financial services

Five Questions With: Casey Bond

Posted 6/25/13

Casey Bond is the managing editor for national personal finance for www.GoBankingRates.com and is responsible for ensuring readers are given engaging, relevant and timely personal finance content on a daily basis. Bond has worked in the finance industry for nearly a decade, including six years with a private financial planning firm in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Bond has a bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University and a graduate certificate in publishing from Antioch University in Los Angeles.

PBN: You’ve created the financial version of the Myers-Briggs test used in the psychological community as a tool for understanding people’s personalities and preferences. What led you to think it would be useful for banking?

BOND: Back when I worked for a financial planner, one of my jobs was to grade risk assessment questionnaires completed by new clients. Basically, the goal was to assess that client’s overall comfort with investment risk, so their portfolio could be tailored accordingly. I always found people’s answers fascinating – especially when couples’ responses were complete opposites - because the results would provide an instant snapshot of that person, including their goals, fears and strengths. I thought if everyone spent the time to really assess their own “personalities” when it came to money, they might be able to make smarter decisions. That led to this idea of creating a broader financial personality test for GoBankingRates.com readers.

PBN: What kind of expertise did you get to develop the financial test?

BOND: I’ve been writing on personal finance for years now, so that background helped provide the framework for how I thought the assessment should be put together. Of course, financial planners spend a lot of one-on-one time with clients, learning about how they think and discovering what motivates them and what stresses them, in terms of money management and investing. They’re like psychologists in that sense, so I wanted input from a variety of professionals who deal with the psychological aspect of finance on a regular basis. Several financial planners provided feedback regarding the personality types they come across in their practices and how these personalities manifest in the financial lives of their clients.

PBN: What are the financial personality categories you’ve developed and what kind of habits or tendencies do they signify, related to banking?

BOND: I wanted to follow the structure of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® which means I developed four personality categories, each made up of two opposing financial preferences or tendencies. Those categories are: debtor/saver, aggressive/conservative, planning/impulsive and giving/hoarder. The names are fairly self-explanatory, but the actual assessment provides more in-depth analysis of what each one means.

PBN: Do you think the GoBankingRates.com financial version of the test can be used by banking executives, as well as customers?

BOND: I think the test can be useful for anyone who wants to gain some insight into how they view money, or how their client views money, in a broader sense, and how those views and preferences might affect the way they behave from a financial perspective, both positively and negatively.

PBN: Have you had much feedback on the test from bank customers, bank executives or your online audience?

BOND: For the most part, people who have assessed their financial personalities using this test really enjoyed the process and discovered some interesting trends in their own behavior. However, the one criticism I’ve heard is that the assessment is too simple and that it’s impossible to fit people into broad categories like these. I should point out it’s important to understand that like the Myers-Briggs or any other personality assessment, the point is not to rigidly compartmentalize people, but rather determine preferences. Of course, most people can answer “both” when choosing which financial personality types they identify with, but there’s always going to be an inclination toward one over the other.

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