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Financial lessons and super heroes

This summer, as in the previous four or five summers, the multiplexes were once again awash with blockbuster superhero movies. Caped crusaders are still very much en vogue, and publisher DC Comics recently decided to reboot 52 comic series in order to cash in on that popularity.

The names of superheroes and their mild-mannered alter-egos are perhaps better known now than they have ever been. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about superheroes and their alter-egos, and what financial lessons we can learn from their alter egos.

Can a superhero teach you how to make money? Let’s find out.

Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man)

They don’t come much milder-mannered than the bespectacled Peter Parker. He’s a science student and amateur photographer by day, web-slinging crime-fighter by night.

In the comics and movies, Peter’s often portrayed as a down-on-his-luck geek, but he does have steady income from the Daily Bugle, where he serves as a freelance photographer.

If we have any particularly specialist skills, like photography or web design (pun intended), perhaps you could make some cash by freelancing in your spare time.

Bruce Wayne (aka Batman)

When he’s not fighting the criminal underworld on the mean streets of Gotham, Bruce Wayne is usually found schmoozing with Gotham’s rich, powerful and elite, attending various benefits and pledging his cash to save the city.

How did he get so rich? Well most of us know he was the heir to the Wayne family fortune, and so he inherited all of his wealth. By day he acts as CEO to Wayne Industries, before donning the cape and cowl each night to take on his infamous rogues’ gallery.

We obviously can’t all inherit a fortune from our parents, but Wayne is all about clever investments – and that’s something we can do. We can all invest in savings or bonds, even if we don’t have billions to play with.

Steve Rogers (aka Captain America)

The Cap’ starred in perhaps this year’s biggest superhero movie, and has seen a resurgence in popularity as a result. Captain America’s alter-ego Steve Rogers is a puny would-be recruit for the US Army, until he becomes a candidate for a super soldier experiment which turns him into the Captain.

What can Steve teach us about making money? Well, Steve volunteered. Volunteer work can help you to network and make connections which can lead to paid work. It can also boost your resume and potentially land you a higher paid job in the future.

Tony Stark (Iron Man)

Billionaire industrialist Iron Man uses his resources to build himself the Iron Man suit, allowing him to take on a colorful cast of foes. Again, we’re not all lucky enough to inherit a fortune from our fathers, but Tony is a great example of being resourceful and inventive.

Think as inventively as you can about ways to make extra money, sell your possessions, your skills, your time or whatever else you can think of to see if you can earn some money. Don’t forget saving money too, ever heard of contents insurance? Protecting valuables is pretty important, especially to people like Mr. Stark.

Do you even like superheroes? What other heroes/villains can we learn from? Who is the closest representation of a modern-day superhero you can think of… Ryan Gosling (have you seen that body), Steve Jobs (everything that he touched turned to gold), or perhaps Kim Kardashian (she could fart and for some reason the whole world would care)?

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  1. I am a superhero comic book loving geek! The biggest problem is that comic books eat a LOT of my budget. Do you know they sell fro $4 a pop now!

    Anyway, Peter Parker is now a scientist at Horizon Labs (he no longer does freelance photography) and the reason he got that job is becuase one of his closest friends got tired of hearing him complain about money when he had so much potential to earn money other than through photography.

    The lesson we can learn here is that sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone (whether that be a job you really love that pays low, or doing something that you don’t like as much for more money) to make more bucks. People get too comfortable where they are and that can lead to stagnant income with no potential growth.

  2. Kick Ass. Invest in a sweet green leotard and you and spoil the daily lives of the rich and twisted.

    Or you could be his sweet ex-cop mentor whose time in the slammer let him get fit, save money on health insurance, and put all of that money toward really big guns.

  3. Yeah, I was going to comment that “freelance photographer” and “steady income” do not compute. I’m glad Peter Parker got a better job.

  4. I love action movies. I can get lost in the action and feel entertained. I like the Batman series. I am a huge Jason Statham fan. Maybe I have a Walter Mitty complex

  5. OK…I can’t resist this one! Two examples for you:

    Hal Jordon (2nd Green Lantern) was a “test pilot” – average salary = $138,415-$172,651. Green Lantern Corps rings require massive will power to work properly. Just like using a budget, not overspending and not being tempted to buy stuff we WANT takes massive will power.

    Remy LeBeau (Gambit) – raised by Fagan’s Mob and the LeBeau Clan Thieves Guild. Spent most of his life essentially roaming around as a Vagabond playing (and sometimes throwing) cards to make a little money. Perhaps not the best long-term financial plan.

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