The most successful investors are those who know themselves. When I meet with clients and give them their risk assessments and information gathering paperwork, I also ask them to take personality tests. This may sound a little different but it’s actually one of the most important things I do with my clients. Personality tests help me better understand my clients and helps my clients understand themselves better as well. I’m aware of the relationship between investors’ personalities and their portfolio success; therefore, I’m able to more easily manage clients’ fears and emotions because of insights I gained through their results.

Establish a Strong Relationship

The results of these personality tests help both the investor and financial advisor establish a stronger relationship. Instead of taking months or years to learn that my client is analytical, I’m aware of that right away. This allows me to provide them with tailored information based on their personality traits. I help investors not only control their emotions and behaviors but help them understand why they behave the way they do as well.

Understand Your Clients’ Strengths and Weaknesses

The results will also help you gauge your clients’ strengths and weaknesses. One of the tests I ask Investors to take is the Kolbe. “


The Kolbe A Index™ is a graphical representation of an individual’s instinctive method of operation.” This test goes beyond what other personality tests provide because it provides a summary of your instinctive way of doing a thing or your “M.O. (method of operation).”

If the investor scores high in QuickStart, they may be more likely to jump ship in volatile markets. If you know this, you can start the conversation with them about how important it is to stay calm in volatile markets before they panic. If your client is high in Fact Finder then you know that they need data and statistics surrounding the advice you’re offering them. Tests such as the Kolbe , provide you with direction and tailored approaches to each investor you serve. The Kolbe A Index provides clients a “greater understanding of their own natural instincts and allows them to begin the process of maximizing their potential.”

Identify your ideal clients

As a financial planner, you should be screening your clients to work with those that fit well with you and your business. I use what I dubbed the 3 Ps: personality, participation, and profit. Does the investor’s personality work well with mine? Does the investor participate in the planning process and provide all necessary documentation? Will the investor profit from our relationship and is the investor profitable for my business? I think many advisors think they have to work with anyone and everyone and the problem with that are when you’re working with less ideal, possibly difficult clients, you miss out on bigger opportunities. The “ideal client” looks different for every financial advisor but personality tests will help you better identify if your prospect is going to be a good fit or if they’re going to be a huge head ache and not worth the time. And trust me, it’s ok to say no to some prospects. In fact, it can be liberating. By asking those you could potentially serve to take tests such as the Kolbe, you speed up the process of getting to know your clients’ while identifying the types of investors you know you can be successful with. This eliminates months or years it would have taken you to gain such insights. You may also realize that your perfect clients all have similar results. You can leverage this when meeting with prospects.

I give all of my new hires and potential clients the Kolbe test and also the HumanMetrics test. There are hundreds of personality tests available and some tailored to financial investing. After a lot of research, these tests are the ones that fit me best.

If you found this article helpful be sure to check out “3 reasons you should stop timing the market for your clients.”

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How I grew my advisory to $140 million in assets under management, working 15 hours a week & with one employee

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