got too big. And I was like, “Okay. Well, I still want to share all this stuff and so it’s going to have to be two.” And so I divided it into a main book and then a book that is a journal and a financial visual financial glossary. So that was, I designed the book, I self published it, I did a kick-starter campaign to launch it. It was massively intensive and I felt like the kick-starter was like being in labor for 30 days. It was the most excruciating painful I think I’ve ever done besides leaving John, so those two things probably were the two biggest, most difficult things I’ve ever done.

Luna Jaffe (14:58):

And the book helped me to kind of find out what my philosophy was. I think when I started Lunaria, I didn’t really know. I didn’t do the homework. I’m very much one of those people that just like, I’m going forward, I’m taking a leap and oh shit, do I have a parachute? Oh, how do I open it? It was just this experience of like, I just, I’m so very trusting of the bigger picture of the process and as I get older I’m like, “Yeah, that wasn’t so smart.” It would’ve been really helpful to spend a couple months really thinking about what is my full philosophy, how am I going to communicate that to people? And I just thought, well, I’m leaving, I’ve got over 50 million in assets. They’ll come with me, It’ll all be good.

Luna Jaffe (15:39):

Yeah. And the truth of the matter was that other company was very aggressive in trying to keep my clients. And about half of them came over and it was a lot of work. And then I had to start to define like, who am I and how am I going to work going forward? And it really took about, I would say it really has taken maybe five years for me to hit my stride and have the confidence to say, what I do is a year long process. And you either like that or you don’t, that’s what you’re looking for, it’s not, that’s fine. I’m good, I don’t need the business, I’ve got a waiting list.

Fraser Jack (16:11):

So the book’s got to be a really great base I guess for having the conversations about all those different sections and areas that you have in them. And then being able to lead your clients through those to actually understand what their values were and their beliefs and behaviors and where they came from and all that sort of thing. And you then turn that into a journal or a workbook that is now the one year course. Is that right?

Luna Jaffe (16:37):

Sort of. I teach Wild Money as a process that whether or not people are going through financial planning with me. So what I do in my planning practices, I overlay the Wild Money process on top of traditional financial planning. So we’re doing all the asset gathering, we’re doing ... I work with eMoney and get everybody onboarded into eMoney. They can see their own dashboard, they have access to that website. So we’re doing all that work at the same time that they’re getting homework and they’re going home and they’re drawing images.

Luna Jaffe (17:07):

So my process in Wild Money is about using imagery because if you access, if you draw a picture of what your relationship with money looks like or you draw a picture of your relationship with receiving or spending or investing. What comes out of that once we get over the initial, I can’t draw feeling, which happens, is that people start to, they discover a lot of driven things. One, they discover that there’s a lot more to their story around money than they knew. And it comes up in ways because visual language is preverbal. We’re not already layering language on of it. We’re just going at it. And so if somebody uses a stick figure and they, I’m like, “Okay, what’s your relationship with money look like?” And they draw this picture of this little tiny person in the corner and this huge something, huge bucket of money or something and it’s raining down on them and crushing them.

Luna Jaffe (18:07):

You get a really quick image of like, whoa, it’s pretty overwhelming for you to have just received this inheritance or for you to manage this settlement. You just got out of a divorce and you don’t even have hands or feet. Like the images tell us a lot, or you’re not looking forward or you don’t have any eyes or ... No matter how conscious you think you’re being when you draw an image, your unconscious is much stronger in that process than your conscious mind. And colors are really powerful and they mean different things to different people. But I love to explore that relationship of like, wow, in this drawing there’s so much green, tell me about green, help me understand what green means to you. And they’ll, people pretty much will just immediately go, oh, green is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Luna Jaffe (18:53):

And it’s not necessarily what I would’ve thought it to be. To one person it might mean growth and to another person it might mean that, it might mean heart-centered something. And to somebody else that might be a color they hate, who knows. And so my process is to teach people how to start noticing, noticing what they’re drawing, how they’re drawing, what it feels like inside both and what it looks like on the paper without forcing interpretations on top of it. And that is so rich that when we start to do that process and then we are making also tangible moves with their money. So we’re starting to look at, wow, I need a solid income stream from this divorce settlement or I need to start to own the fact that I’ve handed over all the responsibilities around money for the last 25 years. And I really don’t know where to start. Wow, I got to start somewhere.

Luna Jaffe (19:53):

And the drawings give them a chance to transform it. So if they draw a picture of getting crushed by this, the weight of this settlement, and they are this little stick figure and I say to them, “Okay, so what’s one thing you can change about this picture?” They might say, “Wow, I could shrink the size of the image or I could make myself bigger relative to it. That might be one solution.” They might say, “Wow, I could just move that big huge pile of money off the page a little bit, so I have a little bit more breathing room.” And any of their solutions that they come up with are fantastic. And then I have them go home and draw that.

Luna Jaffe (20:32):

So it’s all they’re changing is one thing, but they’re changing it. They’re physically changing it in their image. And by doing that they’re unconsciously learning that they can change it, that they literally can change it. And then we apply that to how they’re working with their money and they start to see it like, oh. I just had an email from a client this morning and she was like, “I know that you said it could be easy that I could.” I would know when I returned to this house because she had just bought a house in New Mexico and she went back to her house in Washington and she was like, “I don’t know what to do.” And I said, “Just trust it. You have it in your drawing what you want.” And she’s like, “Okay.”

Luna Jaffe (21:10):

So she goes back to Washington and she said, “You won’t believe what happened. Literally the day I was ready to decide that I was going to rent the house, the renters showed up. I have it all leased, it’s already leased. I figured it out in a day.” And it was in her drawings. It was already in her drawings. Yeah.

Fraser Jack (21:30):

An extremely creative process. And so you’re getting people to draw their feelings or emotions and then by doing so you’re actually helping them with their mindset. But it’s coming from that place of ... And et’s face it, most people are visual in that way.

Luna Jaffe (21:45):


Fraser Jack (21:47):

But does this mean that you get more creative people or do people struggle with being creative if they haven’t been for a long time? Because I guess as kids we were all really creative and then we get professional and become less creative.

Luna Jaffe (22:01):

Yeah, it’s interesting. I mean, that is really a great question. I mean, so first I believe that everybody’s creative. I do have a much easier time with women than men, I will definitely say that. Men are more resistant to this process than women. And yet I’ve had these ... I’ve had a few engineers that draw me the most incredible diagrams. It’s like, I will say to them like, “Use your own language. If you are used to drawing chemical engineering pictures, use what you know and describe your relationship with money.” And then suddenly they’re like, “Oh, cool.” And they go off and they draw this picture that’s like some diagram I could never have imagined. And yet it perfectly describes their relationship with money.

Luna Jaffe (22:45):

And one of the things, the amazing thing that this process does is that it does reawaken creativity. And I’ve had four or five people go on to become professional artists, but they had given it up. They had gone to school for art and then they felt like, well, this is impractical and I can’t do this and I better become a whatever, whatever. And in this process, they recover their love of design or graphics or whatever it is, and they start to become completely immersed in their creativity again. So it kind of, that’s a side effect of it. It’s kind of lovely. It has a beautiful ... It does really activate a part of us that has often been dormant.

Fraser Jack (23:30):

Yeah. And it probably has the same effect on people that are not willing to let their guard down and be creative. It has that effect on moving those people away from where you are and therefore probably not the type of people that you want to spend your work journey with.

Luna Jaffe (23:46):

True. I mean, definitely the ones that seek me out. It’s usually, I always say that it’s like, it’s women that seek me out and then it’s the men that they love that come along for the ride. And there’s definitely going to be those men that say, “Luna, I just don’t know how to do this or I can’t do this.” And I work with them, I’m like, “Okay, go to Google. If you think that your relationship with money is like a plane falling out of the sky, go and find a plane falling out of the sky on Google images.” And if you go to Google images, you will find hundreds if not thousands of pictures of a plane falling out of the sky, and your unconscious mind is still choosing that image.

Luna Jaffe (24:25):

So I say, “Okay, choose the image, print it off and now draw it. If you can help it, try not to just paste it in your book.” I mean, some people are still going to paste it in their book and it’s like, “All right, we can still work with that.” But I prefer to have people decide to draw it while they’re looking at an image, because I say to them like, “Many artists, most artists are looking at something when they draw, especially something that has a sense of realism to it.” It’s fine, there’s nothing wrong about that. You are still making a lot of choices. You’re making choices around scale and color and texture and positioning. And all those decisions end up describing your relationship with money in a way you didn’t know you could. And you have new information suddenly like, “Wow. Who knew?”

Fraser Jack (25:14):

Exactly. Something to benchmark off as well. Now, I really want to get into this one year long process. I love the word process because it is, it’s a learning process and then things start to come to you as we’ve mentioned. So it’s a creative process. Take us through these 18 sessions, are they individual? Are they group? How do they work?

