84

The X-Men Guide To Unlocking Your Financial Mutant Powers

in Money Basics

xmen

The year was 1992 and the local Pizza Hut had just unveiled a new arcade game.  Not knowing what we were in for, my brother and I begged our parents for a couple bucks and wandered over the the small game room while we waited for some deep dish.

As we turned the corner, we were confronted with the screen featured above…

“Wow…  look… this one has room for up to 6-players!” We exclaimed as we slid a handful of quarters in and the rest, they say, was history.

I’m not sure I can credit this machine for my years of video game addiction (I’m fairly sure that award belongs to Golden Axe a year or two before), but I actually squirm at the thought of adding up how much of our parent’s money was inserted into this contraption.  It would be a scary number.

I’m not the biggest comic book nerd, but when it comes to video games, I take no prisoners.  I thought it would be fun to break down the X-men featured in the game (as well as the villains) and relate them each to personal finance topics based on their given powers.

And I was right… I had a blast taking this trip down memory lane.  In all seriousness, it got me brainstorming about my own strengths and weakness in our journey to get out of debt… or what I now refer to as my very own Financial X-Men Mutant Power!  Enjoy.

The X-Men…  a.k.a. The Good Guys

Professor Xavier: Financial Independence

  • Real Name: Charles Xavier
  • Mutant Power: The world’s most powerful telepath.

In the game/series: Professor X isn’t actually a playable character in the game.  Instead he leads the X-men team through the game and gives the orders.  He’s a master of telepathy, who can enter people’s mind for both good and ill intentions if needed.

Financial explanation Professor X represents our own personal journey to financial independence.  You can’t play Xavier in the game, just as you can’t simply wake-up and achieve financial independence. Instead you have to build various skills, assemble a diverse team, and ‘give the orders’ to eventually lead to your own vision of success.

Wolverine: Passionate Debt Reduction

  • Real Name: James “Logan” Howlett
  • Mutant Power: Regeneration, Adamantium Skeleton & Claws

In the game/series: Wolverine’s abilities in game aren’t necessarily authentic to the comic series.  For example, his special power is sort of a augmented, laser-based swipe (kind of weird). And his regeneration/durability abilities aren’t reflected more than any other character.  In the series, Wolverine is shown as brash, aggressive, passionate, and ultimately very effective in nearly all missions.

Financial explanation Wolverine is the “Dave Ramsey” of the X-Men world.  While he may have made mistakes in the past (as many of us with large debts have), he’s focused, determined, and some may even say ornery.  Regardless of what you think of him, it’s tough to argue against his effectiveness.  His intensity is most valuable when stepping up to turn around a situation or to eliminate a large amount of debt.  With this financial comparison, it shouldn’t surprise you that Wolverine was my favorite character to play.  :-)

Colossus: A Healthy, Dependable Income

  • Real Name: Piotr Rasputin
  • Mutant Power: Super strength and quasi-invulnerability in special “organic metal form.”

In the game/series: Like Wolverine, Colossus’ in game powers aren’t super authentic.  His durability isn’t taken into account and his mutant power is an energy force field of sorts (again, a little weird).  In the series, though, he is known for his consistent and sturdy support.  His ability to transform into the ‘organic metal’ form means that he can withstand many attacks others can’t and his super strength often comes in handy.

Financial explanation: Colossus is most similar to a strong and healthy income.  While a consistent income is not an absolute must (nor is it a guarantee of success), there’s little doubt that it goes a long way in helping us withstand various external influences in our financial life.  Of course, the larger the income the more leverage (or ‘strength’) we have to accomplish our financial goals.

Storm: Entrepreneurial Spirit

  • Real Name: Ororo Iqadi T’Challa-Wakandas
  • Mutant Power: Weather manipulation

In the game/series: Storm’s mutant power allows her considerable influence over the weather.  In the game, she uses lightning attacks and is able to summon a hurricane as her special.  Storm has a diverse skill set and can utilize everything from gusts of wind to rain, and blizzards to thunderstorms.  She can adapt quickly to many situations (although favors outside obviously) and has shown above average leadership throughout the comic series.

Financial explanation Storm’s diverse skill set and ability to control many different moving parts best reflects an entrepreneurial mindset.  While not everyone needs to run out and start a business, even long-time employees can increase there value with knowledge of basic entrepreneurial principles.  Many of us can benefit from devoting some spare effort to a part-time business, both monetarily and otherwise.

