Your Personality And Your Portfolio

Does your personality impact how you fare as an investor? According to the research of Robert Durand, a finance professor at Curtin University in Australia, personality traits can indeed help and/or hinder your investments.

In a piece for Morningstar Canada, Ashley Redmond notes that Durand and two other researchers examined how investment returns correlate with the “Big Five” personality traits, which include: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience/intellect. They found that how you these traits do affect investment decision-making, and being aware of your personality can prevent you from making financial mistakes, according to their research. “Durand says personality traits are remarkably stable once you reach the age of 30,” writes Redmond. “Therefore, if you determine your personality traits early on in your investing career and understand how they’ll affect your decision-making then you should be able to avoid some mistakes.”

With each trait comes advantages and disadvantages. For example, extroverts have higher risk tolerance, but they may find themselves taking too big of a risk, and losing money. But certain traits, like high extraversion, seem to overall positively impact returns, according to Durand, even after adjusting for risk. “Extraverts are attracted to higher risk, but they manage it better, getting higher returns for higher risk, which should be the case according to standard finance theory,” Durand explained.

Want to know how you stack up vs. the “Big Five”? Redmond recommends this online test.