(Hey kids, Nelson here. I’m breaking my no guest posting policy for the day for Eddie, who blogs at Summaticus. No, not that Eddie. A different, better one. If you like the serious parts of Financial Uproar, I’m pretty sure you’ll like Summaticus. His full bio is at the bottom. Take it away, Ed-ster.)
This article is a commentary based on the Forbes article written by Amy Leyishian. I am familiar with the Myers-Briggs test and was intrigued by this article. I have expanded on a few thoughts.
Protectors – also known as the Guardian Temperament (SJs)
Role Variants: ISTJ (Inspector), ESTJ (Supervisor), ISFJ (Protector), ESFJ (Provider)
The world of the Protector revolves around security. Having a secure home, job, and income are critical to the happiness of a Protector and possess a strong work ethic to preserve their place in society. They are very practical and frugal, not wasting money on impulsive purchases. The biggest problem they have with self-gratification is that they do not do it often enough in the present, always saving money for a rainy day. They are unlikely to take chances on risky financial ventures and will likely be invested in conservative securities like GICs and bonds vice emerging market ETFs. A Protector is likely to have a financial plan and would be meticulous in following it. Because of their natural tendencies towards security and rules, they are most often found in business as managers, accountants, and planners.
Being married to a Protector has its benefits and its drawbacks. Because Protectors value security, they are stable and reliable. Having enough money socked away for retirement will not be one of your worries. However, if they are extreme Protectors, they will not spend a dime on things they enjoy in the present, which can be very frustrating for another temperament, most notably a Player (see below). A possible method to circumvent this is to agree on a certain amount of money to save every month or to spend every month. Whatever amount is agreed to be spent can be done so without judgment from the Protector. Bear in mind that not all Protectors will want to save every single penny; it means that security and saving is their default and to which they will naturally gravitate.
Planners – also known as the Idealist Temperament (NTs)
Role Variants: Mastermind (INTJ), Field Marshal (ENTJ), Inventor (ENTP), Architect (INTP)
Planners rely on reason to strategize about their future. Inherently logical, they seek objectivity and suppress emotions when called on to make decisions. Because of their pragmatism and forethought, they are drawn to careers involving systems, such as IT and engineering, as they identify more readily with science and technology.
Planners are the most likely to have financial goals recorded in a coherent document. They would be adept at creating contingencies and incorporating flexibility into their plans to ensure its continued relevancy and feasibility. They would have an emergency fund, but in a smaller amount than a Protector, and have a diversified portfolio of investments. However, there is a tendency to look to far forward and not live in the moment, which would likely cause friction if paired with a Player. To overcome this potential hazard, the article suggests diverting a portion of the income towards long term savings and another to pure indulgences. This appears to be a rational solution to the principal drawback of being a planner.
Pleasers – also known as the Visionary Temperament (NFs)
Role Variants: ENFJ (Teacher), Champion (ENFP), Healer (INFP), Counsellor (INFJ)
Pleasers are among the nicest people in the world. Similar to Planners, they tend to look more in the future but through a more emotional and introspective lens. They tend to focus on what could be rather than what is, as opposed to the cool rationality that is a Planner. Pleasers are on a quest for knowledge and self-improvement, focusing on the journey and of their own potential. They are warm, affectionate people that take a keen interest in others. Because of their Intuitive and Feeling functions, they are drawn to careers that involve people, such as teaching, journalism, counselling, and in religious institutions.
Leyishian suggests that Pleasers can be taken advantage of due to their caring nature. If they are not careful, Pleasers can enable the poor spending habits of others by giving them money without the beneficiary being accountable. This is something to be very aware of if you or a loved one fall into the Pleaser category. Another risk would be for Pleasers to enable and reward themselves through self-indulgent behaviour.
Players – also known as the Artisan Temperament (SPs)
Role Variants: Promoter (ESTP), Performer (ESFP), Crafter (ISTP), Composer (ISFP)
Players are typically the life of the party. They live in the moment and are spontaneous. Because of their tendency to be impulsive, they are “often the ones at the highest financial risk” according to the Forbes article. With the NT function dominating the Planners, the complete opposite of SP of the Player makes long term planning anathema to the Player. They are focused on the here and now and do not care much for future events and abstractions such as retirement. When under control, Players can be your most entertaining friend and somebody that you want to be around. If the SP function is not checked by a dose of logic, then say hello to constant debt and bankruptcy.
Players can be the most inclined towards self-employment and being entrepreneurial. Their fun-loving SP side would generally conflict with a bureaucratic and standardized workplace governed by rules and routine. This can be a powerful catalyst for wealth if they can channel self-indulgent behaviour into a profitable and enjoyable business venture. Their natural optimism and spirit will propel them to success, if only discipline can be honed to keep their venture on track.
What exactly does all this mean?
The Myers-Briggs test is a widely-used method for categorizing human behaviour and temperament. It can provide insight into an individual’s strengths and weaknesses and assist them in developing strategies to encourage the former and mitigate the latter. The Myers-Briggs test can be a useful guide to gain insight into human behaviour. It can also be used by a couple as a common language to explain themselves. For example. A man who is a SP and freely spends money can relate to his calculating and modest wife in terms they both understand.
The test has also comes under criticism by some academics who question its utility in predicting human behaviour. Others postulate that humans cannot be classified according to sixteen roles. On an everyday level, there are those who take the test and use the results as an excuse for their behaviour, rather than a tool to self-improvement. The human mind is a growing entity; habits can change and behaviour evolves.
Feel free to take the Myers-Briggs test at the link below. Carefully ponder how the results affect your understanding of yourself and your finances. Also think about the limitations of the test and what it cannot explain. Most importantly, think beyond the microcosm of personal finance and reflect on how this new knowledge affects your decision-making skills, career choices, relationships, and happiness.
For more information, consult the following references:
Eddie is a self-employed project manager and consulting engineer in the oil & gas industry in Alberta. After serving 10 years in the army, he is pursuing an Executive MBA at the University of Calgary. He holds contrarian views about personal finance and writes about personal strategy, economics, and history at his blog www.summaticus.com.