What ‘Downton Abbey’ Can Teach You About Money

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The ups and downs of the Crawley family contain some personal finance lessons for the rest of us.

If you’re a “Downton Abbey” fan, you’ve perhaps realized the show is not only entertaining (although many have argued the show has lost appeal), it’s also chock full of valuable personal finance lessons.

Kelly Greene of The Wall Street Journal detailed some of the most essential money lessons from “Downton Abbey” that people from all walks of life can benefit from, not just the elite. Greene wrote:

The most obvious take-away from “Downton Abbey” is to diversify investments, a lesson the earl learns after squandering much of his American wife’s fortune on an investment in a Canadian railway filing for bankruptcy. Left with almost nothing, the family quietly makes plans to sell the ancestral home, lay off staff and move to a smaller property — until they are saved at the last minute by yet another inheritance.

What else can we learn? Greene suggests:

  • Sell the massive family home so your children will not be burdened by maintaining it. And sometimes children grow bitter because they’d prefer the cash over the house.
  • Use dynasty trusts to shield the family’s wealth and prevent one person from blowing it all.
  • By all means, write a will.

Forbes offered some additional tips from the show. Among them:

  • Understand that neglect leads to misfortune. “Your financial assets are like a garden; you must tend to them regularly to reap the bounty.”
  • Luck is not a plan and you should not “count on [it] to enlarge your net worth.”

Have you learned any other financial lessons from “Downton Abbey?” And, while you’re at it, what did you think of the first episode of the new season? Feel free to share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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