The next season of Game of Thrones has finally arrived and things in Westeros have started to heat up – or more accurately – cool down. However, as the mysteries of the North are revealed and large-scale family feuds come to a head, the question on everyone’s lips is: who will rule the Seven Kingdoms?
But in this fantasy world of money and power there’s a surprising number of financial lessons to be learnt. So we’ve taken our top contenders, broken down their money personalities and come up with some of our financial tips to help them reach their goal: the iron throne.
1) Jon Snow
“You know nothing Jon Snow”
Occupation: King of the North
Money Personality: The self-taught DIYer
There’s no denying that Jon has had it tough when it comes to establishing his position in Westeros. Coming from a poor financial background with little to no financial literacy or even inheritance from his adoptive parents, Jon has had to learn the ropes himself. This has often gotten him into unfamiliar situations and problems where he would’ve benefited from some support and advice. Furthermore, his negative experiences with financial and political institutions has fostered a sense of cynicism and distrust, meaning that he now struggles to find and take good financial advice.
First things first, Jon needs to find an adviser he can learn to trust. Ygritte had a point when she said “you know nothing” - Jon really does have a lot to learn when it comes to managing his own finances especially if he intends to unite the Seven Kingdoms. Secondly, Jon would benefit from some wide reading, improving his financial literacy and understating through books, articles and even a course. Perhaps his bookish friend Sam Tarlley can help him out.
2) Arya Stark
“A bruise is a lesson…and each lesson makes us better”
Money Personality: The Saver
Arya is the classic quiet achiever. She’s been working hard from the very beginning even against all odds. If she lived in today’s world she would’ve started saving young, opening a bank account with her parents and depositing her pocket money every week. The biggest issue for Arya is her lack of trust. While her challenging upbringing has given her a strong sense of independence, encouraging her to continue saving, her lack of trust in institutions could have hindered her from maximising those savings.
We suggest she speaks to a trusted friend to get some advice or speak with some financial planners until she finds one she is comfortable with. That way she can get a start on investing some of her wealth. Finally, considering the how the Starks have fared so far and her career path as an assassin, we’d also recommend she acquire a life insurance policy or some income protection, just in case.
3) Sansa Stark
“My skin has turned to porcelain, to ivory, to steel”
Occupation: Professional Widow, Acting Queen
Money Personality: The Delegator
Throughout the entire series we’ve seen Sansa relying on others to make the right choices for her and many times this clearly hasn’t worked out. Her husbands have held the power, leaving her with little sense of control.
However, her recent turn around in the last season has shown Sansa grow into herself. She’s realised her powerlessness and rather than being a pawn of the Game of Thrones, she has decided to play and take her power back.
The best thing for Sansa to do is to start taking charge of her own life, including her finances. A great way for her to empower herself financially is through education. Sansa should read up on how she can effectively manage her finances through resources such as moneysmart.gov.au. The key is to start small, as saving a little very often can go a long way. We’d also suggest she speak to a financial adviser, however, with Lord Baelish, the former Master of Coin, as her closest ally right now, we’re sure she can pick up a few financial tricks of the trade.
4) Cersei Lannister
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or die”
Occupation: Queen and part-time mother
Money Personality: Player
When it comes to playing the game of thrones, Cersei has it covered. Her easy access to fiscal and political resources has consistently placed her in both a strong financial and political position. Her willingness to take high risks have reaped high returns, however her reckless behaviour and readiness to use her children as pawns has cost her in the long-run. She is now bereft of children and surrounded by enemies, including former allies, House Tyrell.
To maintain her position, we suggest that Cersei considers diversifying her assets beyond the iron throne. She could consider some lower risk alternatives, such as an investment property outside of Casterly Rock, in case being Queen doesn’t exactly work out long-term. Finally, if ruling the Seven Kingdoms doesn’t happen, we’re sure with some courses she’d have a great future in high-risk-taking, big-bet-placing, hedge fund management.
5) Daenerys Targaryen
“I will do what queens do, I will rule”
Occupation: Mother of Dragons and Queen
Money Personality: The slow and steady investor
Starting from humble beginnings in season one there’s no denying that Dany has done quite well for herself. To date she has managed to amass quite the portfolio of investments, including tribes, armies and even a few kingdoms. While we can’t deny that the acquisition of a few large fire-breathing dragons has given her edge, we can say that her continuous hard work and dedication has definitely paid off and will aid her in her quest to claim back the Seven Kingdoms.
However, Dany’s financial situation does have some areas that could be improved. Her quick acquisition of capital intensive investments, such as a few kingdoms, has left her cash poor and struggling to effectively manage different stakeholders.
Dany should speak to her local Meeran wealth manager to find out how she can better manage her portfolio and perhaps even use equity from her home(s) to fund her quest for the iron throne. Finally, if she does nothing else, she should at least consider purchasing Home and Contents Insurance with extra fire coverage.
Before the credits roll…
Finally, dragons and kingdoms aside, understanding the type of person you are when it comes to your finances is vital. It gives you the power to learn both your financial strengths and weakness and what you can do about them. Whether you’re a fantastic saver or a risk-taker, when it comes to managing your money well we all have things to learn, and one of the best ways to do this is by speaking with your local financial adviser.