Here at Ramsey Solutions, we use the DISC personality profile as a part of our interview process and everyday work. It’s a simple way to learn how people are wired, how they process information, how they think, and even how they communicate. The profile focuses on four ways of relating to the world:
- Decisive (D)—Hard-chargers who love to get stuff done.
- Interactive (I)—Fun-loving people who love to influence help others.
- Stabilizing (S)—Loyal and patient team players.
- Cautious (C)—Analytical minds who do their homework and know their stuff.
Understanding how others think and relate is valuable in the workplace setting, because once you know how a person processes information, you know how best to communicate with them.
But what does the DISC profile tell you about your investing behaviors?
High D—Decisives as Dreamers
If you’re a D, you love getting stuff done. You make decisions quickly (thus, the name)! With as much vision and passion that you have for your career and other ventures, you can make that same determination work for you as you invest for the future.
You’re great at making decisions, but you may not be so great with the details or steps it takes to reach a goal. If you’re a high D, you need to create those steps and a time frame for completing them. You may even want to set up periodic reminders on your phone and your calendar to complete those steps. A decisive personality will want to use their high drive to charge the lane and get retirement stuff done, but they may lose steam because it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Make sure you stay focused!
And speaking of dreams, you may need to be reminded of your end goal every now and then so you don’t lose sight of it. Otherwise, you might get distracted. Find a way to remember what you’re working toward and why.
One other thing to be aware of: If you’re a high D, you may think you’ll never want to retire. You love the challenge of working and the fulfillment it brings you. Even though you think you’ll work forever, you won’t. You will retire someday, whether you want to or not, so you need to get started investing now so you can provide for yourself later.
High I—Interactives as Initiators
You get excited about investing because of the end result—the things you’ll get to do with people and for people. You can see the fun you’ll get to have down the road, and that can inspire your investing decisions.
Like the high D’s, though, high I’s may not see all the work involved to reach those money goals. You may also need a plan to get you from Point A (present moment) to Point B (that retirement dream). And then you need to prioritize which action comes first. Write them down in the order you want to complete them.
Because you’re motivated by people and not processes, you may forget to budget. That is important now and in retirement. Putting your budget down on paper allows you to see in black and white how much money you can invest—and where you can trim back so you can invest more.
One behavior you need to watch out for is impulse spending. And I’m not just talking about spending extra money at Target. Your spur-of-the-moment approach to life could derail your investing goals, so stick to your budget. Every month.
In general, high D’s and high I’s want to see movement quickly. This can be dangerous from a risk-tolerance standpoint, because investing is a marathon, not a sprint. You may take more risk than you need to, so be aware of that tendency.
High S—Stabilizers as Sacrificers
Slow and steady wins the race for you. And the payoff at the end of the race is the ability to spend time with your family. You are willing to sacrifice now for the joy you’ll experience with them later. You’re okay with taking the long approach to reach the goals you want to achieve.
While you’re great at the practical, you struggle with dreaming. Sometimes getting started can feel overwhelming. Or instead of asking “what do I want to do?” you’re tempted to ask, “what is likely to happen?” That approach to the future will kill any dreams you have. You need to shut down the internal critic and allow yourself to dream without any restrictions.
When it comes to investing, a high S will struggle with jumping into the stock market. You’re more reserved and want to make sure you’re making the right decisions. However, don’t delay investing for too long. The earlier you invest, the more time you give compound interest to work its magic.
High C—Cautious as Calculators
If you’re a high C, you want the details. You want to know exactly the route to take to reach your investing goals. You love plans and routes and clarity. You remember to set the budget every month and you’re already thinking about how much you’ll need to live on when you hit your financial goals.
But like the high S, the high C needs to see how the actions they’re taking now are connected to the end result. You can also get so caught up in building the investing portfolio that you lose sight of why you’re trying to build wealth in the first place. And if you have a spouse who is not a high C, remember that they may not be as into the granular details as you—and that doesn’t mean they don’t care.
As a high C, you don’t like risk. Actually, you hate it. But with investing comes an element of risk, and you need to be comfortable with that. In fact, you may need to evaluate whether you’re taking enough risk. You might need to let go of the reins just a little and give your investing portfolio a little room to breathe. And remember to budget in a little fun regularly on the way to retirement.
Knowing your personality can be an advantage when you are building wealth to achieve financial independence. Because every person has their own strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to get some outside, unbiased help to stay on track. At least once a year, meet with your financial advisor and review your goals and current portfolio. They will show you how your money is doing and suggest changes to your investments if necessary. Ultimately, you’re in charge of your financial future, so take advantage of self-awareness to make the right decisions.
If you’d like more information about the DISC profile for personal use or for your business, check out our DISC information page online.