Episode 8 – The Strengths and Challenges of the Four Money Personalities
Everyone has a financial personality. In fact, we’re likely to have a blend of four financial personalities. Once you start to recognize them, you can gain deeper insight into who you are financially. And you’ll start to better understand those around you.
Using the four elements of earth, fire, wind and water, Danielle Howard outlines the strengths and attitudes of each unique personality, along with the challenges and obstacles that can negatively affect each personality and their financial health.
Tune in to this week’s podcast now to find out which of the four financial personalities you connect with the most.[00:00:02] Welcome to The Wealth Done Differently Retirement podcast. Danielle Howard, a Certified Financial Planner, shares insight into the financial tools, techniques and temperaments needed to make the most of your retirement dollars and relationships. Danielle bridges the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, bringing complex financial topics down to earth. Danielle will educate and inspire you as you define and refine your version of prosperity. Hello and welcome to another podcast with Danielle Howard. Today we’re going to talk about the four money personalities. Now this, this is, I believe a groundbreaking philosophy that Danielle has brought to the surface with her book and with what she does with her clients. So Danielle, I’m just going to turn this over to you for the majority the podcast, If I have any questions I’ll jump in, but I’d really love to just hear you explain these four money personalities. Alright Matt, thank you. With my book I really wanted to create a connection for people, I wanted to paint a picture in their head as to what your financial personalities are, and some of the opportunities or challenges inherent in each one of them. There is a lot of work being done in this this area of who you are with your financial personality, and and helping you to understand it. What I wanted to do is just create a little bit of a different picture. So because my book is focused on economic seasons, life seasons and financial seasons, I wanted to wrap it around to concepts that people could really relate to. [00:01:45] So what they did with the four many personalities was to take a look at them in the context of the four elements, as we look at fire, earth, water and air, and just kind of find a playful way of explaining how each of those personalities play out. What’s been fun with this, is when we’ve done it in group environments, that people will read through this or look at what each of these personalities, they connect with it. And you’re never going to be all one or all another, you’re going to be a blend of all of these. My goal is to help people understand and put a playful taste to who you are financially, and to help you to understand others. Because again, money isn’t right or wrong, it just is. It’s how we use it that will really impact our lives. And so as we look at each of these, just maybe picture how you may fit into one of these areas. As we look at fire, the opportunities with a fire money personality. You may really like to be adventurous, and you crave the unexpected. You are that natural entrepreneur, and you like to dream big. You’re going to invest in yourself and what’s important to you. You’ll draw people to you like a fire at night draws people to make s’mores or catch fireflies. You’re going to attract others with your passion and intensity and personality. You like to entertain and be with people, your friends are going to join you on any given notice. [00:03:26] You tweet something out, and they’re going to be right there next to you. You’re going to be able to help others and give unexpected gifts. In your giving, you’re the type of person that likes to see your name on the plaque or to be acknowledged publicly. You also might be the one that will lend to a friend in need, and you’re going to spend your money on things that help you project that fiery image, you like brand names. Those are the opportunities with the fire personality. And we also recognize that there’s going to be some challenges. Let’s take a look at those. You may burn through money quickly, and you could possibly get caught up in credit card debt when you buy things you don’t need, but are projecting that image. You may end up putting all of your financial eggs in one basket because of your entrepreneurial spirit. You may want to put all of your money into your business. You may also be the one that gets a hot stock tip and just says, “I’m going to go for broke,” and expect it to be the big winner in your life. You’re not going to have that delayed gratification. It’s harder for you to save for the long term. You may keep some money secrets from significant others, and you can feel alone and isolated because you don’t share your money problems with others. You may also feel guilty or ashamed because of your spending, or because you put it all in and lost. And you may, when you lend money others, you may feel resentful because you don’t, it just burns up and you don’t get it back. So that’s kind of an all-around version of what a fire personality, again, the inherent opportunities and some of the challenges. With air, you know, you’re sitting outside you feel the breeze. [00:05:22] This year in the Roaring Fork Valley we’ve had so much wind, and we’re very concerned about about the fires. And when it comes to your financial personality, air, you’re a thinker. You know, you want to be resourceful, and you want to study. You analyze your investment