What type of investor are you?
At CWM, we serve people from all walks of life, and at many different life stages. Some people are enthusiastic about investing: they love pouring over data and details, keeping up with market fluctuations, and growing their portfolios. Others feel a bit out of their depth in the world of finance, or maybe they’re navigating a uniquely new situation. And some simply don't have the capacity or interest to spend very much time on their financial planning, choosing to cede decision-making to a trusted partner.
Over the years, we’ve found that investors tend to fit into one of three archetypes based on their level of interest, historic experience, and responsibility for financial planning. We call them Captains, Navigators (or co-Captains), and Passengers.
It’s important to say that there is no right or wrong personality when it comes to managing your finances – we all tend to naturally develop roles suited to our interests and skill set. Most important is recognizing your own preference and identifying partners and collaborators to help fill any gaps, such as a spouse, friend, or professional advisor.
Let’s take a look at these three investment personalities and see where you might fit in.
Captains: Taking control
You’re a Captain if you like to be in the driver’s seat, have your hand on the wheel and steer major decisions for your household. You want to be informed and make good choices and for you, investment performance may be a particular area of interest or focus.
You’re more likely to enjoy investing for its own sake, following financial headlines, dissecting market metrics, and measuring performance against your peers for fun. Typically, as a Captain you appreciate it when your financial advisor provides detailed rationale and data to support decision-making, listens closely, and helps you vet and discuss investment ideas. For many of our Captains, direct dialogue with CWM’s investment staff may be of interest, where they can dive deep into analytics and market trends.
Historically, Captains have been the bread winning head of household; those who took on more financial responsibility at earlier stages in life. Nowadays we see Captains from all walks of life and backgrounds, based more around skill set and interest.
Navigators: Seeing the bigger picture
Next are the Navigators, or Co-captains. You may be a Navigator if you’re most focused on long-term goals and balancing performance with lifestyle. Navigators are less interested in short-term market activities and more interested in outcomes, focusing on performance only as it relates to their lifestyle goals and the success of their families.
If you’re a Navigator, you’ll appreciate your advisor clearly outlining options and sharing recommendations, enabling you to make thoughtful decisions without getting too deep into data and details. Our Thirdly events, where we share our analysis of trends in the marketplace, are geared toward both Navigators and Captains.
Passengers: Enjoying the ride
Last but not least we have Passengers. If you’re a Passenger, you may be less interested in the nuances of financial markets and opt to delegate someone else to guide major financial decisions, whether that’s your partner or a professional advisor. We see many couples where one partner chooses to take a Passenger role, directing their talents toward other responsibilities.
For these individuals, occasional meetings with clear summaries and objectives are ideal, so long as their trusted delegate is accessible if they have a question. At CWM, we also offer other ways to stay connected. Our holiday family events, webinars, newsletters, and other activities throughout the year are a great way for Passengers to keep in touch – and we are always an email or phone call away.
Not everyone has been traditionally encouraged to take on a Captain or Navigator’s role, and that has thankfully shifted as more people have recognized the need or been empowered to take charge of their own financial destinies.
While some individuals start out as Passengers, they may shift to a Navigator or even a Captain role over time. Sometimes this happens because the financial planning process sparks an interest in becoming more involved. Most often, it’s because of a life event; a Passenger becomes a Captain after the death of a partner, a divorce, or because they’re serving as the executor of a will. We’ve seen these dynamics play out in countless scenarios and helped Passengers slide into the driver’s seat with confidence. In these cases, it’s helpful to have established a professional advisory relationship before the fact – adding extra support and helping share the load during challenging life events.
At CWM, we value all of our Captains, Navigators and Passengers and one of the reasons I love our planning process is that it helps us collaborate and communicate with clients in a way that fits their needs. It’s your financial journey – you deserve an aligned financial partner to help you plan for it.
Schedule a complimentary, no-pressure phone call with a CWM financial advisor to learn if our breadth of consulting services and purpose-driven approach aligns with your needs.