Update: Season 24 of The Bachelor has taken flight, with Pilot Peter Weber at the helm looking for love. Through the tears and the shockingly early declarations of love, The Bachelor franchise also provides some important money lessons. This season, we’ve already learned not to leave expensive champagne around because Hannah Ann might drink it. Here are six more money lessons you can learn from the reality show.
I have been a Bachelorhead aka a member of Bachelornation – since The Bachelor aired in 2002. Back then, I was single and looking for love and now I am married with children, at least at the time of this article’s publication.
It has been a long and fascinating journey, to say the least. What keeps me coming back to an over-produced reality television dating game show? I could say it’s because deep down I’m a true romantic. But the truth is I love watching other people awkwardly navigate intimate relationships in exotic locations while wearing formal wear.
And as an added bonus, after watching The Bachelorette for all these years, I’ve learned a few important financial lessons. It sounds crazy, but hear me out.
An expensive date doesn’t always equal romance.
Sure. Lots of the dates on The Bachelorette involve a private helicopter ride to an ancient castle. Or the couple takes a dunk in a magically-appearing hot tub in the middle of the woods, followed by a private concert performed by some B-level country star.
Don’t get me wrong. All of this fairy-tale stuff definitely helps the couple feel like they are falling in love. But more often than not, the best connections and truest romantic moments on the show happen when the couple is simply talking over dinner, cuddling by a fire, or having an impromptu picnic. I was comforted by the realization that the success of one’s love life isn’t dependent on the size of your wallet (or private helicopter).
Diversify your portfolio.
For fifteen years, the stars of The Bachelorette were Caucasian women and the cast was 99% Caucasian men. It wasn’t until Season 13 that The Bachelorette herself was a woman of color. Rachel Lindsay is incredible and the producers did a decent job of casting more diverse potential suitors than previous seasons – although they still have a long way to go. In my opinion, this diversification was the reason Season 13 of The Bachelorette was the most interesting.
My point? Just as a more diversified portfolio may improve your investment outcomes, a more diversified cast of suitors can increase chances of better watching. No one wants the portfolio equivalent of twenty-eight white guys named Chad.
The more options the better.
The Bachelorette’s journey towards engagement is shorter than most (3 weeks) but she has a much larger pool to choose from. This is actually a great example of how you should approach your financial journey.
Sit down with the financial equivalent of Chris Harrison and take a look at all of the investment opportunities that are possible. At first, it may seem overwhelming. But if you trust your gut, you will quickly realize some investment plans are actually super sketchy. Some make big promises but have hidden fees. Others may be judgemental of your goals. Some may even ghost you when they find out that you don’t have “enough” money to invest with them. Don’t feel bad. Just send them home in a limo.
“Take down your walls.”
Over a romantic dinner or an exciting bungee jump, we often hear these words on the show. I am always amazed at how much each contestant is expected to reveal on a three-hour horseback riding date. I am not even certain that my S.O. and I have had those kinds of conversations in 8 years of marriage. But alas, there are lessons to be learned from the likes of Ben Higgins. Don’t be afraid to face your financial fears. Best to attack them head-on as it is likely to lead to a more secure future. You may not end up with Lauren B, but you should feel better about having a plan.
Be there for the right reasons.
If you’ve watched the Bachelor, you must always question whether people are there for the right reasons. The same holds true when thinking about your investment strategy. After the final rose, are you looking for long-term stability (Tanner and Jade) and someone (or some cash) to enjoy retirement with?
Or are you just looking for some quick returns and an influx of Instagram followers and a ticket to Bachelor in Paradise? Don’t be a B player who has a short character arc. It’s exciting for a brief time, but being erratic (hello – Krystal) and trying to time the market isn’t a long-term strategy and may not end well. Consistency is key. Trust the process.
Play the long game.
At the start of the season, The Bachelorette will often meet one or two guys with whom she has a very strong connection. If she’s smart, after the couple solidifies how they feel about each other, The Bachelorette will put the guy on the backburner until later in the season. Instead of spending time with the sure thing on her precious one-on-one dates she uses the rest of her very limited time to get to know the other guys.
This is a great way to look at long-term investments. Don’t waste time obsessing over the performance of a stock or fund that you know you’re going to want to hold on to for the long haul.
Add it to your portfolio, give it a rose, toss it in a group date and call it a day.
At Stash, you can create an investment portfolio that loves you for who you are.