You probably won’t believe this, but I am an introvert.
I know I seem all outrageous and crazy and whatnot, but I guarantee I won’t seem that way if we meet. My true personality does reflect in my blog, but it takes me a little while to open up to strangers. I hate crowds, and I’d much prefer an evening alone than with a bunch of people at a bar. I would much rather read a book or play a video game than hang out somewhere with more than about 3 people. I would rather communicate via email (or blog post) than by talking on the phone. I detest small talk and talking for the sake of talking. Most introverts share these same traits.
Us introverts usually do a pretty decent job of hiding our condition. If we hung out, just the two of us, chances are I’d at least hold up my end of the conversation. I work a job where I talk to people for much of my day. I don’t hate people in general, they just annoy me after a while.
Even though introverts make up slightly less than half of the population, almost 75% of people identify as extroverts. Throughout recent history, the qualities extroverts exhibit have been coveted. Everybody loves that guy who can go into a party and instantly charm everybody. The guy who can go up and talk to that group of pretty girls is probably going to have more success getting laid than the introvert who probably doesn’t want to be at the club in the first place. It’s no wonder everybody wants to be an extrovert.
Naturally, I’m a little biased, but I think introverts are actually better at finance than extroverts. Because I’m an introvert, I actually took the time to think about it. You extroverts were too busy enjoying your booze with other extroverts, thinking that your b.s. small talk actually mattered. WELL, IT DIDN’T.
Firstly, the disadvantages. Because extroverts are generally more desired in the workplace, there is little doubt they will, all things being equal, make more money than introverts. Extroverts will get promoted more and will generally make more money because of that. As introverts become more comfortable at work they will come out of their shell and lessen this advantage, but this personality gap will always exist. Extroverts will also be more likely to enter into relationships working with other people, which can have advantages as well.
Most introverts are naturally analytical. We consume media. We’re the ones reading your blog and not commenting. We’re the ones using the crap out of our library memberships. Instead of talking to people, we spend time on our own going over our own thoughts and thinking about the information we’ve consumed.
Introverts are more likely to weigh the pros and the cons of their choices before making a decision. Because of this, introverts can be great at analyzing their potential investments. Introverts aren’t likely to make rash decisions. They can also be terrific at communicating this analysis to other investors because of their preference of writing down their ideas.
Secondly, introverts save all sorts of money because we really don’t like to go out. Most of the time, I decline when friends invite me out for drinks. I’d rather stay at home or just hang out with one or two friends as low-key as possible. Because us introverts don’t like going out, we save money because staying at home is cheaper. We prefer activities that make us think, which are generally cheaper.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Do I think introverts end up more wealthy than our more outgoing counterparts? Out of the 5 wealthiest guys I know, 2 are definitely introverts, 2 are definitely extroverts, and 1 is pretty much in the middle. There is zero empirical evidence that one personality type is better with their finances than the other. Sure, extroverts are more social, which usually costs money. But introverts often spend all sorts of money on their hobbies as well, on things like video games and movies.
The part of your personality that determines your financial aptitude isn’t whether you’re outgoing or not, it’s your ability to plan for the future and stay away from making rash decisions. I’d argue extroverts are more likely to be spontaneous and introverts are more likely to take a more measured approach when it comes to life in general, but that doesn’t mean extroverts are doomed to a life of poverty. Extroverts are capable of making smart financial decisions, as introverts are capable of blowing all their cash on crap. It’s other qualities that determine your financial health.
I’d also argue that introverts are less likely to have a desire to keep up with the Joneses. Those damn Joneses, always having nicer stuff than all of us. LETS ALL GO AND TAKE THEIR STUFF.
Sorry, got a little upset there.
Anyway, since introverts keep to themselves more, they’re not as influenced by their peers. They’re also more likely to think about whether they actually want something, thanks to the introspection we talked about earlier. Although I have no evidence to back it up, I’d say extroverts are more likely to invest in something because their friends think it’s a good idea. Extroverts crave social proof, while introverts would rather analyze something and make their own conclusion.
Anybody want to challenge this in the comments? I’m not really sure what the answer is. I clearly need more introspection.