Luna Jaffe (25:35):

Oh, good question. Yeah. So the way I describe it to people who are calling and talking to me about this process is I say, “In this process you are going to learn how to budget.” Whether or not you end up continuing to budget, we actually need you to learn how to budget at least long enough to get accurate information for financial planning. So I have a money coach on my team and she teaches the money coaching process and we do the money coaching either one-on-one, depending on their schedule, or in a class setting.

Luna Jaffe (26:09):

They can choose which one works better for them, which one they’re more aligned with. Some of them I think they always benefit from being in a class because they learn from each other. But not everybody can make that work. Like right now, I have a pilot, he works for an international company and he flies one month every other month, so classes don’t work for him. So he will schedule intensively for a month and then he’s gone for a month and then intensively from month. So we have to work with that.

Luna Jaffe (26:38):

They do the budgeting process. They get started in the Wild Money process right away. And depending on where they are in their lives, so for example, if they’re still in the ... A lot of times people are, they’re just dealt with a death of somebody, a spouse or they’re dealing with a divorce and they don’t have everything yet. Maybe all their settlement is not in yet or whatever. So in that case, we start with Wild Money quite intensely and they are typically coming in every two weeks. They have homework in between and they are doing these homework assignments that are both, there’s an assessment, there’s ... and the assessment is really for them, it’s not for me. And that’s an important distinction.

Luna Jaffe (27:22):

I feel like so much of our industry will do assessments, risk tolerance assessments or anything, but they’re designed for us. They’re not designed to help the client understand how much they know, how much they practice, where they are truly. And so my processes are about helping them gauge their own financial wellness and capacity. And my goal at the end of the process is for them to increase their confidence and their competence.

Luna Jaffe (27:49):

I really take those 18 sessions and try to work with them on what are the biggest priorities, how do we achieve those priorities in the timeframe that we have. So if it’s, I have this $2 million I need to invest and that’s really kind of top of mind for me, then we might approach that sooner. So we’ll do the financial planning pieces sooner, but often I find we need to spend about four or five months just getting to know each other, doing assessments, building a knowledge base, assessing what values are in place. And I always ask them this question that’s, the very first session that we have, I do a couple things quite unusually. One of them is, I say, “So if this were the most amazing use of money and time that you’ve ever spent, what would you have? Where would you be in a year? How would you feel? And what would you have accomplished?”

Luna Jaffe (28:43):

And I start with feelings because I can measure feelings. In other words, if they say, “I would feel confident. I would feel more secure. I would feel safe. I would feel.” Often people will say, “I feel like I’m on top of it.” That’s actually, that’s my own feeling of like, oh, that to me, like on top of it, whatever that means to each one of us. For me, that’s my sense of being secure.

Luna Jaffe (29:11):

And when I know what the feeling is. So if somebody said, “Oh, I would have $2 million at the end of that year long process.” That doesn’t guarantee anything from a feeling perspective, you get up $2 million and still be just as anxious as you were when you walked in the door. So I’m more interested in how they want to feel and then I want to find out what they want to accomplish. So if they say, “I really need to get that estate plan in place and I really want to have my money invested and I want to know how to budget, and I want to have everything in my name and I want to make sure that my family knows what’s going on and whatever.” We list that entire thing.

Luna Jaffe (29:46):

And so halfway through the process or three months into the process, I can say, “Are we getting there? Are you feeling more confident, more secure? Have you been feeling that you’re building that competence that we’re looking for? And they’re so articulate about it, it’s amazing.” So that’s one thing I do differently. And the other thing that I do at that very first session is I use a couple of different types of, they’re like oracle cards that I’ve created and they’re both based on my book.

Luna Jaffe (30:18):

And so I have these two different, they’re two different decks. And so the one is based on all the chapters of Wild Money. And the other one is basically word pairings. So it has like love, hate, generosity, selfishness, frugal, impulsive, types of words like that. And then those cards also have a question under them, the ones with the word pairings. So I have them pull cards for that very first meeting and thereafter, every time they come in they pull these cards because the cards give them this unbiased information I guess I could say, that just comes from them choosing a card randomly in a deck. And the wild thing about it is anybody that has ever done things like this is people just repeat the patterns over and over and over again.

