The Thinker

INTP

Overview

The Thinker personality type is fairly rare, making up only three percent of the population, which is definitely a good thing for them, as there’s nothing they’d be more unhappy about than being “common”. Thinkers pride themselves on their inventiveness and creativity, their unique perspective, and vigorous intellect. Usually known as the philosopher, the architect, or the dreamy professor, Thinkers have been responsible for many scientific discoveries throughout history.

 

They love patterns, and spotting discrepancies between statements could almost be described as a hobby, making it a bad idea to lie to a Thinker. This makes it ironic that Thinkers’ word should always be taken with a grain of salt – it’s not that they are dishonest, but people with the Thinker personality type tend to share thoughts that are not fully developed, using others as a sounding board for ideas and theories in a debate against themselves rather than as actual conversation partners.

 

This may make them appear unreliable, but in reality, no one is more enthusiastic and capable of spotting a problem, drilling through the endless factors and details that encompass the issue, and developing a unique and viable solution than Thinkers– just don’t expect punctual progress reports. People who share the Thinker personality type aren’t interested in practical, day-to-day activities and maintenance, but when they find an environment where their creative genius and potential can be expressed, there is no limit to the time and energy Thinkers will expend in developing an insightful and unbiased solution.

INTP: The Thinker
Energy:

Introvert

Decisions:

Intuitive

Attention:

Thinking

Lifestyle:

Perceiving

Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses
Introspective Over- Analyzes Seeks Patterns Uses hunches or gut feelings Clear goals and objectives Non-flexible Adaptable Last-minute analysis
Informed Decisions Hesitates to make decisions Likes Charts and Indicators Looks for things that support a bias Logical Analysis Skeptical Curious about learning Spontaneous
Wants to understand Doesn’t work well with others Looks for relationships Objectivity Thinks too much on winning trades Wants to know all Wants to know all
Thorough Top-Down Approach Takes advice Unsure

Trading Strengths

  • Great Analysts and Abstract Thinkers – People with the Thinker personality type view the world as a big, complex machine, and recognize that as with any machine, all parts are interrelated. Thinkers excel in analyzing these connections, seeing how seemingly unrelated factors tie in with each other in ways that bewilder most other personality types.  As traders, Thinkers work to understand and analyze the markets, often finding and relying on correlations among different markets.
  • Imaginative and Original – These connections are the product of an unrelenting imagination – Thinkers’ ideas may seem counterintuitive at a glance, and may never even see the light of day, but they will always prove remarkable innovations.  As traders, Thinkers tend to build complex, rule-based trading systems that other personality types often have difficulty understanding.
  • Open-Minded – Thinkers couldn’t make these connections if they thought they knew it all – they are highly receptive to alternate theories, so long as they’re supported by logic and facts. In more subjective matters like social norms and traditions, Thinkers are usually fairly liberal, with a “none of my business” sort of attitude – peoples’ ideas are what matter.  Thinker traders are happy to incorporate other signals and systems into their own trading, provided those signals and systems are based on logic and have a proven track record.
  • Enthusiastic – When a new idea piques their interest, Thinkers can be very enthusiastic – they are a reserved personality type, but if another person shares an interest, they can be downright excited about discussing it. More likely though, the only outward evidence of this enthusiasm will be Thinkers’ silent pacing or their staring into the distance.  While often keeping their trading plans to themselves, once you show genuine interest in how a Thinker is trading, you can expect an in-depth discourse.
  • Objective – Thinkers’ analysis, creativity, and open-mindedness aren’t the tools of some quest for ideology or emotional validation. Rather, it’s as though people with the Thinker personality type are a conduit for the truths around them, so far as they can be expressed, and they are proud of this role as theoretical Dreamer.  This strength allows Thinker traders to be utterly ruthless with aspects of their trading plans when they no longer work.
  • Honest and Straightforward – To know one thing and say another would be terribly disingenuous – Thinkers don’t often go around intentionally hurting feelings, but they believe that the truth is the most important factor, and they expect that to be appreciated and reciprocated.  Coupled with their objectivity, these traders are excellent at analyzing their trading habits and will openly discuss alternatives with others they view as experts.

