When Merrill Lynch adviser Stephen Stabile speaks to other planners about the benefits of behavioral finance, many duck their heads.

Stabile agrees that it’s an approach to financial planning that can be a bit more “touchy-feely” than most planners want. It leads to conversations about serious, personal topics: divorce, midlife crises and life-threatening illnesses. There’s an almost endless list of human conditions waiting for advisers who open that door.

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