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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Getting to know your client's 'money' personality

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On his blog, “Making Cents,” Curtis Smith, CFP(R) highlighted the eight “money” personality types as outlined by Deborah L. Price, CEO of the Money Coaching Institute. Becoming familiar with your clients’ money personality can help you to better understand them, their motives and the best way to approach working with them. Read on for the first four personality types.

The Innocent: Innocents often live in denial, are easily overwhelmed by financial information, and rely heavily on the advice and opinions of others. They tend to be the most trusting because they generally don’t see people or situations clearly–which leaves them open to bad decisions at best and fraud at worst.

The Victim: Victims are passive-aggressive and tend to live in the past and blame their woes on outside factors and situations they claim they can’t control. Victims have an excuse for everything. They may have been abused, betrayed or have suffered some great financial loss, but they generally see life as a self-fulfilling prophecy they can’t change.

The Warrior: Generally seen as a successful person in the business and financial worlds, they will listen to advisors but make their own decisions. They tend to be great caretakers.

The Martyr: These people generally put other people before their own financial health. They use their money to rescue others based on their high expectations for themselves and the people they’re rescuing, but these decisions may be costly in the long run.

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Curtis A. Smith, CFP(R), is president of Interactive Capital Management, which focuses on fiduciary standards and value-producing services and has almost 30 years of financial planning and investment management experience. For more information, go to or read his blog articles at


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