Luna Jaffe (31:08):

So if I’m dealing with my over-giving tendencies, I will keep getting cards about over-giving or being in denial or not being prepared or not looking for myself first or there’s ... It’s just the cards end up being this enrichment of the process that is not coming from me, it’s coming from, really, again, it’s coming from their unconscious is the way I see it. So the cards, sort of the very first pull of those cards I look at as, this is sort of the theme that we’ll be working on for the entire year. And then every time they come in we start the conversation not with, well, how are you, but we start with pull your cards, let’s see where they’re at, check-in from there.

Fraser Jack (31:53):

So these cards are random. So you hold them up and they choose one.

Luna Jaffe (31:57):

They take the deck in their hands and they just sift through it until they, not looking at them, they just sift through and pull a card out, kind of like you would a tarot deck or some other kind of oracle deck. And yeah, and I mean the, it’s fun, we do it in the classes too and people are just blown away. They’ll be like, “Oh my God, I got the love card seven times in a row.” Or, I mean there’s nobody that can really say why it happens that way. But it does happen that there are just these themes that follow through us. And there are other people that are like, “I had never ever even seen that card, let alone pulled it.” And it wasn’t their card to pull, it was somebody else’s. So it just adds a really lovely sort of mysterious process to it, which I think working with money is a bit mysterious.

Fraser Jack (32:44):

Oh, it certainly is. I love the idea of cards. We had a guest on a few episodes back that had gold cards, and the process was around looking at the clients can put in piles the goals that resonate with them more than others and help sift towards all that way, which is fantastic. But I really, I want to touch on this that you mentioned before where you start with the outcome, the feelings outcome in mind, and then you use that as a measure of success as you go. If you’re feeling to and from a transformation of, I’m feeling like this now, and after the process or during the process they start to feel it a different way and you can use as a measure of success.

Luna Jaffe (33:30):

Yeah. It’s just a really important to me that they articulate what success looks like, what value looks like that rather than me. I mean, it’s just irrelevant what I think it is. However, I will definitely insert my perspective. So if I’m seeing, for example, I see clients growing in their level of capacity or understanding or they’re taking on more, especially women that are going through divorces who have just been so battered by the process and feel alone and scared.

Luna Jaffe (34:05):

And often I’m working with them and I will be able to say to them, “Did you notice that the cards you keep pulling or the way we’re talking and the work you’re doing in the journal is all reflective of how much you’ve grown and how much more capable of taking on responsibility you are. The number of times they’ll be like, “Oh no, I didn’t see that.” And I’m like, “Well, look, it’s right there in your drawing and it’s right there in your cards, and it’s in these decisions. You were just able to make that, when you first got here, you couldn’t make those decisions.”

Luna Jaffe (34:39):

And I find that half of my job is that reflection. It’s to give people be the mirror that says, you do know this, you do make good decisions. You do know how to think something through with the right amount of research and contemplation before making a decision, or as they’re shifting mindset experiences or behaviors and they’re sorting out often, whether they’re widowed or divorced or often those two bigger than others, but they’re trying to figure out who are they now that they’re single. And we have to start helping them. I feel like my job is to help them kind of look at each behavior and say, “Is this mine? Do I want this one? Is this one serving me?”

Luna Jaffe (35:29):

And it might have been the partners. It might’ve been their parents, it might’ve belonged to somebody else all together. But it’s a question that’s worth asking and, is this fear really mine? Maybe I’m not really that fearful. I just thought I was supposed to be fearful. Oh wow, that’s fascinating. What if I just decided I wasn’t fearful anymore? And sometimes it’s that simple.

Fraser Jack (35:56):

It’s definitely using your therapy skills to sort of coach people along the process. Now I wanted to ask you about the general, is that a 12 month process? Does it take 12 months to complete the journal?

Luna Jaffe (36:07):

No, the journal was really, you can use it in so many different ways. So [Leah Shadell 00:36:14] who introduced us, she uses a lot of my exercises with her coaching clients. So she’ll just pull out the one that’s appropriate for where they are right now. But my process, typically you can get through the process in three to four months if you’re doing it relatively consistently. That’s like, when I teach a class, I’m teaching it over 10 weeks and they go through the entire book in 10 weeks, which is a little fast.

Luna Jaffe (36:38):

But basically each chapter, the six chapters I have to do with receiving, spending, saving, investing, protecting, which is a state planning and insurance and giving. And so in that, in each chapter they do a drawing about where they are right now in relationship to giving or spending or saving. They’re learning how to say like, “Wow, where am I at?” I thought of myself where I had this opinion of myself that was like this. Like either, oh, I’m really good, I really can handle my spending or I’m a great saver. And then they do their first drawing and they’re like, “Huh, it’s different than I thought it was.”

