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Is Your Investment Style Aligned with Your Personality?

Wealth manager and author Sam Phoen classified 4 types of investor personality in his book "Personality Driven Portfolio: How to Invest Right for Your Style", which we found it makes perfect sense with what we have observed among traders in trading rooms we have worked before. 

Your investment decisions, such as when to take profits or to cut losses may be largely influenced by your personality.  We tend to think ourselves as pure rational beings but in essence our emotions always play an oversized role, often unconsciously. That's why we at Elite Traders work based on algorithms and let the numbers guide our actions, not our guts or hearts. But that's not for everyone, so we want to share Sam's work with you. Let me be clear we're not promoting anyone's product or endorsing anyone's ideas. We found this framework very useful for a self assessment.


As you might have correctly guessed, there's no right or wrong answer in this quiz.    


Your Quiz Results and Recommendations Report

We've asked 2 questions with the following choices to select:

1 - If you have a stock that's making a decent profit, what would you most likely do?

(A) Continue holding the stock and let profits run for as long as possible.

(B) Sell it, take the profit and then reassess next move.

2 - When your investment is making a loss, what would you most likely do?

(A) Continue holding the stock until the price returns to its entry point or make a profit before selling.

(B) If the price hits a certain stop or loss level, sell it and then reassess next move.

Let's see which quadrant, represented by an animal, most closely resembles your investor personality based on your answers to both questions:

sam phoem 1.jpg

If you answered:

1A and 2A --> Egoistic Elephant

1A and 2B --> Diligent Deer

1B and 2A --> Cagey Crab

1B and 2B -> Busy Bee

See below the description of your animal based on your answers and learn about the others too!

Egoistic Elephant

You are likely to be an investor with strong views, and you are willing to sit through wild swings to wait for your views to materialize. Alternatively, you might also be a long-term investor - you don't watch your investments too closely, and tend to invest with a long-term perspective. Either way, you believe your investment views will prevail, and you will not easily cut your losses unless you really have to. Your confidence and strong ego are derived from past successes where you made big bucks. Unfortunately, nobody's right 100% of the time and your wrong calls will often lose you just as much money, if not more. As such, you will encounter big swings in fortune, with large losses and large gains over time.

Most suitable investments for this personality: Yield paying/dividend stocks.

Diligent Deer

You are a disciplined investor who watches your investments closely to ensure that they do not get you into any major trouble. Any investments that fall beyond a preset loss level or amount will be cut. On the other hand, when your investments go in your favor, you will let your profit run as long as there is no change in the reasons for holding on to the investments. Your diligent nature will ensure that no single bad investment will derail you, while your ability to hang on to good investments will help you hit home runs once in a while, making you a profitable long-term investor. This is a very desirable style as it tends to give you small losses but large gains over time.  

Most suitable investments for this personality: Stocks aiming long-term capital gains.

Cagey Crab

You are fairly typical of many retail investors, in that you are mostly not willing to cut your losses when investments go against you, preferring to wait for the price to recover back to at least your cost before you sell it. At the same time, when your investments go in your favor in the short-term, you are usually anxious to take your profit quickly and run. This type of behavior typically results in small gains but large losses - but you're not willing to recognize this and end up holding on to the losing stock until you have no choice but to face up to it. This is not sustainable in the long run as losses from a few bad calls will easily overwhelm the gains from many good calls that you may have (hopefully).


Most suitable investments for this personality: Fixed income, not stocks. See our final comments below.

Busy Bee

You tend to take profit when your investments go your way, and also cut your losses when things  go against you. You are an active trader who watches the market closely, actively managing and trading your positions. Given your close engagement with the market, you are likely to be busy trading in and out of the market regularly, with small gains and small losses, as that is what you are after.

Most suitable investments for this personality: Stocks for short-term trading.

(Content mostly extracted from Sam Phoen's Personality Driven Portfolio book pages 23-25) 

Final Comments

Everyone is born with a different personality and it must be respected as there's nothing wrong about it.

Nevertheless, some personality types are better suited for long-term investment success than others, so it's important to be aware.


Diligent Deer is the clear winner as investors with this personality type will have the best chances to succeed in the stock market over the long run. Author Sam Phoen agrees with this conclusion. He even makes suggestions in his book how other personality types may undergo changes in mindset and discipline to behave more like a diligent deer. Cagey Crab, on the other hand, is the personality behavior least likely to sustain long-term survival and success with risky investments like the stock market. 

In conclusion, the good news is that regardless of your investor profile, our Level I Strategy will level the playing field for you!


Level I is a Diligent Deer by design: it will help you keep losses small while exploring the upside potential of the market.  


No sweat if your personality is not the most suitable for long-term investment success. You can effortlessly and instantly become a diligent deer just by subscribing our Level I strategy. If you tolerate risk, you may even want consider higher levels.   

Happy investing! 

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