This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

The Great Gatsby's 5 Top Money Lessons

NEW YORK ( MainStreet)--Does Leonardo DiCaprio master the role of elusive millionaire Jay Gatsby in the new film adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary classic? We'll let the movie critics comment on that. What we can do is impart some financial wisdom we've gathered from the beloved novel, which provides a snapshot of the excess, overindulgence and, of course, excitement of the Roaring '20s.

Set during the summer of 1922, The Great Gatsby is told through the eyes of narrator Nick Carraway, a Midwestern who recently moved to Long Island to pursue a career as a bond salesman in Manhattan. Carraway becomes increasingly intrigued by his über-wealthy neighbor, Gatsby, who throws wild, extravagant parties in his opulent mansion. The mysterious Gatsby isn't who he says he is, and as the story unfolds Nick discovers that along with Gatsby's great success are many great flaws. Other main characters, including Nick's cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her blue-blooded husband, Tom, also serve to show us that having a lot of money doesn't mean having it all.



Although the time of flappers, bootleggers and speakeasies is long gone, there's still much to learn from Gatsby and the other characters in the story. Here are our top five money lessons from The Great Gatsby that are still relevant today.

Money Can't Buy You Love

It's hard not to pity poor Gatsby. Obsessed with the idea of reclaiming his lost love, Daisy, he goes to great lengths to make himself worthy of the wealthy socialite, from earning riches through criminal activity to purchasing a sprawling Long Island mansion across the bay from Daisy's home. The extraordinarily lavish parties that Gatsby hosts--which feature "floating rounds of cocktails," buffet tables "garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre" and fashionable guests who arrive in cars from New York "parked five deep in the drive"--are also motivated by Gatsby's hope to one day win back Daisy. Daisy is, of course, married with a child and has clearly moved on since she last saw Gatsby five years earlier when he was a poor army officer. Still, Gatsby believes that Daisy and he belong together and spends many nights watching the green light on the edge of her dock just to feel close to her. Desperate? Maybe. But you've got to give the guy credit for trying.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,164.95 -251.90 -1.45%
S&P 500 1,994.99 -26.26 -1.30%
NASDAQ 4,635.24 -48.1670 -1.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs