By: Laura Walton AFC®
How you react to money and financial issues is both unique to you and critical to your long-term financial success. This is the heart of behavioral economics. Take this test to better understand yourself.
I’ve replicated the short five question test from “Simple but Not Easy,” Morningstar’s Guide to Helping Investors Overcome Behavioral Obstacles. It measures (1) Time Perception: Are you patient or do time delays frustrate you? (2) Locus of Control: Do you feel like you’re in control of your life or at the mercy of forces around you? and (3) Emotional Drivers: What does money mean to you?
Spend a minute and see where you land on the Financial Personality Matrix*.
Answer these five questions:
- On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being extremely long and 5 being extremely short, how long does a 1-year wait feel?_____
- On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being extremely vague and without detail and 5 being extremely clear and very detailed, when you think of your life 10 years from now, how clear and detailed is your mental picture?_____
- How far ahead do you think and plan?
- Less than a month
- 1-6 months
- 6 months to a year
- 1-5 years
- 5-10 years
- 10 years or more
- Mark the answer which is closest to your personal feelings about your financial life:
- I create my own financial destiny
- My financial life is mostly in my control, but chance/a higher being/other people play a small part
- I play a small role in my financial life, but chance/a higher being/other people play a larger part
- I have little to no impact on my financial life
- Which of the following do you most strongly associate with wealth?
- Opportunity, fun, freedom, excitement, luxury, etc.
- Security (Pease of mind, safety, long-term stability)
- Vulnerability (Being a target for fraud, scams, or the judgment of others)
Scoring your results and finding your place on the matrix below:
Time Perception: Add up the total scores for questions 1-3.
A total score < 8 suggests you have a short-term focus which puts you on the bottom half of the matrix
A total score of > 8 suggests you have a long-term focus which puts you on the top half of the matrix
Locus of Control: If you answered 1 or 2, you have an internal locus of control which puts you on the left-hand side of the matrix; If you answered 3 or 4, you have an external locus of control which puts you on the right-hand side of the matrix
Emotional Drivers: Once you’ve identified your quadrant, your emotional driver will place within that quadrant:
1 = desire driven; this is represented by vertical bars; this person is excited by the pleasures, luxuries and experiences money can buy. They tend to equate material possessions with personal success and enjoy and admire shows of wealth. These folks can be at risk for over-spending. They can benefit by finding ways to enjoy themselves and feel successful while living within their means.
2 = stability driven; this places you in the blank space at the outer corners; this person is at a lower risk for mismanagement due to emotional motivations
3 = fear driven; this is represented by horizontal bars; this person can have high financial anxiety and may anticipate worst-case scenarios or consistently ask ‘what if?’ Because of their anxiety, they can miss out on enjoying their wealth. Good planning and decision making helps to reduce their fear of worst-case scenarios.
*I landed on the far upper-left-hand corner, a good place for someone who works to guide others in their financial lives.