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The DISC assessment and your financial personality

My work partners recently walked into my office and announced they had completed Innermetrix DISC Plus Profiles, or “the DISC assessment.” Curious, I sought details.

As they explained how this process measures preferred behavioral style and values, I began to fear that they would ask me to take the quiz. Sure enough, the link appeared in my inbox soon after they walked away. The first time I took the quiz the computer shut down. I don’t know if that had anything to do with my answers or if it was a coincidence… but I finally got through it all. Each of us had unique profiles and it reaffirmed why we all work so well together. It also reaffirmed why we work well with the client base we each have, which is vastly different from one advisor to another.

Some of us have very analytical clients and those clients want to make their own decisions after weighing all the facts. This group really digs deep into their investments; they enjoy monitoring and discussing their statements and the economy. Some of our clients, however, prefer not to know the details and would rather have a tooth pulled than discuss investments (even though they know they need to!)

As a financial advisor, we adapt to these many personalities, and knowing which you are can help you understand the best financial decisions to make!

What is the DISC assessment?

The DISC assessment focuses on four main ways of relating to the world… and this can relate to how people choose to manage their finances as well:

  1. Dominance/Decisiveness (D)
  2. Influence/Interactiveness (I)
  3. Steadiness/Stabilization (S)
  4. Conscientiousness/Caution(C)

The Dominant/Decisive Investor

I have decisive clients who are making investment decisions quickly! They want to get everything done at once. I have to take a moment and remind them that investing — especially in a 401k or similar vehicle — is a slow and steady process.  I remind them also that wealth management issues such as estate planning takes time and like investments, is always evolving. I also see in flashing red letters “DECISIVE” when planning with someone who says they may never retire. That’s perfectly okay, for someone to be so passionate about their career that they never want to quit! But everyone needs to develop a plan “B.”

The Interactive Investor

I notice my “I” investors also like to move quickly, but they are motivated primarily by the people who are important to them. I usually need to remind them to watch their budget (the other “B” word no one likes to hear!) The often get very excited about the things they can do for others, which is OK too!

The Steady Investor

There is an entire section in our financial planning software for building “long term dreams,” an important concept. Some clients struggle with that — these are “S” investors. You may be a “S” if you have trouble deciding when to invest because you are all about keeping things stable.

The Cautious Investor

And finally, my “C”autious clients. These folks absolutely LOVE financial planning software and we crunch so many scenarios sometimes I begin to wonder which scenario is most realistic in their situation! Taking a step back and reminding them WHY they are planning takes the heat off them.

Know yourself, know your investments

So, what kind of investor are you? Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and finding an advisor that can guide you through your unique personality quirks is important. The bottom line, however, is that everyone has a WHY, and it varies from person to person. That WHY also carries a different time frame with it from person to person. That WHY makes us all unique and if you are willing to share your WHY, you are several steps closer to seeing your financial goals through to the end — through good markets and bad.


February 2019

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