Luna Jaffe (37:17):

Then we go through some exercises where they start to look at their spending in a whole different way. They get more information, they get some teaching, practical things like look at your spending and understand what drives you emotionally around spending that type of thing. And then at the end of each chapter they draw an image of what it would look like if their relationship was spending words exactly the way they’d like it to be. They imagine, they kind of project into the future and say, “Yeah, this is what it would look like if that felt amazing.” And I was absolutely satisfied with the way I handled my spending.

Luna Jaffe (37:52):

So I’m getting them to use imagery to think too. It’s not just goals, like goals to me are a couple steps away from this process. The first thing is, can I imagine what it would look like if I actually mastered my spending and I wasn’t impulsive and I wasn’t withholding of spending if it’s, like I had people on both sides of that equation, they overspend or they don’t allow themselves to have anything. And so we have to meet in the middle. It’s like spending needs to be balanced. You are working for a reason, but hopefully that reason is the entire reason that you’re working is not to sort of hoard your money and never enjoy it.

Luna Jaffe (38:33):

And so we have to have values conversations in the middle of that. And so we get through the whole process typically in four to six months, if they’re coming in every two weeks. But a lot of other things will come in between, some will be like, “A little bit of work on eMoney and a little bit of work on budgeting.” And we kind of weave it all together into this big mishmash of process. It’s very much process.

Fraser Jack (38:58):

Yeah. The process of beginning is very much learning about yourself, isn’t it? And I like this idea of drawing and being creative because it actually forces them to spend more time on the question or the ... do you know what I mean? Rather than just going, “Oh, well, how was your relationship with money?” It was, they could use a few words to describe it. But then where they got to draw it, they’re going to think a lot deeper and take more time.

Luna Jaffe (39:18):

Yeah, and I walk them into it. So I actually, it’s like one of the things I’ve learned, because again I’m trained as a union psychologist. So to me there’s, the world of dreaming and the imagery that comes from either active dreaming, which is sort of lucid dreaming, which is sort of, while you’re semi-conscious versus asleep. If I’m working with a group of people, I will often say things like, “Okay, so your relationship with receiving, if you think of it just now as a single object, it could remind you of a bowling ball or a waterfall or a drop of water coming from the sky or whatever it is. Whatever comes to your mind when I first introduced that idea, that’s where we start.”

Luna Jaffe (40:06):

And so if the image that came to you is a drop of water coming from the sky and you’re like, “I don’t know what the hell that is.” And it’s like, “You don’t need to know what that is.” Just draw the sky and a drop and then look at the drawing and say, “What else needs to be here?” And it’s like, “Oh, there’s a jackrabbit in the corner.” Okay, draw the jackrabbit. Don’t ask questions, just draw the first thing that comes to mind because that’s your intuition speaking through.

Luna Jaffe (40:31):

And then at the end it was like, “Damn, I got this whole picture. Where did the Ferris wheel come from?” I don’t even know what that means. You don’t need to know what it means. You get to trust that your subconscious is trying to get that information out and then we’ll start to work on, wow, what’s your association with the Ferris wheel? Kind of like a dream, when people work on dreams, a lot of what you’re doing in dream work is looking at what are the symbols. But my belief system is that the Ferris wheel mean something to you that’s different than what it might mean to me. So I need to understand, is a Ferris wheel a positive experience for you or a negative experience for you? Does it remind you of family? Does it remind you of being abandoned at the park? What is it?

Luna Jaffe (41:14):

And it will immediately come to you. You’ll be like, “Oh that’s because I went on my first Ferris ride when I was seven right after my dad left.” Boom, information, super helpful. And then you’re connecting that information with, I’m drawing this picture about receiving money. So the pieces start to fall together and then we have this puzzle that just starts to form on the table, you can start to see it like, oh, that’s that piece, and that’s that piece. And what I love about it is that they get to see it and then when we start to build out their financial picture and they’re looking at their financial picture, they have so much more ownership of it.

Fraser Jack (41:51):

Absolutely. Yeah. You trust in the process and whatever comes out of it comes out of it. That something will come out of it, we might just don’t know what that is yet.

Luna Jaffe (42:01):

And then, a lot of it, what I find a lot, and I mean I don’t know if this is ... What my experience is, is that most women feel very disconnected from their money. I think men do too, but I work more with women so I’m speaking to what I experienced. There’s just this disconnection. There’s more connection if you’ve earned it than there is if you didn’t. And if you didn’t earn it or you got it in a divorce settlement, or a death or whatever, inheritance, there’s a sense of like it’s not really mine.

