Your favourite grade school teacher probably said, at some point, that you were a special snowflake, a totally unique, one-in-a-trillion kind of person. Behavioural psychology suggests the ratio is closer to one-in-16. Sorry, Mrs. Wilkins.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) groups people into one of 16 personality profiles, which can be further grouped into four Keirsey Temperaments. It pinpoints the way you process information, and in turn, we can derive your approach to relationships, parenting, work and money -- and yes, even investments.
Take the test here (we'll wait!), then come back to learn about how your type affects your investing approach.
Heads up from our compliance team: This blog, like anything else you find on the internet, should not be considered actual investment advice (see a professional for that).
Keirsey Temperament: The Guardian
Myers-Briggs Types: ISTJ / ISFJ / ESTJ / ESFJ
Responsible and duty-driven by nature, long-term financial planning comes naturally to you. You like having financial security, and investing just seems like the responsible thing to do. You're good at staying organized and are happiest when life is a smooth-running machine -- making you a measured, thoughtful investor who can ride out short-term bumps in the road for the longer-term payoff.
You hate losing money, and the idea of gambling with your financial future gives you hives. While your patient and conservative nature is a strength, it can be a weakness if taken to the extreme.
Investing Tips for Guardians:
As the most risk-averse temperament, unexpected change can make Guardians anxious. Resist the urge to stuff your cash under a mattress. Embrace your strengths, but remember there's no opportunity without some risk. If you play it too safe, sticking only to guaranteed investments, your returns could be eroded by inflation. A financial planner can help you determine exactly what you need for a comfortable retirement, and whether you can take on a bit more risk without losing any sleep.
Keirsey Temperament: The Artisan
Myers-Briggs Types: ISFP / ESFP / ISTP / ESTP
Artisans seek adventure and excitement in all facets of life, and investments are no different. If you fall into this group, you prefer to learn by doing, and couldn't force yourself to read an economics textbook, even if you wanted to. That said, if investing piques your interest, you're more than capable of becoming proficient at it.
As an Artisan, you're motivated by novel opportunities, and your adaptability and predilection for "living in the moment" means you can roll with the punches when markets fluctuate (thanks to your aggressive, riskier investment style). However, your adaptability is both an asset and liability, as Artisans can be prone to distraction and may lack the self-discipline to stick to a plan if it starts to feel boring. Do your thing and "go big," but always have a plan.
Investing Tips for Artisans
If you're looking for excitement, don't do it with all your money. Have a financial planner by your side to help navigate and channel your high risk appetite towards a coordinated strategy. When markets fluctuate, tap into that tolerance for ups and downs. And if you absolutely must have a stake in Bitcoin, set aside some "play money" so you can indulge your adventurous side without risking your financial future.
Keirsey Temperament: The Idealist
Myers-Briggs Types: INFJ / ENFJ / INFP / ENFP
Idealists are more concerned with meaning than money for money's sake. They see the world through the lens of their personal identity, growth and relationships, and extend these values into all areas of their lives, including their finances.
Idealists care about the impact of their dollars and are conscious of where those dollars up. You'd be uncomfortable investing in anything that doesn't fit with your internal values or is in conflict with causes you hold dear. By the same token, creating wealth that benefits your family, church or favourite charity is a very appealing idea to you. Ethical considerations aside, you're less of a micromanager than some of the other temperaments and prefer to "set it and forget it," the approach an average investor really should be taking.
Investing Tips for Idealists
Values-based and socially responsible investing may spark your interest in thinking about your financial future. What you do with your money is an extension of your identity, and your investment decisions should reflect your values. You'd benefit from having a financial advisor who understands your values (in addition to your goals and priorities), so you can meet those goals in a way that feels authentic to you.
Keirsey Temperament: The Rational
Myers-Briggs Types: INTJ / ENTJ / INTP / ENTP
You like knowing how things work. Curious and logical, you approach the world (and investing) as a puzzle to be solved. You won't get emotionally attached to a particular investment, and enjoy the challenge of learning the mechanics of investing. Your self-discipline would likely translate into a balanced portfolio, without anything too exotic in it.
If you're a Rational, you're better with money than most, and enjoy watching your investments grow. You may even have authored this article and/or may be the 'robo' in robo-advisor.
Investing Tips for Rationals
Rationals take a hands-on approach with their money, which can evolve into micromanaging and an obsessive desire to optimize. Keep in mind most research shows those who try to time the market don't fare any better than those who don't. DIY investing options may be more attractive, but consider leaving a large portion of your funds in passive investments for the long term. One word of caution: beware of analysis paralysis. Once you have undertaken analytical due diligence, make a decision and move on to the next thing.
Remember: Your type doesn't mean you're handcuffed to a certain approach. Knowing yourself is the first step towards making the changes needed to get where you want to go. Come see us at www.modernadvisor.ca -- we have a great blog and a completely not-scary online chat. We'd love to help you.
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Type: ISTJ, The Duty Fulfillers Category: Guardians Attributes: responsible, serious, value tradition, steady workers, loyal, organized. Typical careers: law, military, computer programming In literature: In stories with byronic heroes or scoundrelly protagonists, ISTJs are likely to serve as the antagonist, adhering too steadfastly to laws, gender roles and traditions. Think of the conductor in "Hugo" and Inspector Javert from "Les Miserables." Of course, scrupulousness isn't always a bad thing.
