Hollywood Lessons on Personal Finance
As the mercury is starting to rise again and we prepare for what seems destined to be a real scorching summer, thoughts are starting to drift to the best ways to stay cool. A great summer pastime has always been going to the movies, because there’s nothing quite like spending a few hours on a sticky summer day in a dark, air-conditioned room, getting lost in a movie, or , as appropriate, in your chilled living room/entertainment room, looking at a smaller screen.
But it’s not all about guilty pleasure. Some of Hollywood’s best movies and TV shows contain subliminal lessons, especially about money, and if you’re careful, you might learn a thing or two.
Here are a few. Can you suggest others?
Wall Street (1987)
This is probably the definitive “money movie”, about a young Wall Street broker who merges with his mentor, a ruthless corporate thief, and it really lays the groundwork for not only understanding the brutal underbelly of the stock and stockbroking world of Wall Street, but also paints a picture of the toxic America of the late 1980s. relationship with corporate greed, which foreshadowed the inevitable financial crisis of 2008 which had its origins in financial institutions. The film’s tagline is: Greed is good. But we know that’s not the case, right? Right?
squid game (2021)
This netflix The series that anyone who hasn’t lived under a rock knows has been one of the streaming service’s biggest hits to date. It’s an entertaining thriller set in modern-day Seoul, about cash-strapped gamblers in a game of survival with life-and-death challenges vying for a jackpot. These players have made bad financial decisions and are desperate. Money lessons abound: the dangers of gambling, the importance of insurance, protecting your passcodes, financial literacy, and spending your money wisely are just a few.
Schitt’s Creek (2015)
The premise of this fish-out-water TV sitcom is that a wealthy family, the Roses, suddenly loses their fortune when the family’s lawyer embezzles their money and they are then forced to live in a dirty little motel. ugly in a dirty, ugly little town. the father had once bought on a lark. There, they have to adjust to life without the kind of wealth they had before and live in each other’s really cramped space. A major lesson for the public would naturally be to always watch the person watching your money. Another: you can do it with less than you can imagine if you are determined to get out of financial debt.
Indecent Proposal (1993)
An attractive young couple down on their luck during the recession travel to Vegas to gamble in a last-ditch effort to earn money to pay off their mortgage and keep their house. Needless to say they gamble and lose it all. Until a wealthy stranger offers them a chance – a million dollars, to be exact – to get out of debt. But at what cost ? Lesson number one: don’t think of gambling as some sort of emergency savings fund. It’s not. Lesson Two: Make prudent financial decisions; all that glitters, as they say, is not gold.
At the top (2009)
You wouldn’t expect a Disney/Pixar an animated movie might teach a lesson about money, but, oddly, it does. Initially, Carl and Ellie are an optimistic young couple who marry and over the years, a few minutes after the start of the film, see their savings and dream of a good life being diverted by the vagaries of life, such as the old age. , home repairs and unexpected illnesses. Parents can help explain to their children (and also remember) the importance of saving money for a rainy day.
Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
Well, it’s in the name, isn’t it? The shopping addiction leaves the narrator drowning in debt. Who can identify? And even though this is a romantic comedy and Isla Fisher’s character finds a job that allows her to continue shopping even while courting a new romance, real life is no fairy tale; there is often no happiness forever. If you’re sinking into a deep debt hole, you need to do whatever it takes to get out of it. No one is coming to save you.
The HBO is a dark comedy/drama about the deeply dysfunctional family behind a successful media conglomerate that recently went public. When the patriarch’s health is threatened, all the knives come out as the children vie for control of the business. The lessons here? Oh, so much. The ultimate being, well, succession planning. Don’t wait for illness to disable you if you’ve built a family business. Complications can arise quickly within the family, even more aggravated in the event of an unexpected death.
Lamar Harris, Vice President, Wealth Management, NCB Capital MarketsRLA