House of Cards is a classic amongst Netflix created television series. I remember when season one came out back in February of 2013. After one episode I was hooked. Frank Underwood's tenacity and manipulation tactics are simply unmatched in the saga and probably would be in real life.
But how can Francis, Claire, and few other prominent characters in the show teach us how to get up, get out, and get something? To invest means to take action. Grab your money by the horns and ride that beast until your money is not only making money, but doing so effectively and efficiently.
Here is a breakdown of how seven major characters form the show can teach us a thing or two about investing.
Francis “Frank” Underwood – Determination
In life, to achieve success we must be determined. We must set goals and work hard to achieve them. We all want to relax and sit pretty later on while the money is piling up, but that's not magic trick that happens overnight (unless you win the lotto). So what is determination? It's having firmness in your purpose. Frank is the epitome of firm purpose. He truly feels his calling is to run the United States as President. What did he do? He became President of the United States.
By hook or crook, he did it. Now I don't recommend you participate in any illegal activity when investing, but the principle of doing what it takes to be successful at it is still the same. Be determined to learn about what investments are out there. Be determined to know why one investment may or may not be suitable for you. Be determined to manage your money up instead of letting it drag along. [Check out this article on "Cash Drag" from Betterment]
Claire Underwood – Patience
Claire Underwood exemplifies patience. She is an executive and fearless woman in her own right, but she is patient and highly supportive of her husband Frank. As a team, her goals are important, but seem to take the backseat at time to Frank's paramount goal of becoming President. Their marriage is more of a business partnership than a covenant, but it works for them. The phrase that pays, "Whatever it takes," could be labeled as the mantra for the Underwood duo.
But behind every strong man, is a stronger women and Claire shows tremendous strength in patience. From starting off as a non-profit executive and supportive wife to becoming Frank's running mate as Vice President, she has paid her dues with patience.
Investing requires extremes patience. Whether you're goal is short term trading or long term residual dividends, patience is key. Warren Buffett has been investing since he was 11 years old, but 99% of his wealth didn't come until AFTER his 50th birthday. Talk about patience. But Buffett remained determined and patient, and is now recognized as arguably the greatest investor of all-time.
Douglas “Doug” Stamper – Discipline
Doug, Doug, Doug. If there is anyone who represents discipline in its highest form, it's Doug Stamper. Doug is Frank Chief of Staff and right-hand man. Everyone he does is with extreme care and precision. But in order to have that kind of tact, it takes discipline and focus.
To be an investor, you have to have discipline. You have to be able to take the good with the bad and know that your moves are sound ones and you can repeat them over and over. Trusting that your research and analysis is good enough to make investments at appropriate times during your investing experience is vital. To do this, you must remain grounded with discipline.
(photo: Rise and Revel)
Zoe Barnes – Vulnerability
Zoe Barnes was the first reporter we got a glimpse of in the show when it first began back in 2013. She was just as tenacious as Frank about doing her job, until the DC Metro incident. One thing about Zoe Barnes though is that her tenacity also made her vulnerable in many situations. She always wanted "the scoop" on a big story and Frank provided that to her at will, for a cost of course. Her vulnerability ultimately cost her life.
When we start investing we are all vulnerable. We are all subject to the noise of the market and tips from people we see in the news or know personally. One thing we can't do be vulnerable to all that we hear and take it for as truth. Make sure to do your research anytime you get a "tip" from someone or some site. Also, we are all vulnerable in general in the market because it fluctuates daily.
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(photo: Sky Atlantic)
Remy Danton – Asset Allocation
Remy is the money making lobbyist of the show and dose his job well. He knows how to connect people and move money with ease from one person or organization to another. His smooth talking efforts mixed with knowledge and expertise (he's a lawyer by the way) allows him to move in ways no one else does in the show.
This "moving" that Remy performs is directly correlated to asset allocation. We can't have all our eggs in one basket and must invest in different income generating vehicles. Remy works with major companies and the White House to get things accomplished and generate income for other people or organizations.
Raymond Tusk – Power
Mr. Tusk is the modest billionaire that many of us get tired of seeing. We know he has a lot of money and so does he. Although he doesn't flaunt his money publicly on material possessions, he does flaunt it with people of power to get his way. That's why he is a great representation of power.
Many things don't happen without Mr. Tusk's knowledge and sometimes approval. His money is long which makes his words even stronger. With money comes power and as you grow your investments and money generating assets, you too develop power in ways you didn't have before.
(photo: Sky Atlantic)
Edward Meechum – Mentorship
Secret Service agent Edward Meechum does his job well. He has protected Frank from the beginning, but also has learned a lot from Frank along the way. Although he works for Frank, he gets schooled throughout the saga on how to maximize his potential.
When we are investing, it's great to have a mentor. The mentor can be a well-known investor, TV personality, a finance blogger, or someone you know personally that understands the game. The key is to have a mentor that steer you into the right directions and couple that mentorship with your determination, patience, and vulnerability; so you can develop discipline to gain power through asset allocation.
Investor Takeaway: House of Cards is an awesome show for what it is. It's a deep look into politics in front of and behind the scenes in an entertaining format. But it also teaches us great lessons on investing and how to truly be successful.
Which of these characteristics do you think you already have? Which ones do you need to work on? Let me known in the comment section below.
*taps knuckles on desk twice*
Disclosure: This editorial is by no means a solicitation to buy or sell any of the above-mentioned securities. It is merely a means for educational purposes. All investors are subject to their own research and due diligence.