Written by Auro WM on November 15, 2017

What’s Your High-Net-Worth Personality?

Here’s why you need to know

As a successful person with big goals, you require truly valuable financial advice that helps maximize your ability to achieve your most important personal and professional financial objectives.

That means you need to work with professionals who connect with you. Who relate to you. Who understand you well enough to really help you understand what you want your money to accomplish and why.

To get advice that works, it’s important to understand your own high-net-worth personality so you can select and work with advisors who are an ideal match.

What is a high-net-worth personality, anyway?

High-net-worth (HNW) psychology is all about understanding what the affluent want from the professionals they work with, as well as the “how” and “why” behind their attitudes and decisions about their money. Developed in the late 1990s, HNW psychology has been verified through the study of thousands of wealthy individuals. It’s also been adopted by elite, forward-thinking financial advisors and other professionals serving affluent individuals and families.

The results of this work in HNW psychology have helped researchers identify nine HNW personality types. You almost certainly fall into one of the nine categories (see the description of each personality the following page).

Why your high-net-worth personality matters

It’s important to partner with an advisor who either shares your particular HNW personality or knows how to work well with your type—and not just because it’s nice to work with someone who thinks along the same lines as you.

The fact is, working with an advisor who doesn’t understand or appreciate your values can cost you financially. If you’re a Mogul type seeking aggressive returns, for example, you’ll be disappointed by an advisor who favors conservative investments. Likewise, if you’re a Phobic and your advisor is constantly wanting to talk about the investment process and the gyrations of the markets, you’ll likely have an unsuccessful—and unenjoyable—investment experience.

The upshot: Your wealth needs to be positioned to support what you care about most in life. And you need to be able to trust the advice you’re getting, and the source of that advice. If your advisor doesn’t “play well in the sandbox” with someone like you, you’ll enjoy none of those benefits—which, in turn, could mean you won’t grow and protect your wealth according to your wishes and beliefs.



  1. The Family Steward. Family Stewards’ chief financial concern is taking good care of their loved ones. Their goals usually center on issues like paying for children’s tuition or passing on wealth to heirs. Family Stewards are often conservative financially, and want financial advisors who make them feel that their goal of caring for family is protected.
  1. The Independent. This type of affluent investor wants the freedom that financial confidence ensures—freedom to do what they want, when they want to do it. To them, wealth is a means to a desired end. They want to work with financial advisors who can give advice that will allow them to attain—and maintain—financial freedom and flexibility.
  1. The Phobic. Phobics don’t like investing, don’t understand it and don’t want to learn. They prefer to delegate investment duties to a financial advisor they trust and who demonstrates reliability and dedication.
  1. The Anonymous. These are extremely private investors who value confidentiality and don’t want to disclose their financial information to anyone. They tend to work with only one or two advisors whom they trust deeply because of those advisors’ focus on privacy.
  1. The Mogul. Moguls seek power, influence and control, and they tend to view investing as yet another arena where they can create those things.
  1. The VIP. VIPs value prestige, and usually want their investments to help them buy possessions and social respect. VIPs prefer to work with “marquee” firms that are prestigious and well-known among their peers.
  1. The Accumulator. These individuals save more than they spend, live below their means and don’t show outward signs of affluence. They may have millions of dollars, but might wear only sale-priced clothes from discount stores. Their goal is capital appreciation, pure and simple. The more money they have, the better and more comfortable they feel.
  1. The Gambler. To Gamblers, investing is all about excitement and drama—and, of course, performance results. They are most likely to believe that they can consistently beat the market, and want to work with financial advisors who will aggressively try to do so.
  1. The Innovator. Innovators like new investment products, strategies, services and trading methods. They want advisors who are technically savvy and up to speed in their knowledge of and approach to investing—and who will offer them the newest and often most complex solutions.

Keep in mind: There’s nothing inherently good or bad about any of the personality types. Each one simply reflects someone’s core beliefs and ideals about money and wealth.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This article was published by the BSW Inner Circle, a global financial concierge group working with affluent individuals and families and is distributed with its permission. Copyright 2017 by AES Nation, LLC.

This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. This information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. The material is general in nature. Opinions expressed in the attached are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of BSW Inner Circle, AES Nation, LLC, Russ Alan Prince, Karen Maru File, and book “Cultivating the Affluent: How to Segment and Service the High-Net-Worth Market (1995)”. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

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