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Enneagram x Stock Picking (Part VIII): Type Eights
Alpha returns for the alphas. By Benjamin Tan
The book Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses human limitations and our tendencies to attribute causality even when there is none. He argues that as much we believe we can control everything in life by pulling the right levers, a higher power rules and it is called randomness. Randomness is far more pervasive and influential than what we may want to believe.
Of the nine Enneagram types, Type Eights may be the easiest to spot since they stand out from the pack – literally. These natural born leaders are motivated by their need to be stronger than others and overcome their environment through sheer willpower. For visual cues, picture the personalities of popular alpha leaders we know: Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill, and Thanos, the Marvel supervillain who is hell-bent on accessorizing himself with the Infinity Stones to reset the universe.
Type Eights: Challengers
If you respond “Yes” to most of the statements below, you may be a Type Eight:
Coming across as too intense or ambitious to others as you pursue your objectives does not concern you
You tend to make decisions quickly based on gut instincts
You enjoy taking on difficult challenges to push yourself, and you feel triumphant whenever you beat the odds
You embrace "go big or go home" as a life philosophy
You are not afraid to take charge, both at work and in social settings
Type Eights quickly accept challenges of any kind if doing so will demonstrate strength to selves and others. They enjoy feeling triumphant when overcoming the odds to emerge victorious. Willpower, endurance, and persistence are synonymous qualities with Type Eights; neither hesitation nor subtlety suits them, as either would signal feebleness. These conquerors act on gut instincts and are quick to respond with boldness. There is little room for self-doubt or inhibiting concerns over how they might appear to others in their quest for greatness.
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A Type Eight Investor: Alpha and Alpha Returns
Type Eight investors are perhaps the gutsiest of all Enneagram archetypes – they are, after all, part of the gut triad. Absent the compulsion to follow rules like Type One perfectionists or the hesitation to engage in conflict like Type Nines peacemakers, these alphas are always ready to pounce. To them, money is power and a means to an end.
Having the agency to make independent decisions is paramount to Type Eights. When it comes to money – whether it is in the form of saving, spending, investing, or donating – these leaders want to be in charge. They may or may not be qualified to make certain choices, but that is beside the point. So long as they are boss, other considerations are secondary.
This has multiple implications for their personal investing journeys. When well-informed and objective, Type Eight investors can be steadfast in their convictions and make investments based on merits but do not yet conform to the mainstream. They may be among the first to identify disruptive technologies and take early positions in verticals like electric vehicles, e-commerce platforms, fintech, and cloud computing. On the other hand, egotistical Type Eight investors can be obstinate in their views and refuse to consider external opinions, regardless of merits.
With intense energy and an instinct to act, the challenge for Type Eight challengers may be to do less, not more, even if audacity in investing may feel empowering. As Warren Buffett is fond of pointing out, the great baseball slugger Ted Williams said the reason he was able to hit so many home runs was because of all of the bad pitches he did not swing at.
Why Learning about Our Motivations for Stock Picking Matters
This is Part Eight of a series of post that I will be writing on Enneagram x Stock Picking. Below are the links to the first six:
Enneagram x Stock Picking (Part I): Type One Perfectionists
Enneagram x Stock Picking (Part II): Type Twos Investing in AMC to Save Movie Theaters?
Enneagram x Stock Picking (Part III): Type Three Investors, Successes, and Delaying Gratification
Enneagram x Stock Picking (Part IV): Type Four Investors and their Emotions
Enneagram x Stock Picking (Part V): Type Five Investors inside their heads
Enneagram x Stock Picking (Part VI): Type Six Skeptics
Enneagram x Stock Picking (Part VII): Type Seven Enthusiasts
Our best traits and core motivations are often accompanied by closely related blind spots and unhealthy biases. It is therefore important to clarify our primary underpinnings for investing in singular names, because they can reveal the specific personality pitfalls we face as investors.
To find out more about your typology, try the free test on my website.
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