It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic Christmas movie. It was filmed in 1946 and is set in the teens and twenties of the 1900’s. This past weekend I watched It’s a Wonderful Life again, but this time it was in color and high-definition (HD).
As a result of the color and HD, I found myself paying more attention to everything in the movie. It was if I never had watched it before. Reflecting back on the experience, I see a number of great investment and general fiscal management lessons that appear in the movie.
If you’ve watched the movie before, you know a large part of the movie revolves around the town’s savings and loan business (bank). During the movie a run on the bank occurs. The lobby is packed with customers demanding their money. In an attempt to convince and educate the customers as to why they don’t want to with draw all their funds, George Bailey (main character), appeals to the groups communal senses. Within a few short breaths he conveys key fundamental principles about how banking works. The saver’s dollar is in the loan of another borrower. The savings aren’t static, they are dynamic and at work throughout the community in new housing construction and business operations. It’s amazing to see that which could be explained in a very complex manner be explained with such clarity and simplicity.
The point above hit me like a breath of fresh air. Not so much that the message was simple, passionate and informative, but it put in proper perspective the role and need of the saver within society. Today the idea of saving is too often vilified and painted as the activity that’s holding down economic progress. Outside of firing up the printing press and dropping money from helicopters, where do lenders find the capital to borrow? Savers.
The second part of the movie that stuck with me was the conclusion. In the end George Bailey is provided the opportunity to see the world as if he never existed. The change screams opportunity. You, whether it be investing, or some other area in your life have the ability to take action. You have the ability to craft your future. Doing so takes work, but it’s possible.
Investing in the market isn’t easy. Beating the market is a feat even most ‘experts’ have trouble with. Yet, it can be done. Through research, observation and most importantly being disciplined, you can overcome that which impairs you.
Where do you start? Well, find a good resource. Let’s say for example Barron’s online or Investors.com and dedicate yourself to reading a certain number of article or specific section every day. Every day that passes you’ll not only learn more, but you’ll start putting more aspects together. That which was so daunting at first will seem less with each passing day.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.