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Mastering Your Money And Financial Freedom

Posted On: 2006-09-04Length: 9:17

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What's your money type? Did you even know you might have one? In this Fidelity Personal Finance podcast, we'll talk about the psychology of money, what money type you might be, and how you might identify the mental and emotional obstacles that may stand between you and financial freedom.

Financial expert, Jordan Goodman, wants you to have a healthier relationship with your money. He wants to help you make smarter financial decisions, and gain a better understanding of the psychology of money. He's a former Wall Street correspondent for Money magazine, financial commentator and author, and thinks the key is to identify our money type, and then make decisions based on the underlying strengths and weaknesses of that type. It's a perspective he details in his latest book, Master Your Money Type ,Using your Financial Personality to Create a Life of Wealth and Freedom. Jordan, thanks for being with us today.

Nice to be here.

Jordan, you've been providing financial advice for years. What's your biggest learning about people and their finances?

Well, I've realized that managing money and investments is a highly emotional endeavor, and only when you understand these emotions can you break bad habits and adopt successful strategies for personal finance. I don't think you can have a financial breakthrough without an emotional breakthrough.

Very interesting. Financial help books usually begin with, know thy subject, but yours beings with know thyself.

After years of financial planning, I came to understand that a rational, methodical approach to analyzing stocks and mutual funds doesn't mean much if your attitude about money gets in the way. I hadn't paid enough attention to the impact of emotions on decisions about money. So, I encourage my clients to talk about their pasts, their feelings, their parents, or other influences. In a way, I ask them to analyze their feelings before they analyze investments. I also saw many clients making the same financial mistakes. Now, I could help them fix their mistakes, but that wouldn't get to the core issue. Understanding themselves and what money means to them.

So, you believe psychology is part of financial planning?

Well, we often hear about the psychology of markets. What about the psychology of individual investors? Through my clients I recognized certain behaviors related to money, and I distilled these into six types: strivers, ostriches, debt-desperados, coasters, high-rollers, and squirrels.

Well, tell us a bit about each of your six money types.

Ok. Strivers have energy and drive and make great entrepreneurs. But they can get into trouble when their spending and lifestyle get ahead of their earnings. Ostriches say they're baffled by money, even while they succeed in a variety of professions. Some ostriches are white knighters, waiting for a white knight, such as an unexpected inheritance to rescue them from money problems. Debt desperados are always coming up short because of overspending or being under-financed. Now these are the folks who spiral downward, creating more debt by borrowing to pay previous debt. Now coasters are organized...

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