Nov 162015

Exploring the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in Personal Finance


Table of Contents: 

The importance of knowing your type
How personality affects your financial habits
How rare is your personality?
Most common types for Personal Finance Bloggers
How personality affects your income and career
In Closing and Sources


Intro to the Myers-Briggs personality test

In order to master our finances, we have to develop a solid understanding of our personalities. The way we think dictates how we save, how we spend, and how we manage our money in general. Our temperaments can also affect our income earning potential. With a little self-discovery we can discover our financial strengths and weaknesses so we can focus on the skills and actions that we naturally excel at. 😉

One popular personality test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI.) Through a series of short questions, the MBTI measures our affinity towards four pairs of personality traits. The result is a 4 trait combination, one trait from each pair, that gives us some insight on how we think and perceive the world. Here is an explanation of each pair of traits.

Myers-Briggs Personality Traits

Extraversion (E)
-People's person
-Feel comfortable and enjoy working in groups
-Sometimes jump too quickly into an activity without thinking
Introversion (I)
-Reflective and somewhat reserved
-Feel comfortable and like doing things alone
-Prefer to know just a few people well
-Sometimes spend too much time thinking, and not take action quickly enough
Sensing (S)
-Remembers details based on facts and physical reality
-Works through facts to understand problems
-Pragmatic and looks at the bottom line
-Start with facts to form a larger picture
-Trusts experience over words and symbols
Intuition (N)
-Remembers events by reading between the lines to find their meaning.
-Leaps between different ideas and possibilities to solve problems
-Focuses on the big picture first before finding out the detailed facts
-Trusts impressions and metaphors more than actual experiences
Thinking (T)
-Logical, calculated, not emotional
-Notices inconsistencies
-Looks for logical explanations or solutions to problems
-Sometimes seen by others as too task-oriented, uncaring, or indifferent
Feeling (F)
-People or communications oriented
-Concerned with harmony and care about what other people think is important
-compassionate, make decisions with the heart
-Sometimes seen by others as too idealistic, indirect, or mushy
Judging (J)
-Prefers to have things planned out in advance
-Likes to be task oriented
-Likes to make lists of things to do
-Likes to get work done before playing

(note: Judging has nothing to do with being judgemental in this context.)
Perceiving (P)
-Prefers to go with the flow
-Likes to keep opportunities open to respond to new circumstances
-Appears to be loose and casual
-Keeps planning to a minimum
-Works in bursts of energy
-Tends to rush projects at the last minute

Each pair of traits is a spectrum because personality is not binary. For example, nobody is purely introverted or extroverted. The resulting trait is whichever one the person has a stronger tendency towards. So if someone’s temperament reflects Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging, then his MBTI personality type would be ISTJ for short. There are 16 possible outcomes for the Myer’s-Briggs personality test.


If you don’t know your personality type you can take a free test here.


Why It’s Important to Know your MBTI

Increasing our financial self-awareness strengthens our relationship with money, so we can prioritize what’s important to us. For example, there are two primary ways to save more money for retirement. ENTJs are better at increasing their incomes, while ISTJs tend to have an easier time cutting back on spending and being frugal. Understanding our natural tendencies lets us choose financial management strategies that suit our needs. 😉 Once we know our 4-letter personality type we can do a lot of practical and useful things with it, including the following.

  • Discover new career opportunities or side hustles to make more money.
  • Narrow down which financial experts or famous investors to follow based on how similar their personalities are to our own.
  • Better understand where gender stereotypes in society comes from.
  • Find personal finance bloggers that think like us and learn vicariously through their stories and experiences.



What your Personality says about your Financial Habits

The 16 MBTI types can be grouped into 4 general personality categories. This gives a broad overview of how the personality types can affect someone’s financial behavior.

  • Protectors (SJ)

    These people all have the Sensing and Judging (SJ) traits. They are known as protectors because those who fall into this category are more financially conservative and want to protect their principal investment regardless of opportunity costs. They see wealth preservation as the main priority. Most protectors make average income or higher. As natural planners, they are good at saving for emergencies and for retirement, but sometimes have trouble accepting some calculated risk with their investments. Protectors generally have high savings rates to make up for their conservative risk tolerance on their portfolios.

  • Creators (SP)

    Sometimes also called players, creators like to live in the moment because they are Sensing and Perceiving (SP.) They like to work hard and play hard. Many creators are entrepreneurs and they tend to take bigger risks with their money than other groups.

  • Intellectuals (NT) 

    Intellectuals embody the traits Intuition and Thinking (NT.) Also known as planners, intellectuals like to look at the big picture and plan for the future. They are willing to accept thought-out risks in order to achieve their long term financial goals. Similar to protectors, intellectuals are avid savers. But sometimes they focus so much on the future that they miss out on short-term opportunities to splurge or have fun in the present.

  • Visionaries (NF)

    This group of people tend to be emotional around money. They possess the Intuition and Feeling (NF) traits. Visionaries view lending money to or borrowing money from friends and family members as a very personal matter. They often see money as an extension of who they are. Most visionaries earn average income or lower. Their spending habit revolves more around emotions, relationships, compassion, and ideas, rather than strict pragmatism.



How Rare is your MBTI Personality Type

Most people are Sensing so they prefer to deal with detailed facts and physical reality rather than big-picture ideas and abstractions. Men tend to be slightly more aligned towards introversion while women lean slightly towards extroversion.


Almost 1 out of 5 females in the world are ISFJs. This supports the studies that claim women tend to be more risk-averse than men when they invest. Meanwhile INTJs and ENTJs are the rarest personality types among females. More than half of all females identify with the traits Sensing and Feeling (SF.) This combination lends itself very favorably to working in careers that require a sympathetic approach to people. They are commonly found in the clergy, teaching, health care, child care, sales and office administration work, and personal services.