Imaginative and curious, Thinker personalities can find endless fascination in the workings of their own mind.

Trading Weaknesses

  • Very Private and Withdrawn – While Thinkers’ intellectualism yields many insights into their surroundings, their surroundings are ironically considered an intrusion on their thoughts. This is especially true with people – Thinkers are quite shy in social settings. More complicated situations such as parties exacerbate this, but even close friends struggle to get into Thinkers’ hearts and minds.  In trading, this can make building a coaching relationship very difficult and puts the coach in the position of having to build “street cred” with the trader before any meaningful mentoring or sharing of ideas can begin.
  • Insensitive – Oftentimes Thinker personalities get so caught up in their logic that they forget any kind of emotional consideration – they dismiss subjectivity as irrational and tradition as an attempt to bar much-needed progress. Purely emotional situations are often utterly puzzling to Thinkers, and their lack of timely sympathy can easily offend.  In trading, this insensitivity makes it difficult for Thinkers to trade with trading partners or to act as mentors to beginning traders.
  • Absent-minded – When Thinkers’ interest is captured, their absence goes beyond social matters to include the rest of the physical world. Thinkers become forgetful, missing even the obvious if it’s unrelated to their current infatuation, and they can even forget their own health, skipping meals and sleep as they muse.  With respect to trading, this can sometimes lead to Thinkers ignoring active positions as they research the next trend or system they are developing.
  • Condescending – Attempts at connecting with others are often worse than Thinkers’ withdrawal. People with the Thinker personality type take pride in their knowledge and rationale and enjoy sharing their ideas, but in trying to explain how they got from A to B to Z, they can get frustrated, sometimes simplifying things to the point of insult as they struggle to gauge their conversation partners’ perspective. The ultimate insult comes as Thinkers give up with a dismissive “never mind”.  In trading, this adds an additional aspect to coaching Thinker traders, as the coach needs to understand the processes and systems the traders are using in order to analyze weaknesses and errors.
  • Loathe Rules and Guidelines – These social struggles are partly a product of Thinkers’ desire to bypass the rules, of social conduct and otherwise. While this attitude helps Thinkers’ strength of unconventional creativity, it also causes them to reinvent the wheel constantly and to shun security in favor of autonomy in ways that can compromise both.  Thinkers can abandon completely functional and profitable trading systems and styles if they develop too many rules.  Additionally, Thinkers can silently seethe if they are trading outside capital with rules or supervision attached to that capital.
  • Second-Guess Themselves – Thinkers remain so open to new information that they often never commit to a decision at all. This applies to their own skills as well – Thinker personalities know that as they practice, they improve, and any work they do is second-best to what they could do. Unable to settle for this, Thinkers sometimes delay their output indefinitely with constant revisions, sometimes even quitting before they ever begin.  This analysis paralysis is not so much a problem in trade entry, but it can be catastrophic in trade exits, especially if market turmoil has thrown their carefully crafted plans into disarray.

For Thinkers, the best conversations are like brainstorming sessions, with plenty of room for unconventional thoughts and off-the-wall what-ifs.

Conclusion

Thinkers can build very complex trading systems with interconnected, and sometimes esoteric trading signals.  Their desire to hone their craft and understand complex relationships leads to constant evaluation and refinement of their plans, increasing profitability.  However, their inability to share the inner workings of their systems with people they view as intellectually inferior makes them difficult to coach without the coach first demonstrating an equally keen intellect and a genuine understanding of the Thinker’s system.  Thinkers are open to receiving outside views in an effort to generate a deeper understanding of the markets but can fail to take action and execute a plan if they receive too much information.  

 

Thinkers are best suited to running their own portfolios and should hesitate to run outside capital unless the investors are comfortable with what the Thinker would describe as a “black box” system.  This characterization of the system isn’t to necessarily imply any confidential proprietary process, but more to reflect the Thinker’s annoyance at having to describe the inner workings of the system to people without the background to understand it.  Additionally, Thinkers will silently chafe against any trading restrictions they deem unnecessary or counter to their plan.

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