The Four Tendencies: Upholders as Investors

First of all, did you take the quiz?  Click here if you want to take it now.


Upholders will have taken the quiz because I asked them to, and they are curious about themselves.  Obligers will have taken the quiz because I asked them to and, well, I asked them to.  Questioners might not have taken the quiz if the last give them enough information in the to convince them it’s necessary.  Rebels will not have taken the quiz because I asked them to, and they don’t like being asked to do things.


So, let’s start with Upholders.  More description of Upholders from The Four Tendencies by Gretchin Rubin: “Upholders readily meet outer expectations.  They are self-directed and have little trouble hitting deadlines, keeping appointments, meeting commitments, or managing tasks.  And they don’t depend on supervisions, oversight, reminders, or penalties to stay on track.”


Also, “Just as Upholders readily meet outer expectations, they meet inner expectations.  If Upholders decide to do something, they do it, even when other people don’t care and sometimes even when other people are inconvenienced.”


If I’m being honest, this is the perfect financial planning client!  An Upholder client will usually come to me and already be maxing out their retirement plan contributions, own a home and a rental to spare, and have more money than necessary in an emergency fund.  I never have to explain to an Upholder why they can’t afford their three horses when they have $25,000 in credit card debt.


Upholders are pretty easy to advise once they have decided to seek such help.  If a personal trainer tells them to do 50 squats and 50 pushups a day, they will do it.  If a therapist says, “Start a gratitude journal,” consider it written.  If a financial planner says, “Save $25,000/year” the Upholder will just say, “In which type of account?”


As a financial advisor, I shouldn’t get offended if my annual e-mail offering an updated financial plan is ignored.  It just means the Upholder is doing what I suggested and there are no issues.  Typically, if I tell and Upholder, “Don’t sell when the stock market drops,” they won’t.


The challenge with Upholders is getting them to unclench from their rigid self-imposed rules.  Upholders are the types of clients I sometimes tell to spend more and save less.  They have followed the rules and been so disciplined, when they have saved “enough” they have a hard time letting go of those old savings habits.


When I tell an Upholder, “You can buy first class airfare and stay in the best hotels during retirement,” they often reply, “Oh, I would never do that!”  Their self-imposed rules are hard to break.   This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it can open the door to further estate planning discussions if the Upholder client won’t spend much of their savings during retirement.


Tune in next week where we focus on Obligers.  Obligers and Upholders, see you there.  Questioners, maybe.  Rebels probably didn’t even read this far.



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