Type: ESTJ, The Overseer Category: Guardians Attributes: decisive, results-oriented, straightforward, wholesome Typical Careers: judges, business administrators In literature: ESTJs are likely to assume the role of stubborn, albeit commendable leaders, be it bosses, parents, judges or military personnel, like Borimir from "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
Type: ISFJ, The Defender Category: Guardians Attributes: stable, peaceful, observant, structured Typical Careers: designers, nurses In literature: Because of their nurturing nature and desire to work on behind-the-scenes details, ISFJs are likely to play the role of sidekicks. They're orderly, hardworking, calm, and have a penchant for deductive reasoning, like Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes tales.
Type: ESFJ, The Caregiver Category: Guardians Attributes: cooperative, warmhearted, present-minded Typical Careers: teaching, social work, child care In literature: ESFJ's have a tendency to be nonjudgemental parents or authority figures, who fight for their families and traditions but abhor change. In "Middlesex," Callipoe's grandmother Desdemona is forced to begin a new life in America, but has a difficult time adjusting. Still, she instills traditions into the hearts of her children and grandchildren.
Type: INTJ, The Strategist Category: Rationals Attributes: future-oriented, knowledgable, efficient Typical Careers: scientists, medical doctors, librarians In literature: Though often reserved, INTJs will pipe up if they think their peers are acting ignorant or inefficient. They're prone to blaming miscommunications on others rather than their not-so-great people skills. They are usually confident and take relationships seriously, like Mr. Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice."
Type: ENTJ, The Executive Category: Rationals Attributes: decisive, confident, driven Typical Careers: entrepreneurs, politicians, lawyers In literature: Their dominant function is extraverted thinking, so ENTJs are excellent leaders. They're more often the masterminds behind large organizations than, say, emotionally-involved coaches or mentors giving pep talks. This colder, more action-oriented leadership is reminiscent of Mustapha Mond, the Resident World Controller for Western Europe in "Brave New World."
Type: INTP, The Thinker Category: Rationals Attributes: ingenius, abstract, independent Typical Careers: mathematicians, chemists, forensic researchers In literature: INTPs can best be described as mad scientists - they're incredibly intelligent but also eccentric, and may become preoccupied with ideas but have a hard time executing them. In "To the Lighthouse," Mrs. Ramsay's philosophical husband, Mr. Ramsay, is often found taking long walks by the sea, contemplating his fate.
Type: ENTP, The Originator Category: Rationals Attributes: communicative, rational, clever Typical Careers: psychologists, photographers, marketing personnel In literature: ENTPS are quick thinkers with sharp tongues, and are easily bored. They're great leaders but prefer independence, like Willy Wonka from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
Type: ISTP, The Craftsman Category: Artisans Attributes: hands-on, unstructured, present-minded Typical Careers: carpenters, athletes, computer technicians In literature: ISTPs are often quiet, kinesthetic learners, and they abhor rules and regiments. Like Philip Marlowe from "The Big Sleep," they're the type most prone to taking risks, and enjoy sensory activities.
Type: ESTP, The Persuader Category: Artisans Attributes: detail-oriented, adventurous, showy Typical Careers: entrepreneurs, paramedics, police officers In literature: ESTPs are able to use their eye for intricacies to their advantage when interacting with people. They're also likely to be constantly on-the-go, and are charming and clever. Patrick Bateman's ability to rattle of facts about Huey Lewis while wooing women makes him a likely ESTP.
Type: ISFP, The Composer Category: Artisans Attributes: slow-paced, loyal, reserved, hands-on Typical Careers: veterinarian, musician, designer In literature: ISFPs enjoy their privacy, but are extremely devoted to their close friends. They're also likely to dislike mundane tasks, and aren't typically the best students. Instead, they excel at physical activities, like, say, Quidditch. Harry Potter is the epitome of ISFP.
Type: ESFP, The Entertainer Category: Artisans Attributes: spontaneous, practical, unstructured Typical Careers: actors, coaches, film producers In literature: ESFPs are enthusiastic, sensual and charming. On the same token, they're bored very easily. Walter Morel from "Sons and Lovers" sounds like a distressed ESFP - he charmed his wife at a town dance, and they married quickly, but he quickly tired of his job as a coal miner and his scrupulous spouse.
Type: INFJ, The Protector Category: Idealists Attributes: insightful, perfectionistic, principled Typical Careers: teachers, counselors, artists In literature: INFJs work hard, but are stubborn about their ideals and the type of work they would like to be doing. They're also often unconventional, complex, and warmly interested in people, like Laurie Laurence from "Little Women," Jo's scholarly neighbor who struggles with gender roles and apparently falls in love easily.
Type: ENFJ, The Giver Category: Idealists Attributes: organized, honest, creative, sensitive Typical Careers: journalists, diplomats, social workers In literature: ENFPs are decisive and often maddened by social injustices. They are also social and are likely to take their relationships seriously, like Charles Darnay from "A Tale of Two Cities." Maddened by the French social system, he flees to England to start a family, but returns when the keeper of his cruel uncle's estate is imprisoned.
Type: INFP, The Dreamer Category: Idealists Attributes: bright, cooperative, energetic Typical Careers: writers, teachers, counselors In literature: INFPs are the most sensitive type, as Interior Feeling is their dominant function. They're also very eccentric and thoughtful - they often have imaginary friends as kids, like Anne of Green Gables. It's worth noting that most literary writers and protagonists are INFPs, as they are open-minded and deeply interested in the lives of others.
Type: ENFP, The Advocate Category: Idealists Attributes: cooperative, energetic, bright Typical Careers: consultants, reporters, politicians In literature: ENFPs are likely to dabble in a ton of activities, excelling in many of them. They thrive on thrilling experiences and relationships, and their optimism makes them susceptible to deceit, like the romantic and skillful Edmond Dantès from "The Count of Monte Cristo." Another perfect example is Brett Ashley from "The Sun Also Rises."
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