Movies About Money: Investment Tips, Courtesy of Brewster’s Millions

If you haven’t seen Brewster’s Millions, I’ll bring you up to speed. Starring Richard Pryor and John Candy, this 1985 comedy centers around Montgomery Brewster, a minor league baseball player that’s dirt poor and inherits $30M from an uncle he didn’t know existed. The catch? He has to spend every penny in 30 days and he can’t own any assets at the end of it. No houses, no cars, no jewelry. Nothing but the clothes on his back. He can hire anybody he wants, but has to get value for their services. He can donate five percent to charity and can gamble another five percent away. He can’t destroy what is inherently valuable — that’s instant disqualification — and he’s not allowed to tell anybody why he has to spend this money. If he succeeds, he inherits his real fortune: $300M. Fun, right?

Brewster’s Millions is not an award-winning movie by any means, but it’s enjoyable to watch Brewster become increasingly frustrated as he fumbles to rid himself of the $30M. In one scene, he’s visibly distressed as he discovers the bets he placed on longshot horses at the racetrack and the stock he invested in “Iceberg Search and Retrieval” have unexpectedly panned out, bringing his ledger back to the original $30M he started with. He gets very creative with his spending at this point, investing in security guard expenses for $1.16M and dental care for his Hackensack Bulls baseball team for $31K. He even buys a rare stamp for $1.25M, but mails it of course, cancelling its worth.

He does make one great decision, in my opinion. He commissions a baseball game that pits his minor league team against the New York Yankees. I’m a huge proponent of spending your money on experiences that stay with you forever, and baseball is the most important thing to Brewster, so I think this was probably his most enjoyable spending excursion. It didn’t happen without comedy, however. Among the expenditures was $7K of “New York dirt” for the pitcher’s mound. I guess if you’re investing in the experience of a lifetime, go all out, right? In the end, you won’t remember the money you spent. You’ll remember the time you spent doing something you love.

Sentimentality aside, let’s consider the premise of this movie a minute and think about what we could do with $30M if it miraculously fell in our lap and we weren’t forced to squander it. I’m sure there are a hundred ideas running through your mind, but I’m going to focus on one that brings you excellent, safe returns on your investment. SHARE CERTIFICATES. What are Share Certificates, you ask? A Share Certificate is the credit union version of a Certificate of Deposit (CD). It’s an account you deposit money into for a certain period of time, and in return, that money earns dividends. It’s a low-risk way to earn a high return on your money. Simply put, it’s a no brainer.

If I took Brewster’s $30M and invested in Share Certificates for a year, I would be $750K ahead at the end of that year. I don’t know about you, but I would not be upset with that. If I upped the ante and invested the $30M for five years (meaning I couldn’t touch it for five years), I’d be almost $5M ahead of where I started. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

Before I started working for a credit union, I had no idea what Share Certificates were. But now that I do, I’m happy to enlighten you about an opportunity you may be missing out on. Obviously, most of us don’t have $30M fall into our laps, but even if you have $5K sitting in a Savings Account, this may be a better option for you. It’s definitely something to consider. Connexus has some the nation’s best Share Certificates. Check out all the available yields and terms.

My advice: Don’t squander your money like Brewster did. Invest in Share Certificates and spend the money you make on experiences you’ll never forget.

Jami Radant is the Connexus Marketing Analyst and the team cinephile.

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