Luna Jaffe (42:33):

And the drawings give them the capacity to start to relate to it, to build a relationship into the picture. And that picture it’s like, oh, there’s that chunk of potential over there in the corner of my picture. I can start to draw, what would I really like that to look like? I want it to be ... There were so many recently they did, we were doing a nest egg, so I have this whole thing about doing nest eggs, how do you nurture your nest egg? And she was like, “I have this empty nest and then suddenly I had this huge ginormous egg in it that I was like, ah, I don’t know how to even take care of that egg because it’s too big.”

Luna Jaffe (43:11):

And she drew herself as this tiny little figure. And then it just came to her, it’s was like, “Oh, I can change the scale.” I don’t have to make it so that it’s bigger than me. I can actually put a little shelter over it and I can look out after the shelter and I don’t have to sit on the egg or ... The metaphors get really funny. But it’s that idea of like, oh, how am I going to relate to this? And I like the nest egg idea because it’s how are you tending it? What are you doing to help your money grow?

Fraser Jack (43:45):

Yeah. And that process of it from the disconnection to that reconnection with it.

Luna Jaffe (43:49):


Fraser Jack (43:50):

Now, after 12 months, you’ve been through a 12 month process, what do they do then? Do they come on for another 12 months or how do-

Luna Jaffe (44:00):

Good question. So typically if they have assets to manage and basically my asset minimum at the moment is around half a million dollars although it’ll depend. I’m pretty flexible. If I can see other things coming along there, two years from retirement and they have a million dollars in retirement, I’m still going to find a way to work with them if I like them, or if they hit all my criteria for likeability and fit.

Fraser Jack (44:24):


Luna Jaffe (44:26):

But I definitely take people on that. They do that year long process and then they move on to continuing to build their assets or funding their 401ks, and then they basically come back every quarter and I’m actually just about to implement a membership type plan so that they can kind of buy into paying a monthly membership, have access to eMoney as a dashboard and then get two sessions a year as a check in and hold them accountable more to, okay, you’ve got this, you’ve already paid for it, you might as well use it. That’s something I’m moving towards for the people that are not AUM clients.

Luna Jaffe (45:07):

And then I’m just really in the process of trying to figure out whether I’m going to grow my firm in a certain way or I’m going to, I’m kind of, I’ve been a two person shop for a long time and I’m just about to ... I think I’m leaning towards bringing on another planner and bringing on an assistant to my assistant so that we have more capacity. Because I just, I’ve had a waiting list for the last six months and I just can’t take it, I can’t do it all.

Fraser Jack (45:33):

Now, reminisce me not to talk about the other part of your business, which is the across the road. Do you want to introduce that and tell us about that?

Luna Jaffe (45:41):

Yeah. So four years ago I started a business called Sacred Money Studios and Prosperity pie Shoppe. So it’s a retail location. I really wanted a place for people to go to be in a safe non-shaming environment where they could learn the basic skills around money that we don’t, can’t do as financial planners because you either, you have to find a way to monetize what you’re doing. And so I just realized that I kept getting people calling me after they read my book and said, “I really, I need help. I need help getting out of debt, building a budget, learning basic investment skills and there’s nowhere to go.”

Luna Jaffe (46:19):

So my brainstorm was we’ll start a space where people come to talk about money in a community space. So this cafe is, it’s 2000 square feet cafe with a classroom. The Pie Shoppe was my wife’s sort of brainstorm of, “Hey, let’s sweeten the deal with pies, let’s bring them in the door with pies. Let’s help them reward themselves with pie.” And that was a really ... I mean, people come to class and their attitude is either I’m going to have pie while I’m taking my class, or I’m going to have pie as a reward for having gotten through my class, or I’m taking it home to celebrate or whatever.

Luna Jaffe (46:58):

So that’s been a real journey. It hasn’t been an easy journey at all. I have to say it’s far easier to make money as a financial planner than it is to create a sustainable retail financial education business. So it’s been a process.

Fraser Jack (47:16):

Yeah. It is a crazy ... like trying to make money if a hospitality small business in that way. You’re right, it’s absolutely, it’s way easier to ... But I have to admire that you’re getting people in as a pie shop. People are coming in and buying pie and then they can have a do classes around cashflow and group classes at that. Is that correct?

