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Judging Versus Perceiving Tendencies and Financial Decision-Making

Determining if a client is more aligned with the Judging or Perceiving preference gives advisors two huge pieces of information about how best to work with them.

Justin A. Reckers and Robert A. Simon, 10/03/2012

In our past few articles, we have spent considerable time drilling down on the first three continua of personality and psychological preferences that underlie the Myers-Briggs Type indicator.

--Extraversion v. Introversion
--Sensing v. Intuition
--Thinking v. Feeling

The final leg of the continua, Judging v. Perceiving, will be the focus for this month's article.

An individual's personality will give us vital guidance to the client's psychological needs, behavioral patterns, and the way in which the individual's emotions interact with and interrupt financial decision-making. So far we have covered the Extroversion vs. Introversion continua, the Sensing vs. Intuition continua, and the Thinking vs. Feeling continua. We offered observations for both sides of the continua and uncovered some common biases and barriers that advisors might encounter on the way to economically rational decision-making.

This month we take on the last leg of the Myers-Briggs Type indicator and discuss the Judging vs. Perceiving preference. This overview will help you, as an advisor: 1) recognize which side of the ledger your clients occupy and 2) formulate a plan to best work with them and the specific behavioral and cognitive biases they may bring into their financial decision-making.

In previous articles, we gave a brief description of the Judging individual juxtaposed with the Perceiving counterpart and offered a ten thousand foot view of their communication styles and tendencies toward certain economically irrational thought processes. Determining if a client is more aligned with the Judging or Perceiving preference gives advisors two huge pieces of information about how best to work with them. Stated very simplistically:

1) The Judging individual prefers a more rigid and structured life and will focus on making decisions when asked to. He or she may even jump to conclusions before the time has come.

2) The Perceiving counterpart would be expected to be more flexible. He or she prefers to take in information rather than focus on making decisions, which makes them more open to guidance. It also makes them more likely to over-analyze.

Justin A. Reckers, CFP, CDFA, AIF is director of financial planning at Pacific Wealth Management www.pacwealth.com and managing director of Pacific Divorce Management, LLC www.pacdivorce.com, in San Diego.

Robert A. Simon, Ph.D. www.dr-simon.com is a forensic psychologist, trial consultant, expert witness, and alternative dispute resolution specialist based in Del Mar, Calif.

The author is a freelance contributor to MorningstarAdvisor.com. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect the views of Morningstar.
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