Growing up, I loved to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. Who would have thought their personalities could be compared to finances!
First, there is Alvin. He is the star of the show and he wants you to know it. Alvin is charming yet impulsive. “Alvins” are always trying to come up with a new scheme to reach a goal. The “Alvins” of the personal finance world are looking to get rich quick. Not illegal, but definitely not a slow and steady type of person. The “Alvins” don’t have time to be concerned with budgets and spreadsheets…..BORING! They live in the moment, take big risks…sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don’t. But either way they are happy because they tried.
Alvins are all about the bling. They don’t want to keep up with the Jones’….the want to BE THE JONES’! Alvins measure success by material things and are driven by a desire to “make it big”. Alvins find pleasure reading books like Rich Dad / Poor Dad.
Simon balances Alvin out. He is a the genius of the group. He is reserved and is a calculated risk taker. The “Simons” of the personal finance world live by spreadsheets, budgeting software, analysis, research and more research. Thinking about buying shares in a particular company? Not without doing your due diligence!
“Simons” weigh choices carefully and will err on the side of caution. The idea of big risks…big reward mean nothing. “Simons” are content with what they have, are not persuaded by the Jones’ and find comfort in stability.
Theodore is the baby of the group whose innocence is part of his charm. He is loving, trusting, but also a bit naive. The “Theos” of the personal finance world are not actively concerned with tracking their net worth or portfolio. They have accounts because someone along the line told them it was necessary, but they have no idea what is in their portfolio, how much value it has, nor how to effectively manage it.
“Theos” are idealistic and want everyone to get along and want to please everybody. Even if this means co-signing for a personal loan or loaning money to a friend….Theo will do it rather than risk someone being upset with them. “Theos” have their vices, rather it is a $4/day latte or eating out every night…it’s not hurting anybody and “Theos” aren’t interested in changing.
The Chipmunks make for great Saturday morning entertainment, but I wouldn’t want either to be my financial advisor!
What about you? Do you see yourself in any of these characters? Personally, I think I’ve got a little Simon and a little Theodore.
Any characteristics I missed? List them in the comments!