Luna Jaffe (47:37):

Yeah. So we do money coaching. We have a money coach and then they can come in for classes and then community members come in and teach classes. So we might have an estate planning attorney come in or a CPA or some other kind of person related to their money or to the emotional side of things. And then we also have a gift shop where we sell books that are related to money, spirituality, different tools that we have found to be useful that we want people to have access to. So my books for example are, because I’m self-published, you won’t find them in the airport or in some major bookstore, you’ll find them online.

Luna Jaffe (48:16):

But because I’m not hooked up with a big publisher, they’re harder to find. So I try to support other authors that have done amazing works that have to do with personal finance or mindset or spirituality. And I highlight them by only having 20 or 30 books instead of being in a CF, thousands and thousands of books and getting shelved in the wrong place, and all those lovely things about being in a author’s world.

Fraser Jack (48:44):

Yeah. Now I like the metaphor around the idea of growing your piece of the pie and all those things that come with the pie shop.

Luna Jaffe (48:51):

Yeah, awesome.

Fraser Jack (48:54):

Do people just call in and just to grab a cup of coffee and a pie and don’t know about it or?

Luna Jaffe (48:59):

Oh yeah, absolutely. People come from all over the city just to come for pie. It’s a very lovely space. It’s one of the few spaces where there’s enough like psychic space, so to speak. You can come and have a meeting or sit and work on your projects or whatever you want to do, to have a fun gathering with some friends without feeling like it’s too noisy or you’re on top of each other or the music’s horrible. We’re pretty zen about the space and how we, the kind of music we play. So it’s a very calming experience. And then everybody’s, we train everybody, our baristas and our staff are just trained to be super welcoming and make it safe on every level.

Luna Jaffe (49:41):

And then we have community classes for babies. The guy comes in and he sings to the babies and we just have all kinds of things going on in there all the time. So it’s a space that people into, they don’t even know anything about the fact that we do financial education and then they start looking around and they’re like, “What do you do here?” And it’s kind of subtle but not subtle. So like for example, the numbers that we give you when you order food at the counter and then you take your number back to your table, every number has a quote, a money quote on it. And then we have table toppers that are like a, it’s like a ... What do you call it? A Rolodex, that kind of thing where there’s different messages on this things that you can flip over.

Luna Jaffe (50:21):

And so some of those would be like, “So what is Sacred Money Studios and what do we teach here?” And then it has, highlights different classes that are coming up and different thoughts about what’s going on. So it’s a fun tool and people are definitely always, they have that beautiful puzzled look on their face like, huh, wow, this is cool.

Fraser Jack (50:45):

It’s definitely stands out, doesn’t it?

Luna Jaffe (50:47):

Yeah. And then I have to say to them, like if I’m in there and I’m always running, so it’s across the street from my financial planning firm. And my firm is on the second floor of this, I’m in this little village kind of subset of Portland. So I look across the street off of my little balcony and I’m like, “Oh-oh, they’re really busy.” And I run across the street if I’ve got a break. And I get behind the counter and make lattes and then I run back across the street and do financial planning. And people are like, “What?” It’s like, it’s fun. It gives me a little spark.

Luna Jaffe (51:17):

But then of course people over there say, “But what I really need is a financial planner.” And so people are also trained to know the difference between when somebody needs financial education and when they need planning. And so then I always jokingly say, “I have to wear two hats. If you need advice, you have to run across the street. And then we’ll talk or I’ll refer you out to somebody else if I’m not the right fit for you.”

Fraser Jack (51:40):

Yeah. It’s good having two different spaces for two different topics, so like if people are coming for financial planning, they know that’s where it is.

Luna Jaffe (51:46):

Yeah. From a compliance perspective, it’s super helpful. My compliance department, they’re very, they’re great with me and because they know I’m an author there, they’re super supportive. And they still have their job to do, which is to make sure that I’m not dispensing advice without agreements and all those good things.

Fraser Jack (52:05):

Yeah, as I must. Tell us, what are you working on for the next 12 months or 2020 beyond?

Luna Jaffe (52:12):

Oh, good question. I’m actually in the process of really redefining my business and my business process and bringing on another employee, figuring out how to ... whether I want to grow. I’m working with a coach right now and trying to really assess where is my practice, how do I want to move into the next decade. I’m 60, so it’s a question of what’s my succession planning process look like? What legacy do I want to leave? So I’m asking myself a lot of questions.

