The Advocate

INFJ

Overview

The Advocate personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. Advocates have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is that they are not idle dreamers. These individuals are capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.

People with this personality type tend to see helping others as their purpose in life. Advocates can often be found engaging in rescue efforts and doing charity work. However, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.

INFJ: The Advocate
Energy:

Introvert

Decisions:

Intuitive

Attention:

Feeling

Lifestyle:

Judging

Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses
Introspective Over- Analyzes Seeks Patterns Uses hunches or gut feelings Market Psychology Feelings enter trades Decisive Non-flexible
Informed Decisions Hesitates to make decisions Likes Charts and Indicators Looks for things that support a bias In tune with Markets Emotional Trading Self-starters Doesn’t take advice
Wants to understand Doesn’t work well with others Looks for relationships Big Picture Ignores data/facts Takes action quickly Slow to learn new things/ concepts
Thorough Top-Down Approach Understands “why” Eternal Optimism Trades the plan

Trading Strengths

  • Creative – Combining a vivid imagination with a strong sense of compassion, Advocates use their creativity to resolve not technical challenges, but human ones. People with the Advocate personality type enjoy finding the perfect solution for someone they care about. This strength makes them excellent counselors and advisors.  In trading, this creativity and compassion often allows Advocates to focus in on the psychology of the markets; what institutional portfolio managers are feeling as a group and how it will affect their investment decisions moving forward.  In this regard, Advocates can be seen to be uncannily “in-tune” with the markets.
  • Insightful – Seeing through dishonesty and disingenuous motives, Advocates step past manipulation and sales tactics and into a more honest discussion. Advocate personalities see how people and events are connected. They are then able to use that insight to get to the heart of the matter.  In the markets, this insight, coupled with creativity, allows Advocates to identify tradeable patterns, often in their nascent stages.
  • Inspiring and Convincing – Speaking in human terms, not technical, Advocates have a fluid, inspirational writing style that appeals to the inner idealist in their audience. Advocates can even be astonishingly good orators, speaking with warmth and passion. This is especially true if they are proud of what they are speaking for.  In trading, once they master the craft, Advocates can be trained to be coaches and mentors.
  • Decisive – Advocates’ creativity, insight, and inspiration are able to have a real impact on the world. This is because they are able to follow through on their ideas with conviction, willpower, and the planning necessary to see complex projects through to the end. People with the Advocate personality type don’t just see the way things ought to be; they act on those insights.  In trading, Advocates benefit from following a technical, trend-following approach.  While this approach follows a logical framework, the Advocate will need to have a more liberal discretionary component in a trading plan to placate the need for creativity and to capitalize on insight and inspiration.
  • Determined and Passionate – When Advocates come to believe that something is important, they pursue that goal with a conviction and energy that can catch others off-guard. Advocates will rock the boat if they must. Not everyone likes to see this, but their passion for their chosen cause is an inseparable part of the Advocate personality.  In trading, under the proper tutelage, this determination and passion allows Advocates to create trading plans and systems in a complete package, fleshing out details that other personality types may not consider important.
  • Altruistic – These strengths are used for good. Advocates will not engage in any actions or promote beliefs just to benefit themselves. They have strong beliefs and take the actions that they do because they are trying to advance an idea that they truly believe will make the world a better place.  In trading, Advocates can make good coaches and mentors for newer traders, willing to step in and assist someone in a struggle.

