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Which of These Seven Typical Investors Are You?

Forget astrology! To find out what kind of personality you have stop looking at the stars and start looking at your stock portfolio instead. Seven different portfolios tell seven different stories about the types of people who each think that theirs will be the portfolio to beat the market this year.

1. The Gambler

Your stocks are so risky they’ve got odds on them. While some investors would look at a portfolio full of energy stocks in a world of $45 oil and shudder, you look at the stocks as your ticket out of a boring 9 to 5 job. Sure, investing your entire retirement fund in developing countries is risky but if you get it right you can retire at 55 instead of 65. In the meantime, you avoid watching the news because you know that bad news can spook a good 10% off the value of your portfolio.

Most likely to be found: At the racetrack.

2. The Smarty Pants

You are the one your friends go to for investment advice. You’ve studied stock analysis and Warren Buffett for years and are convinced that you know things Wall Street doesn’t. As a value investor, you can quote cash flow, debt levels, and the CEO’s next move of the most obscure companies at the drop of a hat. Your portfolio is full of companies that grow rice in Canada or build cars in Florida but it doesn’t matter because you know that the company is worth more than what you paid for it.

Most likely to be found: The liquidation corner at Wal-Mart.

3. The Perfectionist

You check your portfolio daily and readjust it more than you adjust your glasses. You read about the “perfect” portfolio once online and have dedicated your investing resources to emulate it ever since. Dividend payments are literally the bane of your existence as you struggle to sell tiny amounts of stock to return balance to your perfect portfolio.

Most likely to be found: Organizing the office.

4. The Follower

You don’t really know anything about stocks other than that you have to invest in them to get rich. You do know that you like Starbucks, though. And Facebook. And Apple. Basically, you just buy shares of products you know, have heard do well, and that all your friends already own. The company’s fundamentals don’t really matter – if it’s done really well in the past, why wouldn’t it continue doing well in the future?

Most likely to be found: Anywhere rated five stars on Yelp.

5. The Dividend Diva

You don’t care what you’re buying as long as it pays that sweet, sweet dividend. Dividend reinvestment program or not, you need a company that pays you, preferably monthly. You refuse to look at anything with less than a 10% yield, so your portfolio is filled with stocks like Fifth Street Finance Corp (FSC), Chimera (CIM ), and Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (ARLP ). The financial strength of the company and price of the stock isn’t really important as long as the cash keeps rolling in.

Most likely to be found: Shopping.

6. The Hopeful Optimist

Trees planted today provide shade tomorrow; you have a long-term approach to investing and don’t trouble yourself about how the stock is doing today. Your portfolio is filled with names that are only seen in articles entitled “10 Stocks That Are Wildly Over-Valued.” Similarly to The Follower, you love Shake Shack (SHAK) and Amazon (AMZN) and have heard good things about what the companies will do in the future. While you wish you had bought the stock ten years ago, you’re confident that there’s still room for increases.

Most likely to be found: Holding a glass half full.

7. The Hipster Investor

Financially well off, you focus your money and time on cultivating new businesses. Whether through venture capital or your friend’s startup, you love getting in on the ground floor of companies and wouldn’t dream of using your money to help a company like Ford make more money. You live in a huge urban centre – most likely San Francisco or New York – and use your investments’ products almost exclusively. By the time the company has had its IPO you’ve already sold your shares and your remaining portfolio consists of companies like, well…you probably haven’t heard of them anyway.

Most likely to be found: At an organic café.

The Bottom Line

With hundreds of thousands of different combinations, investors today can customize their portfolios to mirror their personality to the cent. Creepy as it may seem, these seven portfolios say a lot about the seven different investors who hold them.

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