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3 Investing lessons from Game of Thrones

Great! You just managed to stream the latest episode of the popular American fantasy drama-Game of Thrones. Yeah! We all are eagerly waiting next week’s.

Join the gang of near 8 million viewers that are glued to this show which costs about USD 10 million per episode. This bit is just to give you an understanding on how much everyone and anyone associated with Game of Thrones make. And the series has investment lessons hidden between the lines. Fan or not, here are the inevitable investing lessons from Game of Thrones.

winter is coming
No chance you would have missed this. Title of episode 1 and the motto of House Stark, it has a deeper message than you think. George R R Martin- the novelist whose series A Song of Ice and Fire inspired Game of Thrones expressed this sentiment reiterating that there are always dark periods in each of our lives. Even if things are good now (summer), we must always be ready for a dark period when events turn against us (winter). In the financial context, equip yourself for the Rainy Day. You do not want to be left bereft of a shawl, at the least, to fend the cold. You need to fend yourself against contingencies in life – a job loss, medical emergency or worse still death. Ensure you and your family is well protected to face the same.

Which is why Tyrion Lannister has far outlived Oberyn Martell. Many would remember the character of Oberyn Martell from the 4th season – he stepped in as Tyrion’s champion and almost defeated Gregor Clegane aka ‘The Mountain’. Classic example of ‘heart over the head’. But investing requires the role of one’s head over the heart. Too often, we get emotionally attached to the investments we make – the penny stock your friend recommended has dipped to half its price – but you’re not willing to let go because you’re heart has assured you that it will grow to a multibagger. So you hold your position and end up incurring a loss. Discipline is key.

Ironically, one of the most powerful members of the Lannister House, Tywin Lannister was unable to adhere to what some refer to as the motto of the House Lannister which led to him borrowing from the Iron Bank of Braavos and even turning to the Tyrells for a bail-out. The one’s who have adhered to this have enjoyed a far more respectable and loyal streak on the series.
Evidently, be it an institution or an individual, leverage or excessive borrowing has brought the downfall of many. Not only can it cause immense stress and health ill effects, it can ruin completely your planned path to financial freedom, if done callously. While debts may not be fully inevitable (eg. Home loans etc), it is essential to plan repayment in a way that would not require extraordinary efforts on your part. Remember not to stretch yourself beyond your means.

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