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5 Financial Lessons From Movie 'Up'

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UP poster from Peter E. Lee at http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldpatterns/3828012435/ Watching the funny and engaging movie 'Up', I was struck by how much I identified with the way it depicted life. Its ups and downs and with the contrasting stark reality side by side with the magic of it. These are 5 lessons that I can learn from it:

1. The Importance of an Emergency Fund

The characters, Ellie and Carl tried to save for their dream to go to Paradise Falls, but kept breaking their piggy bank they had to use it for emergencies. To repair the house, to repair their car. You never know what is around the corner and it is better to have a piggy bank of savings than to live life day by day, pay cheque to pay cheque.

2. Persistency At What You Do

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Witness Russell persistence at the door of Carl's house. Carl's and Ellie's persistence at trying to save for their dreams despite one setback after another. And finally, Carl's fulfillment of their joint dreams with whatever means possible- an airship with balloons :) What will they think of next?

3. Your House is an Asset Only if You Can Walk Away From it

In a lot of property obsessed countries like Singapore, USA and Japan, a lot of people acquire houses to stay in, invest in, show it off. How many will use it as a tool to fulfill your dream and then walk away from it like Carl? Fixation with property or any one investment method or asset class is a recipe for disaster.

4. Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched

Russell losing the GPS shows the importance of not counting your chickens before they're hatched. One moment the market puts a smile on your face, the next, it is likely to wipe it off and replace it with a grimace.

5. The Heroes You Worship May Turn Out to Be the Villain

At the start of the movie, Carl and Ellie had the same explorer idol, Charles Muntz, which they idolize. In the end, he turn out to be the villain of the story. Two words- Bernie Madoff. As someone once remarked, when the tide goes down you can see who is swimming naked.

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