The Composer

ISFP

Overview

Composer personalities are true artists, but not necessarily in the typical sense where they’re out painting happy little trees. Often enough though, they are perfectly capable of this. Rather, it’s that they use aesthetics, design and even their choices and actions to push the limits of social convention. Composers enjoy upsetting traditional expectations with experiments in beauty and behavior – chances are, they’ve expressed more than once the phrase “Don’t box me in!”

ISFP: The Composer
Energy:

Introvert

Decisions:

Sensing

Attention:

Feeling

Lifestyle:

Perceiving

Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses
Introspective Over- Analyzes Detail- Oriented Over- Analyzes Market Psychology Feelings enter trades Adaptable Last-minute analysis
Informed Decisions Hesitates to make decisions Linear Hesitant to make decisions In tune with Markets Emotional Trading Curious about learning Spontaneous
Wants to understand Doesn’t work well with others Organized Stubborn Big Picture Ignores data/facts Wants to know all Wants to know all
Thorough Structured Research Reluctant to admit failure or learn from error Understands “why” Eternal Optimism Takes advice Unsure

Trading Strengths

  • Charming – People with the Composer personality type are relaxed and warm, and their “live and let live” attitude naturally makes them likable and popular.  Composer’ charming nature adds to the effectiveness of the team, but the Composer themselves will largely trade on their own.
  • Sensitive to Others – Composers easily relate to others’ emotions, helping them to establish harmony and goodwill, and minimize conflict.  In trading, this sensitivity allows them to understand market psychology and the big picture, putting them in tune with market action.
  • Imaginative – Being so aware of others’ emotions, Composer personalities use creativity and insight to craft bold ideas that speak to people’s hearts. While it’s hard to explain this quality on a resume, this vivid imagination and exploratory spirit help the Composer in unexpected ways.  This imagination coupled with sensitivity allows Composers to see and understand correlations and causalities between markets, which further allows them to trade multiple asset classes.
  • Passionate – Beneath Composer’s quiet shyness beats an intensely feeling heart. When people with this personality type are caught up in something exciting and interesting, they can leave everything else in the dust.  In trading, this passion translates into confidence in positions and the ability to sit through short-term volatility and allow the trades to play out naturally.
  • Curious – Ideas are well and good, but the Composer needs to see and explore for themselves whether their ideas ring true. Work revolving around the sciences may seem a poor match for their traits, but a boldly artistic and humanistic vision is often exactly what research needs to move forward – if Composers are given the freedom they need to do so.  In trading, this curiosity leads Composer to explore different instruments, trading tactics, and markets.  This willingness to try different tactics quickly gives the Composer an extensive toolbox of techniques to use in different setups and market conditions.

Composers always know just the compliment to soften a heart that’s getting ready to call their risks irresponsible or reckless.

Trading Weaknesses

  • Fiercely Independent – Freedom of expression is often the Composer’s top priority. Anything that interferes with that, like traditions and hard rules, creates a sense of oppression for Composer personalities. This can make more rigidly structured academics and work a challenge.  In trading, this independence and comfort in a more free-flowing learning environment leads to a broad base of knowledge but can have the unfortunate side effect of leaving large gaps in basic trading knowledge.  Situations that could have been identified and avoided with basic education turn into hard and expensive lessons in live trading.
  • Unpredictable – Composers dislike long-term commitments and plans. The tendency to actively avoid planning for the future can cause strain on Composer’s romantic relationships and financial hardship later in life.  In trading, this dislike of long-term commitments tends to force Composer into day trading and short-term swing trading, unable to take advantage of the profits generated from longer term trends.  Additionally, this unpredictability can lead to a trader abandoning exit or stop-loss criteria and failing to capitalize on profits or incur excessive losses.
  • Easily Stressed – Composers live in the present, full of emotion. When situations get out of control, people with this personality type can shut down, losing their characteristic charm and creativity in favor of gnashing teeth.  Multiple positions beginning to move against the Composer trader can cause an emotional, apoplectic shutdown where no positions are liquidated, and reasonable, expected losses can snowball into outsized or catastrophic losses.
  • Overly Competitive – Composers can escalate small things into intense competitions, turning down long-term success in their search for glory in the moment, and are unhappy when they lose.  If a Composer decides to trade in a team, any coaching support needs to take this competitive nature into account and continually refocus the trader on improving the portfolio returns rather than comparing short-term performance with another trader.  This desire to win contributes to increasing position sizes in an attempt to capture a short-term windfall rather than managing risk in the long term.
  • Fluctuating Self-Esteem – It’s demanded that skills be quantified, but that’s hard to do with the Composer’s strengths of sensitivity and artistry. Composers’ efforts are often dismissed, a hurtful and damaging blow, especially early in life. Composers can start to believe the naysayers without strong support.  This fluctuating self-esteem and sensitive nature mean that the trader’s feelings can enter trades and the trader is vulnerable to emotional or revenge trading.

Conclusion

Introspective and imaginative, the Composers often find themselves in tune with the psychology of the markets and can identify changes in trends and sector rotation often before purely linear technical analysis confirms the shift.  Their passion and curiosity lead them to develop wide and deep toolboxes of trading techniques, giving them many options to capitalize on individual trade setups as well as when constructing entire portfolios.

This passion and faith in a linear thought process allow the Composer traders to sit through intermittent volatility within their positions, the noise of trading, and capitalize on the larger trend when many other more rigid traders would have been stopped out of their positions or scared away from the trade.

Their fierce independence gives them faith in their analysis, but their aversion to highly structured learning often leads directly to significant gaps in basic trading knowledge, requiring lessons that more structured traders learn in a class-like environment to be learned via losses in live trading.  

Being easily stressed, the Composer runs a risk of freezing when multiple trades go against them at the same time, potentially exacerbating losses.  For long-term success, the Composer should be paired with an active Risk Manager who will step in and liquidate losing positions if the Composer suffers crippling apoplexy.

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