Trading Weaknesses

  • Sensitive – When someone challenges or criticizes Advocates’ principles or values, they are likely to receive an alarmingly strong response. People with the Advocate personality type are highly vulnerable to criticism and conflict. Questioning their motives is the quickest way to their bad side.  In trading, this aspect makes accepting coaching or a critique of a trading plan a very sensitive topic.  As their trading systems represent a culmination of their principles and values, Advocates view a critique or identification of a flaw in their plan as an attack on their values.  
  • Extremely Private – Advocates tend to present themselves as the culmination of an idea. This is partly because they believe in this idea, but also because Advocates are extremely private when it comes to their personal lives. They use this image to keep themselves from having to truly open up, even to close friends. Trusting a new friend can be even more challenging for Advocates.  In trading, this value of privacy, coupled with their sensitivity makes coaching an Advocate difficult at times.  To be effective, a coach needs to take the time to build trust on a personal, rather than professional level first and then move on to assist in a professional capacity.  During significant life events when moving a portfolio to cash is the best and most logical position, Advocates will likely attempt to keep these life events private, denying themselves access to valuable advice.
  • Perfectionistic – Advocate personalities are all but defined by their pursuit of ideals. While this is a wonderful quality in many ways, an ideal situation is not always possible – in politics, in business, in romance. Advocates too often drop or ignore healthy and productive situations and relationships, always believing there might be a better option down the road.  In trading, this can cause Advocates to forego a profitable trade with a slightly messy set-up, or more importantly, miss a reasonable exit point in favor of a possible better (more profitable) exit, only to have the trade roll over into an even worse position.  In creating trading plans and systems, Advocates run the risk of getting three steps from the finish line and then hitting a wall as they make innumerable, minute changes to the plan in pursuit of perfection.  Advocates at this point may figuratively need a kick in the pants to push them into live trading with a plan at the 99% stage.
  • Always Need to Have a Cause – Advocate personalities get so caught up in their pursuits that any of the cumbersome tasks that come between them and their ideal vision are deeply unwelcome. Advocates like to know that they are taking concrete steps toward their goals. If routine tasks feel like they are getting in the way – or worse yet, there is no goal at all – they will feel restless and disappointed.  In trading, Advocates do well in trending markets, but on average do worse than other personality types during listless sideways markets.  The need to have a cause, to be moving with purpose in a direction, causes them to attempt to force a directional trade rather than capitalize on a non-directional strategy or keep the portfolio in cash, and this often causes unnecessary losses.
  • Can Burn Out Easily – Their passion, impatience for routine maintenance, idealism, and extreme privacy tend to leave Advocates with few options for letting off steam. People with this personality type are likely to exhaust themselves in short order if they don’t find a way to balance their ideals with the realities of day-to-day living.  When trading the markets, Advocates can fall into a cycle of frenetic but profitable activity and then suffer outsized losses when the pace becomes too much to sustain and they leave their portfolios unattended as they recuperate.

Conclusion

The creativity and insight of Advocates allows them to understand the psychological underpinnings of the markets.  Able to put themselves in the place of the institutional decision-makers, with the proper fundamental training and mentoring, Advocates will often find themselves in tune with the ebb and flow of the markets.  Their decisiveness and determination empower them to create complete trading systems using a logical framework, but also with a more liberal discretionary component that takes advantage of their market understanding and intuition.  

Care must be taken, as an Advocate new to trading will have a tendency to rely more heavily on their “feel” of the market than is historically profitable, initially neglecting the logical technical action in the market.  Advocates require a knowledgeable and compassionate coach or mentor to guide them toward a proper mix of creativity within the logical framework of a trading plan.  Advocates must remember that any advice or critiques of their plan are not a personal attack on them, but necessary advice that improves and advances the path to their goals.

Advocates may have to take the uncomfortable step of developing a personal relationship with their coach or support staff so that during times of personal turmoil, common in any life, they can communicate the troubles to the support team.  In a good organization, this should trigger additional oversight and the possible recommendation, delivered gently, that the trader should go to cash until the life event plays out.

Hand in hand with this concept, by developing a relationship of trust with their support team, Advocates will likely benefit from a final “push” when making the transition from training to live trading.  Seeking perfection is a goal, not necessarily a destination, and when an Advocate hits the wall of seeking perfection, a good support team will pull the trader across the line and into the realm of live trading.

As uncomfortable as it may be, Advocates should avoid trading in sideways or directionless markets.  Additionally, Advocates often benefit from scheduling periodic breaks from trading to keep from getting burnt out.

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