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The Myers-Briggs Personality Test &Your Money

Since I am married to a man with a Ph.D. in Psychology, I’ve taken a number of personality tests — just for fun. My husband normally has me take them (he takes them, t00) before he uses them as activities in the classes he teaches. One of the most famous personality tests is the Myers-Briggs test.

I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs test more times than I can count, including once for an employer. Forbes recently published an article [3] from LearnVest about how financial planner Ray Linder uses the personality types from the Myers-Briggs to classify his clients into four different financial personality categories (there are 16 personality types in the Myers-Briggs test):

  1. Protectors: Those that fall into this category are more financially conservative, making sure that they are protected at all costs. The personality types that are protectors are ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, and ISFJ. Protectors can plan for a great financial future, but might have trouble letting go a little bit when it comes to “fun” spending, or taking acceptable investment risks. The protector sees preserving what he or she has the main goal.
  2. Planners: Big picture thinking is the hallmark of the planner. It’s about looking ahead, and shoring up your future. Planners are willing to take acceptable, and thought out risks. However, like the protector, some planners might have a hard time with short-term spending. The see the long view so clearly, that sometimes they don’t see the short-term. Planners are personality types ENTJ, ENTP, INTJ, and INTP.
  3. Pleasers: Linder thinks that these money personality types (ENFJ, ENFP, INFJ, and INFP) see money as extensions of themselves. They try to use money to please themselves, or to please others. The idea is that their spending is more about  emotions and relationships, than it is about true planning. Pleasers can be great philanthropists [4], but they also need to watch out for those who would take advantage of them.
  4. Players: For players, it’s all about fun and living for today. The Myers-Briggs personalities that fall into this category are ESTP, ESFP, ISTP, and ISFP. Players are often willing to take bigger risks with their money, and they often make good entrepreneurs, although the tendency toward risk can be a downfall.

Which Personality are You?

As with many personality tests, few of us fall into one easily defined category. Think about how you handle money, and try to determine where you fit. I find that I am a combination of Planner and Player. I do plan for the long term, but I love spending money right now, and enjoying it while we have it. My husband is mostly a Player, with some Pleaser thrown in.

When it comes to dealing with your partner, it can help to understand how you handle money, as well as how he or she handles money. As you disagree about money [5], realize that you can resolve differences through better understanding each other. Even if you don’t fall neatly into one personality category or another, it’s still possible to use these categories to figure out what you are most likely to do with your money, and how you relate to it.

If you are interested, you can take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for a fee from the “official” site, or you can find versions online that are free.

What do you think of money personality types? Where do you fit?

(Photo: redjar [6])