The Dreamer

INFP

Overview

Dreamer personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, Dreamers have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the Dreamer personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration.

Being a part of the Diplomat Role group, Dreamers are guided by their principles, rather than by logic (Analysts), excitement (Explorers), or practicality (Sentinels). When deciding how to move forward, they will look to honor, beauty, morality, and virtue – Dreamers are led by the purity of their intent, not rewards and punishments. People who share the Dreamer personality type are proud of this quality, and rightly so, but not everyone understands the drive behind these feelings, and it can lead to isolation.

INFP: The Dreamer
Energy:

Introvert

Decisions:

Intuitive

Attention:

Feeling

Lifestyle:

Perceiving

Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses
Introspective Over- Analyzes Seeks Patterns Uses hunches or gut feelings Market Psychology Feelings enter trades Adaptable Last-minute analysis
Informed Decisions Hesitates to make decisions Likes Charts and Indicators Looks for things that support a bias In tune with Markets Emotional Trading Curious about learning Spontaneous
Wants to understand Doesn’t work well with others Looks for relationships Big Picture Ignores data/facts Wants to know all Wants to know all
Thorough Top-Down Approach Understands “why” Eternal Optimism Takes advice Unsure

Trading Strengths

  • Idealistic – Dreamers’ friends and loved ones will come to admire and depend on them for their optimism. Their unshaken belief that all people are inherently good, perhaps simply misunderstood, lends itself to an incredibly resilient attitude in the face of hardship.  In bull markets, Dreamers have the ability to sit through short-term volatility that would stop out positions in more restrictive trading plans, confident that after everything shakes out, they will be in the right.
  • Seek and Value Harmony – People with the Dreamer personality type have no interest in having power over others and don’t much care for domineering attitudes at all. They prefer a more democratic approach and work hard to ensure that every voice and perspective is heard.  In trading, Dreamers tend to take a more even-handed approach to the creation of a trading plan than other personality types.  In addition to technical analysis, Dreamers may have inputs such as gut feeling, emotional state, and whether a trade has captured media attention.
  • Open-Minded and Flexible – A live-and-let-live attitude comes naturally to Dreamers, and they dislike being constrained by rules. Dreamers give the benefit of the doubt too, and so long as their principles and ideas are not being challenged, they’ll support others’ right to do what they think is right.  In trading, this flexibility and open-mindedness allows them to receive input from a variety of trading styles and amalgamate that input into a flexible trading framework.
  • Very Creative – Dreamers combine their visionary nature with their open-mindedness to allow them to see things from unconventional perspectives. Being able to connect many far-flung dots into a single theme, it’s no wonder that many Dreamers are celebrated, poets and authors.  In trading, this creativity tends to produce a good marriage between recognizing tradeable patterns and the judicious use of secondary indicators.
  • Passionate and Energetic – When something captures Dreamers’ imagination and speaks to their beliefs, they go all in, dedicating their time, energy, thoughts, and emotions to the project. Their shyness keeps them from the podium, but they are the first to lend a helping hand where it’s needed.
  • Dedicated and Hard-Working – While others focusing on the challenges of the moment may give up when the going gets tough, Dreamers have the benefit of their far-reaching vision to help them through. Knowing that what they are doing is meaningful gives people with this personality type a sense of purpose and even courage when it comes to accomplishing something they believe in.  In trading, this perseverance not only helps them to create a trading plan, but their belief in their vision helps them to weather periods of volatile market action.