Nightcrawler: Financial Agility

  • Real Name: Kurt Wagner
  • Mutant Power: Teleportation

In the game/series: Nightcrawler was almost always the most in-demand character in the arcade game.  He was just so fun to play and his special was awesome (a flurry of teleportation all around the screen).  In the series, Nightcrawler tends to focus on stealth objectives using his night-vision, wall climbing skills, and ability to blend into shadows.

Financial explanation Nightcrawler embodies what I like to call “financial agility.”  This is reflected in the growing trend to have a flexible income, minimalist possessions, and no deep ties to any specific location.  Nightcrawler would almost certainly be a fan of a simple financial approach that allowed him to opt-out of much of the ‘normal’ hustle and bustle (and allow for travel, of course).  As a side note, I often wonder whether Chris Guillebeau yells, “BAMF!” as he boards public trains in random less-traveled European countries.

Cyclops: Leadership & Balance

  • Real Name: Scott Summers
  • Mutant Power: Shoots beam of energy from eyes

In the game/series: Cyclops is a long-time member and the most consistent leader of the X-men team.  His mutant power in the game is a straight-forward but powerful beam of ‘concussive force’ (fairly consistent with series).  Cyclops is one of the most emotionally balanced and well-rounded characters in the series.

Financial explanation Cyclops best reflects the power of having a well-rounded approach, especially in regards to a work/life or business/life balance.  While it at times may be slightly less effective than, let’s say, Wolverine’s approach (that conflict is shown throughout the series), Cyclops consistent leadership role is irreplaceable.  This principles-based approach can be of similar value in our financial lives, grounding our emotions and helping us to avoid burnout.

Dazzler: Frugality

  • Real Name: Alison Blaire
  • Mutant Power: Transforms sound into light energy

In the game/series: Let’s be honest…  nobody wanted to play Dazzler.  It’s not that she was any worse than the other characters, she just was less fun (and popular).  Like Storm, the beauty of her approach is in her resourcefulness.  She’s able to transform sound into light energy, including laser beams, flashbangs, and holograms.

Financial explanation: Dazzler resourcefulness represent the power of frugality and the do-it-yourself mentality.  She’s embodied the skills of being able to bargain hunt, make common products at home, and the ability to repair before looking to replace.  Frugality isn’t about being cheap or wasting time… it’s about eliminating waste, increasing quality, saving money, and having a little fun.  Remember Warren Buffett, whose time is arguably more valuable than any other person in the world, is well-known for his frugality.

The Bosses… a.k.a. The Bad Guys

Like most games, there are many bosses that stand in your way as you progress along your journey.  The same is true of our journey into financial freedom.  The bosses are all related to common financial hurdles that block us along the way.

Pyro: A Basic Income

  • Real Name: St. John Allerdyce
  • Mutant Power: Manipulate fire

In the game/series: Pyro is the first boss in the game and can easily be referred to as the weakest.  While his fire attacks can appear strong, with a little effort the can be avoided most of the time.

Financial explanation: Pyro represents a simple, basic income.  Honestly, that’s the first financial hurdle we all have to overcome.  We don’t need a 6-figure income out of the gates (although that would be nice), but few of us will last long without at least a minor income stream in the beginning.  Once that is covered we can start to get more creative!

The Blob: Student Loan Debt

  • Real Name: Fred Dukes
  • Mutant Power: Super-strength, Durability

In the game/series: “Nothing moves The Blob!” -  The Blob is the first of a string of bosses that have super-strength and strong physical attacks.  In the series, it’s said that his mass is so large that his skin is immune to all but the strongest attacks including bullets.

Financial explanation: Unfortunately, student loans are the first sizeable debt most of us encounter in our journey.  And, ironically, the can often feel just like a huge ‘blob’ hanging over our heads.  While they may appear daunting at first, just like The Blob they can be taken down with consistent and repetitive force.

Wendigo: Car Loans & Leases

  • Real Name: Has affected many different people.
  • Mutant Power: Super-strength, Durability

In the game/series: Wendigo is actually a curse that can transform normal men into a mythical beast.  In the game, Wendigo is the second in a chain of bosses who have super-strength.  Throughout the series, Wendigo also possesses increased speed, durability, regenerations, and extra-sharp claws and teeth.

Financial explanation: While owning an automobile is generally not a negative thing, just like in the series, it can be ‘cursed’ by an attached loan or lease agreement.  Financing a depreciating asset is almost always a bad idea and car leases are renowned for the ability to come back a bite us in the butt.

