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Do You Have a Money Attitude?

You're younger than 40 years old and are overwhelmed by the myriad financial questions you have. When you do make a choice, you doubt the wisdom of your ways. You, according to a survey by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., are a "worrier."

The CFP Board surveyed 1,000 upper-income consumers (with an average net worth of $562,000 and average household income of $106,000) to find out how they approach money matters. Respondents fell squarely into three attitude groups: "worriers," "independents," and "help wanteds."

The good news is that if you identify with the "worrier" profile above, you aren't suffering financial anxieties alone. Thirty-eight percent of upper-income consumers are worriers, too. They don't enjoy thinking about money issues, yet they act as their own primary financial advisors.

At the opposite end of the spectrum sit one-third of your smug buddies. They are quite confident in their money management skills. These "independents," according to the CFP Board, devote more time each month to financial matters than the average consumer. They are more likely to be male and consider their analytical skills superior to their friends and family, and they are most likely to own individual stocks.

Somewhere in the middle are the "help wanteds," in CFP Board parlance. They tend to be wealthier than their worried and independent counterparts and save and invest a greater percentage of their household income, but they aren't shy about seeking professional financial input when they feel they need it.

So, what should you do if you spot yourself somewhere on this spectrum? Vive la difference! Celebrate your financial self-awareness.

But also take a cue from peers in the other attitude groups. Sock away money like a "help wanted," devote more time to your finances as if you were an "independent," and give a Koosh Ball to your "worrier" friends to knead and offer them a hand in gaining the confidence to manage their finances.

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