In the world of superheroes, Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, stands out from the rest. Instead of being super strong or firing energy bolts at people, Tony’s “super power” is that he’s a genius inventor who has a ton of money to pour into developing his Iron Man suits.
While you may never be able to bench press a bus or fire energy bolts from your hands, we already live in a world with eccentric billionaire tech geniuses working on revolutionary new ideas, so you could be like Tony Stark. We don’t have any tips on how to be a genius inventor, but we can share some financial lessons we’ve learned from seeing Tony Stark in action. They may not make you a billionaire, but they will put you on the path to financial success.
Play to Your Strengths
If there’s one thing Tony Stark is good at, it’s playing to his strengths. While he used his technological brilliance to take Stark Industries to new heights, he also used his natural charisma to sell the weapons he designed to the military. Even when he’s captured in Afghanistan, he plays to his strengths: instead of sneaking past his captors or taking them out in hand-to-hand combat, he uses his technical knowledge to design a makeshift suit of armor.
You may not be a genius inventor (or a genius investor), but everyone has their strengths. If you have a financial goal you’re trying to achieve, try to figure out how your financial strengths can help you get ahead.
If you don’t know what your financial strengths are, you can always take our Good Money Moves quiz and find out. You can also meet with our Money Navigators, who will help you figure out how to use your financial strengths.
Build on Your Existing Capital
While Tony Stark is a lot of things, he is not a self-made man. His dad founded Stark Industries, and as a result his parents were wealthy. It’s important to note, though, that Tony doesn’t rest on his laurels. Instead, he works hard to make Stark Industries successful.
While you may not have wealthy parents, almost everyone has some assets on which they can start building. You can create a budget to help prioritize your financial goals, start a savings account to shore up your financial stability, and even start investing your money to save for retirement.
Innovate and Take Chances
Tony Stark is an innovator. He’s someone who designs a new energy source to power a suit of armor in cave, and he never stops trying to improve the Iron Man armor.
He also takes chances, both in the board room and in the Iron Man armor. He completely shifts the focus of Stark Industries after he’s taken captive, and he trusts Pepper Potts enough to make her the CEO of Stark Industries in his place.
Fortunately, you don’t need to take reckless chances or come up with a cutting edge investment strategy in order to succeed financially. What you should do, though, is review your finances on a regular basis.
Reexamine your budget and take a look at your savings accounts, as well as your 401(k) and IRA. You should also find the latest information on any debts you have and make sure that you don’t have any outstanding balances. Take a look and make sure that your finances are where you’d like them to be.
As far as taking chances goes, while you shouldn’t invest your life savings in the stock market or make the lottery your retirement plan, you should look at different ways to invest your money. Check out the rates on a CD, talk with one of our member advisors about whether a money market account is a good fit for you, or see if you can refinance your auto loan or mortgage at a lower interest rate. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can really pay off.
Spread the Wealth
Tony Stark takes care of his friends. Not only does he donate buildings (and entire complexes) to the Avengers, he’s also improved his friends’ high-tech gear and even made armored suits for Spider-Man and War Machine.
Granted, it’s a lot easier to be generous when you’re already wealthy, but even if you don’t have a lot of money you can help people out by volunteering at charities or mentoring children. Volunteering has a lot of surprising benefits, including helping you stay physically healthy and increasing your self-confidence.
Volunteering can also aid you financially. You can gain career experience and new job skills by volunteering for certain groups, and you can even expand your professional network by getting to know other volunteers.
Have Fun with What you Do
If there’s one aspect of Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark that really stands out, it’s how much fun Tony has with what he does (and, by extension, how much fun Robert Downey, Jr. is having being Tony Stark). It’s a good lesson to learn.
Of course, in the real world, you probably won’t find a job you love all the time. Even the jobs most people would love to get have their downsides. However, you can choose a career where you’re happy with what you do and stay away from jobs that make you miserable.
You should also have fun with your finances. Come up with financial goals you look forward to completing, like saving up enough to get a new TV set or iPad, and when you look at your savings and investments, take some time to appreciate how much they’ve grown. People who have fun with their finances get less burned out than people who don’t. They’re also more likely to learn something new.
Even though Tony Stark is a fictional character, following his examples can lead to real-life financial benefits. If you’d like to take your finances to the next level, take the Good Money Moves quiz to get a sense of your current financial situation and then book an appointment with a Money Navigator who will help you plan out your next moves. You’re the hero of your own story, so why not make your story the triumph you’ve always known it can be?