Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Click here to watch a video and learn more about Evidence Based Advisor Marketing.

I’m about to send a mixed message.

It’s important for you to be aware of the latest research on happiness, which is useful in your own life. Who doesn’t want to live a long time and be happy?

How much you share with your clients is another issue. You’re under a lot of pressure to demonstrate your value and justify your fees. This has tempted some advisors to expand their services into “life coaching.” While the goal is admirable, most advisors aren’t trained to provide this type of advice. Despite their good intentions, giving simplistic solutions to complex issues can cause significant harm.

With that caveat, I want to share an impressive study on happiness with you. The ramifications of the findings of this study are profound.

The Harvard study

The Harvard Study of Adult Development (discussed in detail here) started in 1938 and continues to this date. The study originally examined the lives of 724 men and is now looking at the lives of their 2,000 children. Why women were initially excluded is not explained.

The purpose of the study is to answer this question: What keeps us happiest as we go through life?

The study reached this singular conclusion: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.