2 out of 5 males are Introverted Sensors (IS.) They are good at remembering stored memories of previous sensory experiences. This allows them to carry out tasks such as quality assurance because they can compare new products with memories of existing products. Introverted Sensors tend to be good at remembering details. They can easily recall specific things they are interested in, such as names of actors or football players, numbers, percentages, specifications, stock prices, and sports scores.



What Personality Types are Personal Finance Bloggers?

With so many PF blogs out there it’s not always easy to find compatible bloggers who we can relate with. I cover stocks and the financial markets. But what about readers who want to learn about lower risk investment options, or how to get out of debt?

Well earlier this year I surveyed over 100 bloggers to find out about their Myers-Briggs personality types. :) The data has been compiled in the following graph.


Discover which PF bloggers have the same personality traits as you, so you can narrow down which blogs might be more relatable to you.🌟

For a detailed explanation of each personality type, please see the “MBTI Personality Types for PF Bloggerstable below. The types are numbered to make them easier to find. They are roughly placed in order from most common to least common in the blogging community.

1 INTJ the strategist15-11-myer-briggs-personalty-types
2 ENTJ the chief
3 ISTJ the examiner
4 ESTJ the overseer

5 INFJ the confidant
6 ISFJ the defender
7 ENFJ the mentor
8 ENFP the advocate

9 ESFJ the supporter
10 INTP the engineer
11 ENTP the originator
12 INFP the dreamer
13 ISFP the artist
14 ISTP the craftsman
15 ESFP the entertainer
16 ESTP the persuader

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Nov 142015

Traits of Successful People

I found the following infographic on pinterest recently. It suggests qualities that successful people have compared to those who are unsuccessful. I think it makes some valid points about how our circumstances depend a lot on how we approach life. :)


Success can often to a subject term. Even within the context of personal finance, becoming successful can mean different things to different people. There are as many definitions to success as there are goals and aspirations. Our objective is to discover what our version of success looks like, and figure out how to get there.

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Oct 292015

The One Simple Rule to Win at Life!

People are programmed to pursue physical, psychological, and emotional security and comfort. However, if we give into our natural tendencies to always take the easy route then we won’t have a very meaningful or fulfilling life. That’s why it’s necessary to do what’s emotionally most uncomfortable.

So if we want to be rich and financially successful all we have to do is follow this one simple rule in life:

Always do the most emotionally difficult thing. 😉

This is a very profound notion and is almost counterintuitive to what our minds are designed to do. But doing the thing that’s the most emotionally challenging in any situation will actually lead to a more prosperous and satisfying life. Of course, most people do the opposite of this and try to look for the most convenient and easy way out. They believe this would give them a pleasant means to live. But ironically the pursuit of comfort and convenience often leads to a mediocre, frustrating and unfulfilled life.


Here are some examples to demonstrate the point:

  • In business, the emotionally difficult thing for us to do is forge on ahead and take calculated risks to grow our company, even if everyone around us is being negative and unsupportive.
  • It can be emotionally hard for partners to talk about their finances, debt, and spending habits with each other.
  • When investing, it’s emotionally uncomfortable to remain disciplined and stick with a plan based on our long term goals and not be tempted to trade in and out of the markets.
  • If we want to become investment associates at ScotiaMcLeod then the uncomfortable thing to do is to attend the proper education in University and study hard.
  • In terms of saving money on food and living a healthier lifestyle it’s psychologically difficult to cook more at home, and eat out less.
  • In personal finance, it’s emotionally difficult to save at least 20% of our income and store it away in a retirement account for the next 30 or 40 years.

All of these examples are choices that we can make everyday. And those of us who choose to do the most emotionally uncomfortable thing in all these areas will experience business expansion, happier relationships, better investment returns, lucrative career opportunities, a healthier body, and an abundance of wealth in retirement. 😀 Wow. So much win for following just one simple rule.

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Sep 302015

Deciding what to do with new money

As the average global population continues to age there will be greater instances of wealth transfer from the old to the young. Most people will come into a bonanza sooner or later. Maybe it’s $5,000, or maybe it’s $500,000. Whatever the amount happens to be, it’s essential to grasp the significance of this opportunity and not squander it. A dollar saved is worth more than a dollar earned because of income and payroll taxes.

There is no shortage of questions on the internet that has the renowned format, “I have $X amount of money. What should I do with it?” The following snippets are taken from Reddit.


First of all, congratulations for saving, earning, inheriting, winning, or however else you came into the money. :) The simple answer to what you should always do with your new found fortune is this: Maximize the utility of that money based on your personal core values and financial situation.

But that might be easier said than done, so let’s elaborate. Maximizing utility means making the best use of that money and stretching the value of each dollar to its greatest potential. This is determined by your values and financial affairs, and to a degree, the current state of the economy. Values drive motivation and we’re all motivated by different things. Wanting to retire early requires a different set of values and financial strategy than becoming a home owner. Understanding your financial situation means knowing what money means to you.

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Sep 152015

Where to put your extra savings

Let’s say you earn $3,000 a month and spend $2,500. Great! You are living within your means. But saving is only half the battle. Now you must decide how to allocate your extra $500. Should you pay down your debt or invest and watch your money grow? Should you max out your Tax Free Savings Account or contribute to your RRSP? Knowing the proper way to allocate your money can prevent a lot of costly mistakes.

Back when I was saving up for a car I guess you could say I had a lot of driving ambition. 😆 But sometimes there are more immediate and pressing concerns to address before spending money on wants and non-essentials. Below is a chart that shows where to put your savings in descending order starting from most important priority. It’s not perfect but it’s a relevant starting point for most people. :)



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