The Psychology of Wealth: Understand Your Relationship with Money and Achieve Prosperity
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Psychologist and wealth counselor Szifra Birke observes, "Money tends not to solve personal problems; money solves money problems." Birke also reports that many financially wealthy people are actually burdened by a vague sense that they don't deserve what they have. Our view of our worthiness seems to hinge in part on how we came by our financial gains and whether we have worked for them in incremental steps. Feelings of unworthiness are especially common in folks who suddenly or unexpectedly come into a large sum of money, such as through an inheritance (or, as we’ve seen, through a lottery win). They commonly experience "sudden wealth syndrome"; with the acquisition of financial riches, they feel lost and overwhelmed.
Financial Advisor: a blog by Dow Jones
June 12, 2012
Ms. Birke says other advisers should be looking for their own creative ways to cope with stress, as another spate of volatility strikes a stock market that has seen little peace in the past four years. Eleven of the 20 sharpest single-day drops in the S&P 500's 55-year history have occurred since September 2008, along with seven of the 20 biggest one-day upswings.
Financial Advisor: a blog by Dow Jones
December 7, 2011
Birke suggests rich parents start by talking to children about spending decisions, and do it in terms of value derived. So don't just treat your kids to a luxury vacation, talk to them beforehand about the expense involved as an investment in togetherness and memory making.
June 28, 2011
While financial advisors tend to be good problem solvers, they need to improve their listening skills, interviewing techniques, self-awareness, emotional empathy and intelligence, experts say. "Listening for other than bottom-line concerns is critical," said Szifra Birke, a Chelmsford-based family wealth consultant and licensed marriage and family therapist. "Advisors need to slow down and watch for verbal cues clients might give to see what they really want to talk about."
Massachusetts Association for Marriage & Family Therapy
August 2012 Newsletter
August 29, 2012
It is possible to offer highest quality treatment for your clients, earn an income that supports you and your family, and reduce your stress so that you can enjoy your time at work and your life outside work.
I took the time to strategize ways I could provide better quality treatment by seeing fewer clients, while at the same time increasing my net income. I have created a practice model that has worked for me and for my clients. I've learned a lot in the process and feel privileged to help other clinicians make changes that enhance the quality of their work and lives.
FOX TV Morning News
February 17, 2011
"Many adult children of alcoholics may think that when they leave home, they're leaving their baggage behind. But in many cases, it follows them and shapes every aspect of their life -- from the way they parent to their relationships to their own sense of confidence and well being.
For the past 30 years, our next guest has been working with successful adults who grew up in alcoholic and troubled homes, and she knows firsthand how just a little bit of information can open the door to breaking generations of dysfunction."
November 20, 2009
"It's not only okay to cut back, it's a great opportunity to talk about values," says Szifra Birke, a psychologist and wealth counselor in Chelmsford, Mass. "If you're extravagant when it doesn’t make sense, and then become upset and stressed about money, what lessons are you passing on to your children?"
WBZ-TV: Keller at Large
A 23-year-old South Dakota man is ecstatic after winning $232 million in a Powerball jackpot, but there is a dark side to this fantastic windfall. Jon Keller explains.
"Money is such an emotional subject, and these planners have helped build their [clients'] retirement or children's college funds," says Szifra Birke, a consultant in Chelmsford, Mass., who helps financial advisers develop rapport with their clients. "So investors feel like they're betraying their planners and don't even have the courage or the words to have a conversation about it."
Private Asset Management
February 9, 2009
One wealth management firm that has signed on for service agreements with independent wealth counselor Szifra Birke, a licensed therapist and president of Birke Consulting, is Lexington Wealth Management.
January 11, 2009
To retain trust, advisers must demonstrate transparency, accessibility and honesty, said Szifra Birke, a licensed therapist and president of Birke Consulting of Chelmsford, Mass., which specializes in working with wealthy clients and wealth managers.
The Christian Science Monitor
November 17, 2008
Szifra Birke, a wealth counselor in Chelmsford, Mass., tells of a client who earns $200,000
a year. "He has such extreme anxiety from losing $160,000 [in the stock market] that he is snapping at his wife and children
for going to the movies. He is micromanaging all purchases, including Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and he told his wife she shouldn't
drive so much or text message their kids."
The Boston Globe
April 13, 2008
Given the gyrating stock market and constant chatter about a recession, it's no wonder that investors are anxious. Officials at Lexington Wealth Management believe they have an answer for jittery clients - a psychologist, Szifra Birke, who is called on as needed to handle emotional situations.
December 30, 2007
We've watched them, learned from them, been inspired by them. In our own backyards, they caught our attention and taught us to go after dreams...They're Greater Lowell's most fascinating people of 2007, as determined by The Sun's staff...7. Szifra Birke -- Money can be a lightning rod for emotions. That's where Szifra Birke comes in.
Lawrence Eagle Tribune
October 28, 2007
"For many people who come into wealth suddenly — whether they win the lottery, receive an insurance settlement or an unexpected inheritance — if they have not acquired good money skills prior to this windfall, often they struggle and make poor choices," Birke said.
August 13, 2007
Szifra Birke's role at Lexington Wealth Management Inc. is that of a "wealth counselor" or "financial behavioralist specialist." The job involves an "understanding the complexity of the interplay between money and values, and money and emotions," Ms. Birke said.
BusinessWeek Weekend TV
June 23, 2007
Financial advisers are realizing they have to deal with more than just dollars and cents when helping their clients. Some are hiring psychologists and other counselors to help them understand the emotions behind their clients' views on money.
Wealth can be overwhelming. Now there's a new breed of counselor to help. We all know that money is an emotionally charged subject. Families disintegrate over it, kids go astray, friendships are strained. No one wants to talk about salaries, inheritances, or windfalls, and having more money than you expected can seem almost as difficult as having less.
Life planning and taking a holistic approach to finances are in vogue now, but Lexington Wealth Management, based in Boston and Manhattan, has taken it a step further and recently engaged the services of a licensed therapist with a speciality in wealth counseling.
July 15, 2007
Psychologist and financial behavior consultant Szifra Birke has been put on retainer at Lexington Wealth Management. She will counsel staff members and clients about the emotional factors involved when people accumulate or otherwise come into large amounts of money.
May 15, 2007
Lexington Wealth Management, a
leading wealth management and investment consulting firm for high net worth
individuals, today announced it has formalized a service agreement with Szifra Birke, a licensed
therapist with a specialty in wealth counseling.