Don’t mess with Cookie — or your money: 8 financial lessons from TV’s ‘Empire’


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Let’s get the spoiler alert out of the way first: If you’re not caught up watching “Empire,” save this story for later.

Filled with beats, bling and back-stabbing, the Fox network’s “Empire” — now back for its third season — has built up an obsessive fan base.

The show about fictitious record and entertainment company Empire Entertainment is not only addictive, but it also offers lessons for making sound money decisions.

The series begins with Empire CEO Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard, a drug dealer turned hip-hop star and mogul, pitting his 3 sons against each other after his diagnosis with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He wants to determine which should be named his successor, ahead of a planned stock offering.

Enter their mom, Lucious’ smart and saucy ex-wife Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson, Empire’s co-founder, who returns from serving 17 years in prison for drug-running that helped fund Empire’s rise from a Philadelphia bedroom music studio to a New York City high-rise boardroom.

“I’m here to get what’s mine,” Cookie proclaims. You don’t have to be quite so financially assertive, but here are 8 money lessons that you can take from “Empire.”