The age of the online and offline scammer is well and truly upon us. Inventing Anna is yet another story based on the real-life fake heiress, Anna Sorokin. The show is a fictionalised account of how the young lady defrauds the glitterati and social elite, as well as some high-profile bankers and financiers into seemingly almost provide her with loans of up to twenty million dollars.
From creating falsified bank statements, running up hotel bills and duping other into provide their credit card details to finance them, and creating overdraft facilities to fund other debts, Anna was arrested, charged and has since served her time in prison. This nine-part Netflix series is well worth a watch.
While this is just another warning story in a long-list of series including the Fyre Festival documentary, the Tinder Swindler and Bad Blood, there are specific lessons when it comes to our personal finances that we can draw from Inventing Anna. This week I explore the top personal finance lessons to share with you.
- Avoid self-limiting beliefs when it comes to your goals
When it comes to what truly matters to you, and what you’re setting out to achieve, it’s important to avoid self-limiting beliefs. In the Netflix series, Anna is determined to set up her Anna Delvey Foundation, and whilst a fictionalised account of her life, it is clear that she has no doubt that she will achieve her goals.
When it comes to setting our own personal financial goals, whether it be to buy your first home, retire in the south of France, or even starting your own charitable foundation, the first step when it comes to any goals is to believe that it can be achieved. By reminding yourself of what your goals are and that they’re impossible, it is much easier to remain on track and motivated to achieve them.
- Tread with caution when it comes to private equity
In the Netflix series, we see that Anna gets remarkably close to securing her funding from two major financiers, and whilst there was a due diligence step that she couldn’t pass, it also highlights that just because a major institution invests in something does not mean that you should, or that there is any certainty to the success of such an investment.
Whenever it comes to private equity investment, or any investment that is not in a listed investment vehicle, such as shares, exchange-traded funds, or other exchange-traded products, it’s important to do your due diligence, and ensure that you’re considering all of the risks present.
- Don’t be afraid to dream BIG
Whatever your goals may be, whether owning a professional sports team, buying your favourite car, or a holiday house in your dream destination, don’t be afraid to dream big. For Anna Sorokin, it was to set up the Anna Delvey Foundation, at a prestigious New York location, and for someone who didn’t come from money, this was certainly a big dream for her, particularly if she’d accomplished it.
Many people, particularly with time on their side, are often surprised at just how achievable their goals can be. If you’re in your 30’s or 40’s and considering your retirement goals, and starting to think that you might need to reduce your goals or dream smaller, start exploring your options here. You may find that there are small tweaks you can make to your own finances to get yourself on track to achieving your goals.
I’m sure there will be many more stories of ‘Anna Sorokin’-type personalities over the years to come, and no doubt we’ll see this turned into fictionalised accounts on services such as Netflix as we have in this case. I, for one, look forward to the next and delving into what lessons we can take away when it comes to our own financial goals and overall personal finances.
To Your Financial Success!
Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Fee-Based Financial Planner with Australian Expatriate Group of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to Australian professionals in Singapore. Jarrad Brown is an Authorised Representative of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd – No: 200305462G | MAS License No: FA100035-3
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*Please note that Jarrad Brown is not a tax agent or accountant and none of the content outlined here should be taken as personal advice. You should consult your tax agent and financial adviser to review your current personal finances and financial goals to consider whether this strategy is appropriate for you.