ideas, and you’re going to really think through your financial decisions. You’re the one that’s going to read the Consumer Report and delve into the ratings on the products. You’re going to be rational and proactive, and take a look at the big picture. You’re going to want to creatively solve a problem, whether it’s finding a job or getting out of debt or working towards a goal. And you’re not pressured by others expectations, you just let their their moods and their ways of thinking just flow around you, that you don’t let that impact you. You may be seen as, what we call dancing to the beat of a different drummer when it comes to your purchasing decisions. And you like the impractical, if you have thought it through, you’re okay with that. Those are kind of the fun opportunities in the air personality. But it also comes with the challenges. As I look at how the wind can change direction, you could do that too. You can be somewhat inconsistent, possibly selfish, maybe even lean towards a bit of dishonesty. Again, I’m talking about that entitlement, “Well I deserve to do this because I did that.” That’s kind of that air, you can shift gears pretty easily. When you lack skills or the information to feel financially confident, you don’t do anything, you just “analysis paralysis,” is the term that comes to mind. [00:07:13] And looking at that big picture thinker, it is hard for you to really drill down on some of the minutiae or putting together a spending plan. That feels too much, too confining to you. And you may have challenges in supporting yourself, if you are the sole financial adviser or financial earner. And you tend to pick fields that don’t pay as well as possibly some other career choices, and you may jump from job to job as the wind the wind blows. Those may be some of the challenges that you would encounter as an air financial personality. Looking at Earth, dig your toes into the dirt, wiggle your feet, connect with the ground. The financial Earth personalities include the opportunity that you are, you are solid, you’re stable, you’re reliable. You crave security. You are more comfortable with money under the mattress, and have that distrust for quote unquote, yout know, the system, the markets, people who are selling things. You have a spending plan, you have achievable goals, and you’ll probably have ample savings and you will set yourself to task and you’ll work very hard to achieve it. You shop wisely. You feel secure with your material possessions. You’re a little bit more conservative in your investments, seeing slow and steady. That’s a desirable attribute. And you will look at your spending choices down the road and balance that, “What do I need today, what do I need for tomorrow?” And you take care of what you have. So you are very, very grounded. You’re organized. You’re reliable and pragmatic, and you’ll be proactive in your financial life. This all sounds good, but guess what, there’s some challenges in being an earth personality. You could find yourself being maybe stubborn or bull-headed. [00:09:23] You may stick with a job or an investment or even a financial professional or attorney or other or spouse, much longer than is helping, you know, that is really serving you and and having good relationships with. So you need to look at how you’re, are you being rigid with that spending plan, and you’re going to stick to it no matter what? And this can have you miss out on some opportunities. And guess what, you can tend to be a hoarder and you’re going to seek security and comfort from material possessions which isn’t necessarily a good thing if they’re building up in the hallway, spilling out the front door, or out of the garage or your storage unit. You can also minimize risk too much. You can stop, you can be too conservative with your investments and not keep up with you know, inflation rates in different areas like like healthcare that we need to overcome for the long term. You’re going to be slow to change and you may not even think about rebalancing your portfolios or to change your asset allocation as an economic season is changing. So these are some of the challenges inherent in that Earth personality. Our final personality is water and I’m so fortunate to live on the Roaring Fork River, where I can open my window and watch the boaters go by, and right now we have a really low water season this year, so the water you can hear it rumbling by because the rocks are exposed at this point. So with the water personality, financially you’re going to live in the moment. You are light-hearted, you are creative, you have a very generous personality. [00:11:20] Money flows just easily in and out of your life. Not necessarily in quantity, it doesn’t mean that you have a lot of it, but in the context, just the way you feel about it and that it’s a very powerful way to express yourself and your values. And when you, when it might be flowing in very minimally, like our river is right now, you’re going to be not ineffectual, but you’re not going to have as big of an impact. But when you have a lot of financial resources flowing through your life, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with. It’s not something you’re going to, in certain circumstances, you’re not going to have it affect you. So life can happen and you’ll you’ll adapt to it. You’re going to hold onto material possessions and your jobs lightly, and you know if this one comes, another one is going to come. If that one goes, another one will come along. You share what you have easily with others, and you’re always optimistic that things are just going to work out and we’re just