Singaporeans love the Star Wars franchise. We have our very own Sandcrawler filled with Lucasfilm employees. Our Prime Minister has his own lightsabre. And there is even a garrison of Storm Troopers here to keep the peace.
With that in mind, here are some financial lessons we can learn from the Star Wars franchise as we embark on our very own journey of (financial) self-discovery and adventure!
Unlearn Bad (Financial) Habits
On the planet of Dagobah, our protagonist Luke Skywalker failed repeatedly to levitate his crashed X-Wing fighter from the swamps. “It’s too big”, he said. Haven’t we all felt like that, at some point in our financial journey. When our goals seem too huge compared to our ability.
That’s when we need to unlearn financial myths that cause us to lose heart and abandon wrong concepts that keep us stuck. Continue to unlearn misconceptions, learn based on sound financial principles and keep improving yourself day after day!
Seek Out A Good Mentor
All characters who wish to master the ways of the Force seek out masters and train under them. The teacher-student relationship is a theme that permeates the Star Wars universe. Do you wish to be a wizard at home DIY or lifehacks? Seek out inspirational and instructional blogs and YouTube channels and get started on your own projects. If you want to be a profitable day trader, look at role models who have been doing it for years and learn from them. What better way to grow and develop in your financial journey than from someone who has walked that journey and come back to tell the tale?
Beware of Scams
Jedi mind tricks persuade weak-minded individuals to do what the Jedi wants, such as deciding that those were not the droids one is looking for. In Singapore, mind-tricks are used by con-artists, online marketers, as well as dodgy (or desperate) financial advisors who try to push a product that’s bad for you but good for their commissions. Always be sceptical and think critically for yourself when it comes to what you read and advice you receive.
In The Force Awakens, Rey was offered 60 units of food in exchange of giving up the BB-8 droid. She was tempted and almost went for it before sensing something was wrong. When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Protect yourself and your loved ones by arming yourself with knowledge. You can visit this Scam Alert website run by the National Council for Crime Prevention or share experiences with fellow concerned citizens on online communities.
Do Not Be Overconfident
You would think that after the rebels destroyed their mega-sized planet-destroying space station for the second time, the Empire would have learnt not to have a single vulnerable spot that can be easily destroyed. But nope. And so the galaxy was treated to yet another spectacular lights show as the third space station gets blown up.
We might think making the same mistakes again and again is silly, but its actually quite human. How many people have lost a huge sum of money trading, yet again, using the same methods?
Having some success early on can easily cause one to be overconfident, even if it was pure luck that led to that success. After Luke Skywalker successfully shoots one down a pursuing TIE fighter, the older Han Solo quipped: “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.”
Continue to learn and listen. Don’t neglect small details. Another lesson we can learn from the repeated destruction of the Death Stars pertain to the importance of diversifying your investments. At the risk of sounding cliché: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Do or Do Not, There Is No Try
Yoda’s might be dead (or at least in holographic form) but his advice to Luke in The Empire Strikes Back continues to live on in the form of memes and influence contemporary pop culture.
If you want to save money, do it. Don’t just try. Don’t give excuses. Persistence and the absolute commitment to achieve your goals is the difference between victory or defeat.
All the best on our epic journey, and may the Force be with you!