What’s your financial personality?
Is there a secret sauce behind creating wealth?
Of course. It’s the perfect blend of earning, saving and investing. But that perfect blend could be different for even the most identical of twins.
We’re a generation that’s all about finding our own unique path…even if we seek out the same goals. So, naturally, the first step to wealth creation is to discover your financial personality and then chart out your path to wealth creation based on it.
There’s an ancient theory on personalities that dates as far back as around 300BC. Yes, that old. But hear it out and you’ll agree that it holds true even today
The Greek physician Hippocrates described four temperaments – sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic – based on his study of ‘humours’ (not the ability to invoke laughter…this was the study of ‘body fluids’). He found that the proportions of four body fluids present in people affected their personality traits and behaviours.
Down the years, since then, many medical practitioners and psychologists (ancient Indian included) have studied this theory –using various samples of people across the world and across time frames – and have tended to agree that what the old Greek physician suggested holds a lot of truth. Naturally, the world is not slotted into these four personality types, but broadly, it appears that people tend to conform to one or a combination of two of them.
Take a look at character sketches of these personality types (by Florence Littauer, author of Personality Plus) and see where you belong…
Your catch phrase: “Let’s have fun!”
Strengths: Great front-door person, enthusiastic and expressive, makes friends easily—never met a stranger, creative and fun, volunteers, for jobs, talkative, storyteller
Weaknesses: Doesn’t remember names, doesn’t have much follow-through, talk too much, exaggerates, many fans but few friends, self-centred, disorganized, manipulates through charm
Your catch phrase: “Let’s get moving!”
Strengths: Born leader, driven, goal-oriented, strong-willed, can run anything, thrives on opposition, independent, makes split-second decisions, solves problems, is usually right
Weaknesses: Doesn’t see faults, compulsive worker, needs to control, can come off bossy, not so good people skills
Your catch phrase: “Let’s get organized!”
Strengths: Analytical, genius prone, plans and organizes, neat and orderly, can be counted on to finish a job, detail-oriented, economical, compassionate, perfectionists, creative
Weaknesses: Easily depressed, assumes the worst in people and situations, low self-image, procrastinate through planning, has unrealistic expectations, can bring a cloud into a room
Your catch phrase: “Let’s relax!”
Strengths: Easy-going, low-key, inoffensive, patient, calm, cool, collected, realistic, mediator, good listener
Weaknesses: Not enthusiastic, dislikes change, procrastinates, can seem lazy, indecisive, emotionally closed, avoid conflict, has a hard time with disciplines
With that, you’ve certainly figured out who you are!
Now, what does that mean for your finances?
Once again, there is no ‘one solution solves all’. Not even for people of the same personality type.
However, some broad indications for your personality type could be…
Sanguine: The weakest links in your financial success could be your spending habits and/or your hap-hazard approach to managing your money and investments, which results in losses. On the up-side, you are probably blessed with a healthy risk appetite, so you could be a natural contender for success in the wealth management game.
- Seek help from someone organised, to help you manage your portfolio
- Write down your expenses, at least the larger ones – just as a reality check
- Set reminders/alarms for financial tasks that you mean to get done
Choleric: You’re a natural when it comes to managing your money. Yet it’s possible you don’t like admitting that you’ve made a money mistake, and that makes it difficult to reverse or correct.
- Be a little more open to the counsel of financial advisors; you may be a champ at what you do, but if money management is not your profession, give them a little credit for knowing their job
- Make sure that you keep your near and dear ones informed about your financial game plan; you may not always be at the reins
- Just relax and be a little less hard on yourself; remember that markets and the economy are out of your control
Melancholy: You have what it takes to be a great money manager but do you miss out on ‘great’ opportunities because you are waiting for the ‘perfect’ one to present itself?
- Make a special effort to look at the bright side of a proposition
- It’s a good practice to think and plan but timely execution is also important.
- Enjoy your wealth; that’s the end game, right?
Phlegmatic: Fortunately, you are able to cut your suit to fit the cloth. But if you could somehow drive yourself to take action, you could do much better, financially.
- Start an investment plan that works on auto-pilot
- Hire a financial advisor that you trust
- Make sure you check in on your auto-pilot investment and financial planner from time to time
Don’t Photoshop use a Mirror
It may seem difficult to change your financial personality, but that doesn’t have to be your goal at all. All we’re suggesting is that you become aware of your strengths and weaknesses and ensure that you leverage the former and cover for the latter on your path to wealth creation.
In fact, since opposites attract, it’s quite likely that you have a diagonally opposite partner i.e. Sanguine (if you are a Melancholy) or Choleric (If you are Phlegmatic) and vice a versa. Make the most of the difference in financial approaches to benefit from each other’s strengths and cover for each other’s weaknesses.
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