The Visionary personality type is the ultimate devil’s advocate, thriving on the process of shredding arguments and beliefs and letting the ribbons drift in the wind for all to see. Visionaries don’t do this because they are trying to achieve some deeper purpose or strategic goal, but for the simple reason that it’s fun. No one loves the process of mental sparring more than Visionaries, as it gives them a chance to exercise their effortlessly quick wit, broad accumulated knowledge base, and capacity for connecting disparate ideas to prove their points.
Playing the devil’s advocate helps people with the Visionary personality type to not only develop a better sense of others’ reasoning, but a better understanding of opposing ideas – since Visionaries are the ones arguing them.
This tactic shouldn’t be confused with the sort of mutual understanding Diplomat personalities seek – Visionaries, like all Analyst personality types, are on a constant quest for knowledge, and what better way to gain it than to attack and defend an idea, from every angle, from every side?
An odd juxtaposition arises with Visionaries, as they are uncompromisingly honest, but will argue tirelessly for something they don’t actually believe in, stepping into another’s shoes to argue a truth from another perspective.
|ENTP: The Visionary
|Uses hunches or gut feelings
|Clear goals and objectives
|Trades well in a group
|Not good on own
|Likes Charts and Indicators
|Looks for things that support a bias
|Curious about learning
|Not afraid to act
|Takes too much advice
|Looks for relationships
|Thinks too much on winning trades
|Wants to know all
|Wants to know all
|Think on their feet
- Knowledgeable – Visionaries rarely pass up a good opportunity to learn something new, especially abstract concepts. This information isn’t usually absorbed for any planned purpose as with dedicated studying, people with the Visionary personality type just find it fascinating. In trading, Visionaries benefit from a structured training program because they can become mired in a self-guided program; there’s always something else to learn. However, after completing a structured program, their predilection to self-guided study serves them well as they seek to learn new markets, new instruments to trade, and new methods by which to trade them.
- Quick Thinkers – Visionaries have tremendously flexible minds, and are able to shift from idea to idea without effort, drawing on their accumulated knowledge to prove their points, or their opponents’, as they see fit. Visionaries, with experience, can become excellent traders in fast markets and volatile markets. They are one of the few personality types that can day trade effectively, but they make excellent swing traders and are more responsive to market changes and sector rotation than some other personality types.
- Original – Having little attachment to tradition, Visionary personalities are able to discard existing systems and methods and pull together disparate ideas from their extensive knowledge base, with a little raw creativity to hold them together, to formulate bold new ideas. If presented with chronic, systemic problems and given rein to solve them, Visionaries respond with unabashed glee. In trading, Visionaries often find little-known trades early, well before the trade becomes publicized. This allows them to ride the trend almost from its inception and benefit from institutional capital finding the trade soon after.
- Excellent Brainstormers – Nothing is quite as enjoyable to Visionaries as analyzing problems from every angle to find the best solutions. Combining their knowledge and originality to splay out every aspect of the subject at hand, rejecting without remorse options that don’t work and presenting ever more possibilities, Visionaries are irreplaceable in brainstorming sessions. Visionaries are excellent at finding the best trade to fill a gap in a capital allocation model or to rebalance a portfolio. Their ability to scan, evaluate, and discard a large number of options in a short time winnows the choices until only the most statistically viable trades remain.
- Charismatic – People with the Visionary personality type have a way with words and wit that others find intriguing. Their confidence, quick thinking, and ability to connect disparate ideas in novel ways combine to create a style of communication that is charming, even entertaining, and informative at the same time. In trading teams, Visionaries actually make very good coaches and mentors for newer traders. They become the go-to people when the need arises to fill a gap in a portfolio
- Energetic – When given a chance to combine these traits to examine an interesting problem, Visionaries can be truly impressive in their enthusiasm and energy, having no qualms about putting in long days and nights to find a solution. In trading, this abundance of energy, coupled with the desire to seek knowledge, makes Visionaries excellent candidates to trade multiple instruments or multiple markets (i.e. stocks and foreign currencies).
- Very Argumentative – If there’s anything Visionaries enjoy, it’s the mental exercise of debating an idea, and nothing is sacred. More consensus-oriented personality types rarely appreciate the vigor with which Visionary personalities tear down their beliefs and methods, leading to a great deal of tension. In the case of a single trader with a coach, Visionaries need to be wary of disagreeing with a valid recommendation or piece of advice simply because they have a desire to take the other side of an argument. In a trading team environment, Visionaries can throw the team into chaos by arguing against a viable trade or portfolio strategy.
- Insensitive – Being so rational, Visionaries often misjudge others’ feelings and push their debates well past others’ tolerance levels. People with this personality type don’t really consider emotional points to be valid in such debates either, which magnifies the issue tremendously. While blunt, accurate, and logical critiques are important in trading, it takes a mature Visionary to act in a coaching capacity. Visionaries run a risk of an “I told you so” mentality if they’ve argued against a trade gone bad, even if they were arguing simply to argue the counterpoint.
- Intolerant – Unless people are able to back up their ideas in a round of mental sparring, Visionaries are likely to dismiss not just the ideas but the people themselves. Either a suggestion can stand up to rational scrutiny or it’s not worth bothering with. Visionaries can be dismissive of good ideas from other experienced traders if the other traders can’t logically articulate the reasons for a trade. They are disdainful and distrustful of “gut feelings,” even if those gut feelings are merely the way another trader articulates a nuanced, multivariable calculus to arrive at a reasonable conclusion.
- Can Find It Difficult to Focus – The same flexibility that allows Visionaries to come up with such original plans and ideas makes them readapt perfectly good ones far too often, or even drop them entirely as the initial excitement wanes and newer thoughts come along. Boredom comes too easily for Visionaries, and fresh thoughts are the solution, though not always a helpful one. Their autodidactic inclinations allow them to learn multiple strategies, instruments, and markets, but without supervision, coaching, or some other check on their raccoon-like curiosity, their portfolios can become bloated with too many trades in too many areas to effectively manage.
- Dislike Practical Matters – Visionaries are interested in what could be – malleable concepts like ideas and plans that can be adapted and debated. When it comes to hard details and day-to-day execution where creative flair isn’t just unnecessary but actually counter-productive, Visionary personalities lose interest, often with the consequence of their plans never seeing the light of day. In trading, Visionaries can invest a good deal of time in the creative framework of a trading plan or system but then execute the plan haphazardly as the yeoman’s work, the sausage-making part of the plan, is never codified, much less followed.
Visionaries strive to be well versed in a variety of subjects, oftentimes largely self-taught. While this allows them to branch out into different asset classes, instruments, and markets early on in their careers, their continual need to be mentally creative means they can lose interest relatively quickly and attempt to trade half-prepared. Visionaries new to trading benefit from a structured program provided the content is kept engaging and new concepts are continually introduced to build on the existing knowledge base.
Their ability to rapidly execute the Boyd’s Cycle decision-making process (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) makes them suited to day and swing trading as well as realigning a capital allocation model to changing market conditions, rebalance a portfolio or quickly decide whether to hedge a portfolio and to what degree in unexpected market conditions. However, their continual need for intellectual stimuli can lead to a tendency to make unnecessary corrections in position trades or longer-term investments – they have a need to poke their portfolios or debate themselves out of a profitable position.