Spoiler alert, if you have never seen this movie, then I suggest that you watch it before reading this post. This movie is a Christmas classic because so many people can relate to the many different heart warming themes. Most of us have experienced similar life struggles regarding our career and the lack of money that George faces in the film. This post isn’t about being like Mr. Potter, the evil, heartless, money grabbing businessman. However, if you look deep enough there are some important lessons regarding money.
1. George has a plan, he has delayed going to college until he saved enough money. He stuck to his plan even though most of his friends are almost finished college.
2. George sees an old broken down house but Mary sees the potential of it coming a home. Sometimes the best deals are not obvious to most people. Buying a fixer upper can be a good investment.
3. Despite George’s lack of education, the board members offer him a job because of his passionate speech and working experience. Employers put a lot more weight on work experience compared to education when hiring.
4. George convinces his shareholders not to panic, selling to Mr. Potter at $0.50 on the dollar isn’t the right thing to do. “Mr. Potter isn’t selling, he is buying!” Succumbing to fear is a sure way to lose money.
5. Having a good financial adviser could help you avoid making bad investment decisions.
6. George makes a large impact in his community by building affordable houses. Although it is shown in a positive light in the movie, loaning out money to individuals with low credit scores is dangerous. The crash of the sub-prime mortgage market which helped cause the recession of 2008-2009 in the U.S. is a perfect example.
7. Mr. Potter offers George an overly generous short term job offer. George is tempted until he realizes that the offer sounds too good to be true and it is.
8. George needs to borrow money to stay out of jail. Financial institutions don’t care about your character or work experience. They loan money based on your credit score, collateral and income. George’s life insurance wasn’t good collateral, maybe he should have used the equity in his home.
9. Family, friends and business associates are important sources for funds in times of great need. The key is ensuring that the loans are documented and paid back.
I hope you enjoyed reading my outlook on the money theme in this movie.