What are Financial Personality Traits and How Can They Help You Achieve Financial Success?

Managing finances can be overwhelming and stressful for many people. Whether it’s budgeting, saving for retirement, or paying off debt, the constant demands on our finances can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. And for many of us, it can be difficult to understand why we struggle with certain financial decisions or behaviors.

But what if there was a way to understand your unique psychology and how it impacts your financial outcomes? Or that your personality traits play a much larger role in your financial outcomes than you may possibly realise?…

What is Personality Psychology?

Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the scientific study of individual differences in behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Personality psychologists aim to understand how and why people differ in their characteristics and how these characteristics influence their behavior. This specific field of psychology is concerned with understanding personality traits, characteristics, and patterns of behavior that are relatively consistent over time and across situations. Researchers in this field use a variety of methods, including self-report surveys, behavioral observation, and physiological measures, to study personality and its development. They also use statistical techniques to identify patterns in the data and build theories about the underlying causes of personality differences.

The goal of personality psychology is to understand the individual differences in human behavior and to use that understanding to help people improve their lives.

What Are Personality Traits?

Personality traits are enduring internal characteristics that shape how we think, feel, and behave. They are inferred from patterns of behavior, attitudes, feelings, and habits that are relatively stable and consistent over time. Understanding these traits can be useful in summarizing, predicting, and explaining an individual’s conduct.

Theories of Personality Traits

There are a variety of theories on personality traits, some that have been criticized and shown to have little scientific evidence, yet have remained popular for use in business and in mainstream media. Both MBTI and DiSC have come under fire by psychologists for their lack of scientific validation.

Other theories of personality, such as the “Big Five” otherwise known as Five Factor Analysis or OCEAN model, include five broad dimensions of personality: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The Five Factor Analysis “Big Five” personality trait model is considered one of the most widely accepted and widely researched models of personality traits.

The Five Factor model has been found to have good reliability and validity in many studies and has been used in a wide variety of research, including studies of personality development, personality disorders, and the relationship between personality and mental health. The model has been found to be consistent across different cultures, languages, and time periods, and has been used in many countries around the world.

What Makes the Five Factor Personality Trait Model So Special?

The Five Factor “Big Five” or OCEAN personality trait model is considered special for a number of reasons:

  • Empirically supported: The model has been extensively researched and validated over many years and across many different cultures and populations. This has led to a broad consensus among personality researchers that the Big Five is a comprehensive and empirically supported model of personality.
  • Predictive power: The Big Five traits have been found to be related to a wide range of important life outcomes, such as mental health, job performance, and relationship satisfaction. This makes the model useful for predicting and understanding individual differences in behavior.
  • Simplicity: The model is relatively simple, with just five broad dimensions of personality, which makes it easy to understand and use.
  • Universality: The Big Five has been found to be consistent across different cultures, languages, and time periods, and has been used in many countries around the world. This suggests that the model captures fundamental aspects of human personality that are universal across cultures.
  • Complementary with other theories: It is also a trait theory, which means that it describes personality in terms of general tendencies. It is complementary with other theories, like the social cognitive theory, that focus on how specific personality traits influence specific behaviors and environments.
  • It can be used in a wide range of applications, such as in psychology, business, education and human resources, making it a versatile model.

Psychology and Financial Outcomes

The first research studies on the link between the Big Five personality traits and financial behaviors and outcomes began to appear in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Early studies predominantly focused on how personality traits were related to different styles of investing and credit behavior.

However, it was in the last decade that the link between the OCEAN traits and finance started to get more research attention. Researchers began to investigate the relationship between personality traits and a wider range of financial behaviors and outcomes, such as saving, spending, financial literacy, and overall financial well-being.

Additionally, the increasing use of technology and the rise of big data have allowed researchers to collect more comprehensive data on financial behaviors, which has facilitated the study of the relationship between personality traits and finance.

Benefits of Using a Psychological Approach to Finance

Using a psychological approach to financial wellness, rather than just financial planning, can provide many benefits such as:

  • A better understanding of personal financial behavior: By understanding the psychological factors that influence financial behavior, individuals can gain insight into their own strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies for improving their financial well-being.
  • Increased motivation: A psychological approach can help individuals understand why they may struggle with motivation when it comes to managing their finances and develop strategies to overcome these challenges.
  • Improved emotional well-being: Financial stress and anxiety can take a toll on emotional well-being. A psychological approach can help individuals manage their emotions and develop strategies for reducing financial stress.
  • Greater self-awareness: Understanding one’s own financial personality traits can lead to greater self-awareness and the ability to make more informed decisions about money.
  • Personalized recommendations: By using a psychological approach, individuals can receive personalized recommendations based on their specific financial personality traits, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach


Managing our finances can be an overwhelming task. With so many competing interests pulling us in different directions, it can feel as though we don’t know where to focus our attention. We are told to prioritise saving, retirement and investing. If we are not in a position to do so because of debt or the rising cost of living, we can feel inadequate or as if we are failing. Which is simply not true.

Identifying areas that could be holding you back will allocate a feeling of control and overall wellness. Ticking boxes that were designed to fit a social construct that is no longer guaranteed does not equate to happiness, and can often lend itself to failure and a feeling of hopelessness.

Understanding our values and our individual psychology can help us feel less overwhelmed and guide us towards a more fulfilling purpose helping us feel more satisfied with the outcomes that we choose.

By using personalized recommendations and tips based on our unique financial personality traits, we can be more motivated and achieve better outcomes. And the best part is that it’s not just some generic advice, it’s tailored to our specific needs.

And if you want to keep learning about how psychology impacts your financial wellbeing, sign up for FinTraits’ weekly newsletter. Every week, you’ll receive actionable tips and personalized recommendations based on financial personality traits to help you achieve financial success. Don’t miss out, sign up now and take the first step towards achieving financial success.

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