Positive Personae: Categorizing Your Customers

Sample Personae: Some categories that might fit your customers.

Name Ernest


Age 45

Ethnicity White

Family status Married with kids

Occupation Call center manager

Income $60,000

Geography Dallas, Tex.

Education High school

Debt $2,950 credit card debt


Financial Stage College planning

Money personality Achiever

Account Specifics

Time in plan 10 years

Account balance $50,000

Level of contribution 8%

Risk tolerance Growth

Need to rebalance Yes

Progress to goal Not on track


Wants benefits of tax-deferred savings.

Wants to feel like he’s involved in making financial decisions.


Does not feel confident he understands his investment choices.

Conservative investor; he could take more risk.


Hard work. Loyalty. Family.


Responsible. Committed. Cautious. Family-oriented. Down-to-earth. Tends to be more introverted.

Pet Peeves

Doesn’t like overly talkative people, especially when it takes them a long time to get to the point.

Annoyed when he’s not given all the facts.

Hates it when pressured to make rush decisions on the spot.


Fishing, coaching soccer, barbecuing.

Favorite movie star

Humphrey Bogart

Favorite show

The Sopranos

Favorite Indulgence


Personal Background

Ernest and his wife, Cathy, have two kids: Alison, their 9-year-old daughter, and Michael, their 6-year-old son. Family is the most important thing to Ernest.

At the same time, he feels like his siblings resent him for the middle-class life he’s achieved. He grew up in a low-income family, and so concepts of planning for retirement and long-term savings were seen as a luxury, not a given.

Ernest has always been motivated by people who have earned their way in life. He doesn’t seek advice from others very often—he prides himself on being able to rely on his own judgment—but he watches closely how others go about making decisions, and the subsequent results of those decisions.

Financial Situation

Ernest is determined to learn more about investing, but he finds it requires a lot of work. He wishes there were a simple way to learn about investment concepts, and to use what he’s learned to manage his own money.

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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