Investment personalities: are yours and your spouse’s a match?
You would think it’s always ideal for both spouses to have the same investment personality – and often it is. But sometimes similar approaches may spell trouble, and opposite investment personalities can be beneficial.
When investment personalities conflict
Say that a couple is investing in mutual funds with the goal to fund their retirement. One spouse prefers to invest conservatively and not have to worry about the markets, accepting the need to save and invest more. The other spouse is comfortable with investing aggressively, feeling confident that a portfolio heavily favouring equities will provide higher returns over time.
There are two different ways their conflicting approaches can actually benefit each spouse. The first is by finding a compromise, which would be to develop a relatively balanced mutual fund portfolio. This way, the conservatively-minded spouse benefits from greater exposure to market opportunities, and the aggressively-minded spouse won’t put hard-earned savings at unnecessary risk.
Another route is simply for each spouse to invest independently according to their own risk tolerance. This way each has the satisfaction of staying true to their own investment personality. As a couple, their portfolios in combination achieve a healthy balance between capital preservation and long-term growth potential.
When investment approaches are alike
Usually, a couple may consider themselves fortunate when they have the same investment personality. But sometimes the similarity calls for caution.
Say that both spouses are ultra-conservative investors. Since their investments earn relatively moderate returns, they’re saving and investing more to meet long-term objectives. This couple may need to watch that their budgeting doesn’t come at the expense of enjoying life now.
A couple in which both spouses are aggressive investors needs to make sure they don’t go too far. A mutual fund portfolio that’s too high risk could jeopardize their retirement plan or other financial goals.
In all cases, by working with your advisor, you can have an investment program designed to meet your financial objectives and life goals, respecting each spouse’s investment personality.