Name a popular profession and you have likely seen a television show that takes you through the Hollywood version of what it’s like to hold that job. I name a series, you name the industry that first comes to mind: Grey’s Anatomy, Silicon Valley, Law & Order SVU, Mad Men, Million Dollar Listings, and CSI.
Many of these shows glorify the chosen career and create certain positive perceptions for viewers. However, financial advisors are a bit like the bridesmaids who rarely get the spotlight shone on their world. One former film critic/current financial advisor put it this way in Financial Advisor IQ: “We’re not represented. Unless we’re the Gordon Gekkos, we don’t get any attention. [Because] what we do is not interesting.”
To have an unscrupulous Wall Street character as your primary mass media representation is not exactly something to crow about. Then again, having a job that is neither provocative nor life threatening, but instead focuses on helping people gain control of their financial lives, is pretty OK for most advisors. But wouldn’t it be great to have a superhero, financial type for the public to admire?
Enter Ballers, described as “Entourage meets the NFL”, an HBO series that features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a retired football player turned financial advisor. He works for a questionable money manager who is trying to leverage the sports contacts of Johnson’s character to gain athlete clients.
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Instead of casting some mousey, stereotypical version of a financial advisor, the show places one of today’s most macho, action stars in the key role. So, well, that’s cool. And at least it’s not akin to the lawyer portrayals in Empire and The Grinder, which have incensed professional legal groups.
Then we set the series in Miami so that we have lots of sunshine and bright colors against a showy, fast-paced backdrop. And it’s billed as a “sports comedy” (because money management is often hilarious) which should keep viewers from taking the plot lines too seriously.