Baz Luhrman is doing all of us a service with the release of the slick and modernized Gatsby. Many of us are familiar with the cautionary tale of unrequited love, misspent youth (and effort) – not to mention the inescapable direction of fate. However, it also confirms what I see every day in private wealth management: money can’t fix or acquire everything –especially happiness.
For people who grew up around wealth and therefore lacked any real context of financial responsibility or struggle, money is frequently a poorly understood proxy for comfort and self-worth. Financial well being, and the lifestyle it supports, often leaves such individuals with insufficient emotional underpinning to function effectively. For those who generated the wealth, their viewpoint , while very different, is also not entirely healthy: they view their earnings as having created an unbridled diversity of options and opportunity – albeit often at the direct expense of valid goals like familial harmony or inner satisfaction.
So as we all watch the glory and the glitz of Gatsby – and I am really looking forward to it, take a moment to see where you fit in: are you Nick Carraway, the rising upstart, Gatsby, the aloof pretender, or established Daisy, or the landed Tom Buchanan? Almost every emotional wealth problem flows from these characters . . . . More to come when I see the movie!
- Dana Steven’s Review on Slate, 5/9/2013
- David Edelstein’s Review in New York Magazine, 5/11/2013
- Scott Foundas’ Review in Variety