smart spending

Money lessons from 5 summer movies

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2'
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'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2'

In the last installment of the Potter saga, Harry and his pals venture into Gringotts Wizarding Bank to relieve one of the villains of a very valuable (and dangerous) object that is stashed within the vaults. But getting into (and, more important, out of) this bank -- which is run by goblins -- is not exactly easy. And their "inside man" proves a little less helpful than they'd hoped.

Real-world money takeaway: Always have an escape plan for assets, and understand exactly how that plan works.

That's "part of being an informed investor and being able to understand the pluses and minuses of various investments," says Peggy Cabaniss, CFP, president of HC Financial Advisors in Lafayette, Calif., and past chair of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

While some investments can yield larger rewards, they tend to be less liquid, which means you can't always get to that cash when you need it, she says. Her advice is to keep a rainy day fund that you can get to quickly.

"You need some of your money invested for long-term growth, but you also need liquidity," Cabaniss says.

The other lesson: Watch your back if you're dealing with goblins.


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