Even after strengthening your financial intelligence, personality pitfalls may still threaten you and your money.

Laziness and arrogance are two such pitfalls, because they can work against you in less-than-obvious ways.

We often think of laziness as slouching around and doing nothing, but in fact laziness does not necessarily mean inactivity; it can also be avoiding things that should be done.

For example, imagine a businessman who works over 60 hours a week. To the outside observer, he is not lazy at all. However, by working such late nights, he has alienated his family. He has already seen the signs of trouble at home, but, rather than addressing them, he buries himself in work. In short, he is being lazy: he is avoiding what he should be doing, and will likely suffer the consequences in the form of a costly divorce.

Similarly, arrogance can be a devastating weakness. Contrary to the usual definition, in the case of financial ruin it can be defined as “ignorance plus ego”; a combination of poor financial knowledge and an ego too proud to admit it.

Arrogance is a particularly dangerous flaw when you make investments. For example, some stock-brokers will try to feed the arrogant side of you to sell you more shares and maximize their own commission. They’re like dishonest used-car salesmen; they boost your ego with the positives of an investment while keeping you ignorant about its negatives.

So even if you become a financial genius, keep these personality pitfalls in check. This way, you are much more likely to avoid financial ruin.

Laziness and arrogance can drive even financially knowledgeable people to poverty.