Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday's Women of Courage - Your Financial Personality

I'm going to deviate a little from our usual Wednesday's Women of Courage format and present some new thought on how women view financial decision-making. It may help you better understand the behavior of women around you, and your approach to money, as well.

While at the gym recently, I caught a CNBC interview with Maddy Dychtwald whose latest book is Influence: How Women's Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World Here is an excerpt from a conversation she had with Robert Morris of First Friday's Book Synopsis:

Morris: Your discussion of women’s “money profiles” caught my eye. For those who have not as yet read Influence, what are the five types and what is the dominant characteristic if each?

Dychtwald: As we collected data from our study, trying to better understand women and their financial behavior, five profiles of women and money emerged. Overall, our research uncovered the fact that what determines a women’s financial personality is very much how she feels about money, how much she defers to someone else to get the job done, what she wants money to do for her, what she wants to do with her money, and how confidant she is in her relationship with money. While these profiles are merely snapshots at one moment in time, it immediately became clear that three of the five personalities helped women’s economic emancipation while two others did not. In the book, I describe these personalities in detail, but here’s a quick take.

The most confident of the five personality types is the Alpha Female. Eighteen percent of the women surveyed identified with this profile, and their behavior (when it comes to money) is much like a stereotypical confidant male: a quick decision-maker, risk-tolerant, and less interested in the details than the results.

The Perceptive Planner is not quite as confident as the Alpha Female, but this is the personality that 35 percent of women identified with, making it the largest segment in the study. They are analytical, disciplined and responsible.

The third personality is the Power Partner which is the second most common group in our study with 23 percent of women identifying with this personality. She is collaborative and willing to strike compromises, believing that two heads are better than one. These three personality types are pro-active and empowered when it comes to money.

The last two personalities are not: Supportive Traditionalists and Uncertain Searchers. About a quarter of all women identify with these two personalities. A Supportive Traditionalist demonstrates the de facto way women used to behave with money, deferring decisions around money to a male. She enjoys spending and is not too interested in gaining knowledge around finances. Amazingly, it is the smallest group in our study with only 8 percent of women identifying with this personality.

The least confident personality is the Uncertain Searcher with about 16 percent of women identifying with this personality. This personality is led by her emotions when it comes to making financial decisions. She knows little to nothing about finances and doesn’t know where to turn for information. She knows she’s lost and isn’t sure how to move on.

What personality type are you?

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