This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

The Great Gatsby's 5 Top Money Lessons

Money Corrupts

Tom and Daisy Buchanan and Gatsby are all enormously wealthy but are also enormously selfish. The characters are controlled by money, putting it before their relationships with others. Tom's wealth contributes to his arrogance, and he cares little about the moral consequences of his infidelity and the effect it has on his wife. Daisy is also a shallow character, marrying Tom for his riches and the promise of a life of leisure. Her self-absorption is perhaps most evident when she doesn't so much as stop after (accidentally) hitting and killing Tom's mistress, Myrtle, while driving Gatsby's car.

Gatsby, too, is a slave to money and feels that his true worth is measured by his bank account rather than his character. In fact, it seems as though Gatsby's "love" for Daisy is really just infatuation, as he is drawn to her wealthy upbringing, her popularity among other men and her fashionable lifestyle, even remarking that her voice is "full of money." Despite the luxury that Tom, Daisy and Gatsby all enjoy, none of these characters seems to experience true happiness.

'Greatness' Is Often an Illusion

Young, handsome and rich, Gatsby seems to have the world at his fingertips, but his greatness is simply an illusion. The millionaire earned his fortune through dishonest means as a bootlegger, and he tells constant lies about his background and the source of his wealth. In fact, the man "Jay Gatsby" is really a false persona created by James Gatz, the son of "shiftless and unsuccessful farm people" from North Dakota. Though radiating with charm and surrounded by luxury, Gatsby is really a lonely, hollow man. The idea that success is often illusory still holds true today (just think of Bernie Madoff and Lance Armstrong, for instance). If you look around, there's no doubt that you'll still find Gatsbys among us, and perhaps there's a little Gatsby in all of us, too.

--Written by Kristin Colella

3 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr 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

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

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!
AAPL $129.36 0.21%
FB $79.60 -0.19%
GOOG $573.64 0.40%
TSLA $199.56 1.13%
YHOO $42.62 -3.38%


DOW 18,203.37 -85.26 -0.47%
S&P 500 2,107.78 -9.61 -0.45%
NASDAQ 4,979.9010 -28.1950 -0.56%

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