Trading Weaknesses

  • Too Idealistic – Dreamers often take their idealism too far, setting themselves up for disappointment as, again and again, evil things happen in the world. This is true on a personal level too, as Dreamers may not just idealize their partners, but idolize them, forgetting that no one is perfect.  In trading, this idealism often leads to a bullish bias, regardless of what is actually going on in the markets.  Dreamers may find it very difficult to short a stock or be net short in a portfolio because it goes against their natural inclinations that things are good.  If a Dreamer finds this to be the case, the only viable position for them in a bear market is cash.
  • Too Altruistic – Dreamers sometimes see themselves as selfish, but only because they want to give so much more than they are able to. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as they try to push themselves to commit to a chosen cause or person, forgetting to take care of the needs of others in their lives, and especially themselves.  In trading, this self-neglect can translate directly into unintentional disregard for their positions and their portfolios.
  • Impractical – When something captures Dreamers’ imagination, they can neglect practical matters like day-to-day maintenance and simple pleasures. Sometimes people with the Dreamer personality type will take this asceticism so far as to neglect eating and drinking as they pursue their passion or cause.  This has the potential to have the same effect on a portfolio as excessive altruism.  On the opposite side of that coin, as new traders, Dreamers run the risk of becoming so completely involved in learning the theory and mechanics of trading that they exhaust themselves on a daily basis, neglecting family, friends, and themselves until some crisis forces them to pay attention to those neglected.
  • Dislike Dealing With Data – Dreamers are often so focused on the big picture that they forget the forest is made of individual trees. Dreamers are in tune with emotions and morality, and when the facts and data contradict their ideals, it can be a real challenge for them.  In trading, Dreamers are very prone to trading on emotion while neglecting charts and data that clearly indicate no trade or the exact opposite trade.
  • Take Things Personally – Dreamers often take challenges and criticisms personally, rather than as inspiration to reassess their positions. Avoiding conflict as much as possible, Dreamers will put a great deal of time and energy into trying to align their principles and the criticisms into a middle ground that satisfies everybody.  This aspect of taking things personally makes Dreamers very difficult to coach as traders.  To get the best results, coaches must treat a coaching session or a critique as a period of self-discovery for the Dreamer, often gently nudging the conversation to the problem areas and slowly allowing the Dreamer to come to the correct conclusion.  This approach can sometimes lead to the Dreamer coming to the wrong conclusion, forcing the coach to take a more direct approach that the Dreamer will recoil from.
  • Difficult to Get to Know – Dreamers are private, reserved, and self-conscious. This makes them notoriously difficult to really get to know, and their need for these qualities contributes to the guilt they often feel for not giving more of themselves to those they care about.  The need for privacy and their natural reserve makes Dreamers difficult to coach during adverse life events that can affect their trading.  Dreamers have a tendency to bottle up the existence of significant events so as not to feel a burden to family and colleagues rather than reach out for assistance or to let others even know of the existence of the issue.

Mediators have a talent for self-expression. They may reveal their innermost thoughts and secrets through metaphors and fictional characters.

Conclusion

A Dreamer’s natural empathy and introspection allow them to build holistic trading systems, incorporating technical analysis, social sentiment, and gut feeling.  They can trade with a Top-Down Approach system, provided they are afforded the freedom to incorporate some esoteric inputs.

Dreamers do well in bull markets, as these markets gel well with the Dreamers’ largely positive outlook on life.  However, because of that positive outlook, it tends to be very difficult for Dreamers to short a stock or be net short in a portfolio, as something declining in value is generally viewed as “bad.”  Dreamers can trade in sideways markets, provided they take advantage of neutral strategies, such as those available in options trading.  

For Dreamers able to reconcile their cognitive dissonance that it is acceptable to produce profits in a bear market when issues decline in price, they may trade in a bear market, but it is recommended to do so in smaller positions sizes.  For those unable to bear the thought of making a profit while others are losing money, the best position for a Dreamer in a bear market is to be completely in cash, as holding steady is the most optimistic outlook in a downward trending market.

Coaching the Dreamer is an art form rather than a formulaic approach since Dreamers have a tendency to recoil in the face of criticism, even when constructive.  The coach or mentor must first establish, then reinforce, that both are working toward the same goal (profitability) and that discussions and critiques are a mutual effort toward advancing that goal rather than an attack on the traders’ intellect, skills, or motivations.  This is especially true when counseling a trader on overtrading or emotion-based trading.

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