Luna Jaffe (52:44):

I would say I’m honing in on making sure that I’m not taking on any big new projects. I’m just trying to do what I do better and deeper. I’m also planning on coming to Australia to teach in the next year. I was going to come in in March, but it looks more like it’s going to be September, October to teach financial advisors. So I want to do more of that, more of that teaching and speaking element, so I can get a broader, have a broader impact. That’s really what I’m focused on.

Fraser Jack (53:16):

Fantastic. We look forward to welcoming you when you get here?

Luna Jaffe (53:18):

Thank you.

Fraser Jack (53:21):

So what tips do you give to consumers that are thinking about getting financial advice?

Luna Jaffe (53:29):

Oh, really good question. I think it’s really important to ask advisors to really describe their process and to be cognizant of how well they listen to your concerns. One of the things I hear a lot from people that interview me is, “Well, this is the first time somebody really listened to me or this is the first place I’ve been able to talk about my feelings or that you actually asked questions about my feelings or how I’m handling certain things.”

Luna Jaffe (54:01):

And the emotional part of our relationship with money is so critical. We can’t leave it out, it’s not a separate thing. And so I would just say as a consumer, you want to work with people that speak your language, that understand how to navigate the emotional side. And sometimes a good fit is a money coach and a financial advisor who have an alliance around how they think about money. Not every financial advisor has the money coaching skillset. And there are some great money coaches in Australia particularly, which I think she’s exceptional and she’s right there on the gold coast. But she doesn’t manage money, but she does know plenty of people that she can refer to who have either trained with her or are in alliance, aligned with a more mindful practice around money. I think that’s important.

Luna Jaffe (55:00):

And for me too, I’m really cognizant of like, I’m not going to work with people that I feel are ... we’re just two wildly different in our viewpoints. I tend to work with people that have a real generous streak, they want to change the world, they want to do meaningful work. They tend to be people that meditate or do yoga or have a creative practice. They’re the ones who are going to appreciate my approach. And I think that the more well rounded your advisor is, the better.

Luna Jaffe (55:32):

So if you’re an avid outdoors person and you find a financial advisor who shares that passion, because they’re out there. And then you’ll be able to speak the same language and you’ll feel more, it’ll be more relatable. They’ll use metaphors that make sense to you. I mean, if you go to somebody and they talk about football and you’re like, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Like that stuff [inaudible 00:55:54]. That was how I grew up at this other company, everything was a sports metaphor. And I’m like, “Dude, not everybody plays baseball or football. I don’t really relate to that. Can we try something else?”

Fraser Jack (56:07):

I bet that reflects in their clientele and their target market and who they’re picking up as clients.

Luna Jaffe (56:17):

Absolutely. I mean they’re [crosstalk 00:56:19].

Fraser Jack (56:22):

Yeah. A big shout out to [Alecia Dale 00:56:23]. Thank you for introducing us, in the first place. Now, Luna, if you could go back in time and have a do-over, what tips would you give yourself?

Luna Jaffe (56:34):

Get a mentor, find a mentor who really has a practice that I admire. I didn’t do that. I looked, I tried, but I didn’t find somebody who I felt would pull me forward and help me be who I was meant to be, not a carbon copy of somebody else. And I think at the time when I started I wasn’t really thinking outside of the US. I think the more we can cross-pollinate across borders the better. We learn a lot from each other that way. And so, yeah, if I had to do it over, I would definitely get more support. I might have looked for more resources prior to starting my own firm and really gotten a better feel for like, how do I do this? And not have to do it so much on my own. I just did a lot of things on my own.

Fraser Jack (57:34):

Fantastic. Thank you so much for coming and sharing your story. I really appreciate it. And your journey and how you help your clients, an incredibly creative and amazing process, a 12 month financial planning. So yeah, I really appreciate you coming and sharing your story. Thank you.

Luna Jaffe (57:50):

Yeah, thank you. It’s been great fun. I look forward to coming and visiting your country.

Fraser Jack (57:55):

And we look forward to seeing you in 2020.

Luna Jaffe (57:57):

All right. Thanks so much.

Fraser Jack (57:59):


Luna Jaffe (58:00):

Take care.

Fraser Jack (58:01):

If you haven’t already, I’d love you to subscribe to the podcast on your podcast platform of choice. And to continue the conversation, head over to our social media channels. We’ll catch you next time.



Disclaimer: This document is a transcription obtained through a third party. There is no claim to accuracy on the content provided in this document, and divergence from the audio file are to be expected. As a transcription, this is not a legal document in itself, and should not be considered binding to advice intelligence, but merely a convenience for reference.