Editor's note: In an earlier piece, Jane Wollman Rusoff described Barclay's Wealth and its U.S. rollout of a financial personality assessment.
Curiosity may kill cats but almost never financial reporters. So, curious about potential revelations, I sallied forth and took Barclays Wealth’s Financial Personality Assessment.
The test’s 36 questions measure, among other traits, risk tolerance, sensitivity to volatility and comfort with investing in financial markets — relative to the population as a whole. Its ultimate goal: to help Barclays advisors build portfolios that match clients’ financial personality and objectives.
As I anticipated, the portrait that emerged casts me as a conservative, nervous Nellie when it comes to market investing. I fear the loss of all my money and get spooked by short-term fluctuations. Indeed, I’m more likely than others to experience emotional stress from uncertainty, according to Barclays.
The good news — for the hypothetical advisor I’d consult were I a Barclays prospect: my high scores on perceived financial expertise and willingness to delegate certain investment decisions position me as ideal for a conversation with an advisor.
To accompany the test results, Barclays worked up a pretend-scenario in which I own a $20 million sugar business (sweet) and am worth $47 million (dream on). Actually, that’s similar to the balance sheets of some of the firm’s targeted ultra-high-net-worth clients.
Back to my assessment: Downside protection is indeed important: My low risk tolerance indicates I’ll accept lower long-term returns in exchange for minimizing the chance of poor outcomes. Top priority: maintaining my wealth.
I get more upset than most by short-term market fluctuations and may be monitoring my portfolio too often. Were my investments locked up, I’d feel high anxiety over being unable to access the money.