What do the movies teach us about money?

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 16.55.12With this year’s Oscar’s gone, we reflect on what the movies have taught us about money.

We can take a positive approach to life and make positive lifestyle choices. Alternatively, we can be a Mr (or Mrs) Burns. Admittedly, the arch-villain of The Simpsons is an extreme. He is, however, a perfect example of someone who sees money as an end in itself.

It’s hard to imagine him singing “Money can’t buy me love”. Actually, it’s hard to imagine him singing at all. His problem isn’t that he has too much money. Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark and Professor X were all similarly loaded. It’s all about attitude. Some financially-successful movie characters can teach us a lot about how to manage money.

Scrooge McDuck

Uncle Scrooge McDuck is an expert at money management. His personal money is kept in gold coins in a vault. That vault is also his favourite place for swimming. Although he started out as a miser, Scrooge soon mellowed. He has stayed thrifty, but learned to be generous. Although he is never without a financial plan (or several), he stays “Uncle” Scrooge.

In other words, he always remembers to take care of his family. He generously gives unbiased advice to his three nephews. In fact, he frequently takes them with him on adventures.

His money opens up opportunities for himself and his young nephews. Although Scrooge is getting on in years, planning for care is not a concern for him. His thrift and investments have made sure that he will always have what he needs.

Gomez Addams

“No Addams has worked in the last 200 years!” Why should they when the family owns so many companies? Gomez’s business investments are highly varied. He owns a salt mine, a crocodile farm, and a tombstone factory to name but a few. It’s unclear whether is success is due to luck, skill or good advice.

Not worrying about money leaves Gomez with plenty of energy for his loved ones. He can literally afford to let his life revolve around his wife and children. Gomez probably has a longer investing horizon than mere mortals. His principals of quality and varied investments are, however, a good example to ordinary humans. Gomez never puts all his eggs in one basket – not even lizard eggs.

Bruce Wayne

Although Bruce Wayne inherited a fortune, he built on his parents’ legacy. Like Gomez Addams, Bruce Wayne’s business interests are varied. Wayne Enterprises is known to be active in such diverse areas as food, finance and high technology. Indeed many of Batman’s gadgets (including the Batmobile) are manufactured by Wayne Enterprises.

Bruce Wayne has always stayed in tune with his family’s values. At the same time however, he’s keen to keep the business in line with modern trends. Clearly he understands that traditions and modern opportunities can be happily combined. As Batman, Bruce Wayne shows his darker, serious side. As himself, he can be more lighthearted and generous. He is happy to spend his money; enjoying quality nights out and entertaining at his mansion.

After all the work his does in both his guises, arguably he’s earned the right to a rest!


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