Can Netflix Really Teach Us ‘How to Get Rich’?
The financial challenges that many people are facing today, such as the cost of living crisis and inflation, have led them to seek guidance from friends, family, or financial advisers. However, millions of people are turning to streaming services for financial self-help content, including Netflix. One of the most recent programmes on Netflix called How to get Rich unexpectedly made it to the Netflix Global Top 10. But the question is, can Netflix really teach us how to get rich?
What’s Being Said in How to Get Rich?
The show is hosted by Californian personal finance coach Ramit Sethi, who has a bestselling book and podcast. His basic idea is to “spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t”. He recommends budgeting and low-cost Vanguard funds for investors. Sethi warns against day trading and tells his viewers that it is gambling, not investing. He is also great on how to have conversations about money, particularly if you’re part of a couple that disagrees on the fundamentals.
But is there anything new in what he’s saying? It’s common sense advice that’s eloquently explained. For example, he emphasizes that “we will spend our entire life agonizing over $3 questions and completely ignore the $30,000 questions.”
Why Has the Show Been So Successful?
The show’s success partly comes from the inner voyeurism of viewers who want to know how much the colourful case studies earn and spend. From a drag queen in debt to a divorcee with a trust fund and a charming couple saving for a dream wedding, we get detailed information about their bank balances and money troubles.
However, the series title is misleading. This is not about doubling your money overnight or even about growing it faster. At a time when energy bills are going through the roof, Sethi’s catchphrase of “saying YES to a Rich Life” is somewhat hard to take. Perhaps it’s because I’m too British.
The reason why Sethi has won his viewers is that he delivers advice that appears to be the opposite of traditional money advice. Instead of focusing on saying “no” to save money, he encourages people to say “yes” to spending whatever their finances allow. He helps people understand the importance of enjoying the money they have, “thinking big” to “feel rich.”
Key Takeaways from the Show
1. Rich can mean different things for different people. It could be travelling two months a year, buying a beautiful cashmere coat, or picking up your kids from school every afternoon. The key is that your “rich life” is yours, and nobody else’s.
2. Childhood experiences can dramatically affect your views of money, but your views can be changed.
3. Don’t miss the opportunity to spend, particularly in the prime spending years between the ages of 40 to 60.
Sethi recommends creating a one-month, one-year, or ten-year bucket list and working out what it costs. “The important thing is that you find a way to use your money to get excited versus simply paying bills.”
- Ramit Sethi started his financial journey as “a dude in a dorm room” at Stanford University, after he lost half a college scholarship on the stock market.
- Sethi recommends low-cost Vanguard funds for investors, budgeting, and advises against day trading.
- Sethi emphasizes that spending extravagantly on the things you love and cutting costs mercilessly on things you don’t is a practical way of achieving financial freedom.
Netflix’s How to Get Rich illustrates that being rich is not only about making more money but also about adopting a fulfilling life with financial freedom. The show teaches important lessons about personal finance and spending habits that can help us achieve our financial goals and lead a more meaningful life. While the show might not teach us all the secrets of getting rich, it encourages us to think differently about money and helps us understand that ‘rich’ means different things to different people.