When you are trying to be empathetic to others, it’s often perceived significantly better if you don’t refer to yourself at all. Instead of “I understand” simple restate what they are feeling and ask them if you understood. For example, if the client says, “I am scared of losing money” your reply of “I understand” is okay, but a better, more empathetic response would be “So you feel that some investments are not right for you because they have a high potential of loss? Is that right?” The “I” in any answer makes the conversation about you not them. The topic is them, stick to it.