going to go with the flow. You’re going to make financial decisions quickly more based on your gut feelings and those financial details, those spreadsheets analyzing your investments, that’s not your strong suit. You’re going to depend on taking a look at, you’re going to need to have others in your life to help you really uncover some of the financial details because this is an area that you’re not very strong at. So, going with more of the challenges, you’re going to you know, you go with your gut. You’re going to make the financial decisions and that can sometimes work against you. You want to use your gut, [00:13:14] Yes, but you also want to use your head. And you get excited about the upward market momentum and you may buy in late or you get anxious when there’s a market correction happening and you’ll jump out too soon. You’ll get caught up in maybe some get rich schemes because you tend to be very trusting and possibly a little gullible. You may also give to a fault. This is an area where I really walked alongside my ladies because women tend to be more generous givers, and we need to make sure that I am keeping your own oxygen mask on, that you have enough to accomplish what’s important to you for as long as you need it before you start giving giving it all away. And you know, you want to manage how you’re getting pulled in different directions because you don’t know, you don’t have a clear picture of what money means to you or what your goals are. So you can end up like a broken sprinkler, just spraying all over the place because you don’t have that intentional flow of where you want your money to go. And you can also wrestle with that idea of Keeping up with the Joneses, or falling into that that fear of missing out, especially in retirement and and just spending a lot more money than you really should, you know, given that the safe boundary waters that you need to stay in. So that’s a real down and dirty of the four financial personalities, as I like to play them out. And understanding that you know, part of it is in your DNA, [00:14:54] Some of it is, has to do with your upbringing and societal and environmental components that, you know, the experiences that you’ve had around money. You are probably going to lean towards one of these. But all four of them reside within you, and you need to look at which one is the dominant, possibly the dominant personality, and then also look at what you might want to do to explore or experience or bring in a facet of one of the other personalities, again to be, to have a well-rounded financial health in your life. Well as you were going through those Danielle, I’m thinking to myself, “Okay, hold on here, because I’m a little bit of this, and a little of this, and a lot of this one.” Once again everybody, this is a different conversation surrounding money, and if you don’t understand with how you interact with this this means of exchange, you can as Danielle just explained, experience some challenges that that can, be with good guidance, not just preventable, but also something that you’re made, that somebody would make you aware of, because you know, knowing really is half the battle. Now that was a quick down and dirty, and maybe what we’ll do in later podcasts Danielle, is we’ll dive into these a little bit more deeply, but if you haven’t had a conversation like this surrounding money with a financial services professional, you should probably ask yourself why you haven’t. Whether they’re not qualified or they’re not comfortable to have these conversations, these are very very meaningful conversations, especially when you’re preparing for retirement in your financial life in this third to fourth quarter. All right any closing thoughts Danielle? [00:16:34] I appreciate the opportunity Matt, and I just encourage everybody to kind of take a look, and like you said, I’d like to hear which one you kind of were drawn to, but the idea that you want to recognize and acknowledge that. Build on the opportunities within each one of those personalities, but recognize and temper the challenges and working working towards that balance and that understanding of others in our lives, knowing that they are bringing an element into our life that we may be, we may be needing. So if you want to look at our e-course, we’re starting an eight-week retirement course at Danielle Howard Number four letter U dot com, and if you feel like a personal, more relationship-based engagement given the complexity of your financial life is important, give us a shout out at Wealth by design Number four letter U dot com. Thank you Danielle and for everybody at Danielle’s firm, this is Matt Halloran, and we’ll see you on the other side of the mic very soon.Thank you for listening to the Wealth Done Differently Retirement podcast. Click the subscribe button below to be notified when new episodes become available. The information covered and posted represents the views and opinions of the guest and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Wealth by Design, LLC. The content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional investing advice. Always seek the advice of your financial adviser or another qualified service provider with any questions you may have regarding your investment planning. Danielle Howard, Certified Financial Planner, is an investment adviser representative of Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a registered investment adviser. [00:18:29] Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research INC, a broker dealer, member of FINRA, SIPC, Cambridge and Wealth By Design, LLC are not affiliated.