Nimrod: Hasty Home Ownership

  • Real Name: N/A
  • Mutant Power: Super-strength, Leader of Sentinels

In the game/series: Throughout the game you encounter many Sentinels as the basic enemies.  Nimrod is considered the most powerful (and versatile) of all Sentinels, as well as being a leader of sorts.  In addition to the common super-strength, in the series, he possesses both teleportation and shapeshifting abilities.

Financial explanation: Home ownership is almost always the largest financial commitment any of us will make in our lives.  All too often, the various expenses and responsibility (financial and otherwise) are not all taken into account, especially during the first purchase.  The general Sentinel army represents the miscellaneous expenses, repairs, burdens, and stress of home ownership.  Nimrod, himself, embodies a hefty mortgage, which if not controlled properly can quickly destroy our financial goals.

The White Queen: Negative Influences

  • Real Name: Emma Frost
  • Mutant Power: Telepathy

In the game/series: While The White Queen is one of the easier bosses and the game, in real life the story isn’t always the same.  Like Professor X, the White Queen is a telepath although certainly less powerful.  She is most well-known for her manipulation techniques, especially those involving seduction.

Financial explanation: The White Queen is a combination of all the external negative influences that bombard us.  These may be tangible influences, such as family and friends, or intangible emotions, such as fear of success or guilt about money.  Working through these issues is a normal part of the path to financial freedom.  The key is to keep them from dominating our thoughts on a regular basis.

Juggernaut: Credit Card Debt

  • Real Name: Cain Marko
  • Mutant Power: Super-strength, Unstoppable while in motion

In the game/series: It’s widely known that the Juggernaut is not actually a mutant, but instead derives his power from a gem worn in his helmet.  His strength is second to none and it’s said that he doesn’t require food, water, or sleep to stay active.  Once he gets moving, he’s impossible to stop, often plowing through anything in his way.  In the game, he is even equipped with a Bazooka!

Financial explanation: This was the easiest of all!  Juggernaut represents credit card debt, of course.  High interest credit card debt is on of the most dangerous financial pitfalls, especially once it’s able to gain momentum.  The actual credit cards are the proverbial helmet, which is the source of the high interest debt’s power.  Often times, the fastest way to defeat this beast is to ‘remove the helmet’ by cutting up and canceling the credit cards themselves.  Even the Bazooka can be directly related to the shady techniques employed by credit card companies!  :-)

Mystique: Lifestyle Inflation

  • Real Name: Raven Darkholme
  • Mutant Power: Shapeshifting

In the game/series: Mystique is one of the most popular X-men villains.  She can replicate the physical appearance of anyone whom she comes into contact with, including their voice.  She uses this ability and her cunning nature to take advantage of and infiltrate all sorts of situations for her own gain.  In the game, she impersonates both Professor X and Magneto at different times and is the second to last boss before the real Magneto.

Financial explanation: Mystiques’ ability to shapeshift reflects the role lifestyle inflation can play in our financial lives.  Often times, we simply tread water.  As our income grows, we allow our responsibilities and expenses to mimic the increase.  This is the reason why so many lottery winners, professional athletes, and celebrities still end up with severe financial problems several years down the road.

Magneto: Financial Stress

  • Real Name: Max “Magnus” Eisenhardt
  • Mutant Power: Magnetism manipulation

In the game/series: Magneto is the final boss and as is customary, the most difficult to defeat.  His attacks are quick and powerful and his Magnetic Shield defends him from counter attacks (and even hurts too).  Throughout the series, he’s the most common enemy the X-men routinely face.  He has complete mastery of anything metallic.

Financial explanation: The last and most powerful obstacle we have to overcome on our path to financial independence is eliminating the stress from our finances.  Ultimately, stress is behind all of our financial woes.  Stress from too much money… stress from too little money.  Stress from the burden of debt or stress from fighting with your spouse over spending.  Stress of too many possessions or not enough food to eat.  For me, financial independence isn’t being debt-free or having 10 million dollars in a bank account.  It’s simply finding out how to use sound financial principles to eliminate as much stress from our finances as possible, so we can concentrate on the more important things in life.  Thus, stress is the last ‘boss’ we have to defeat.

What’s your financial X-Men mutant power?

While mapping out these correlations was a lot of fun, it does bring up a great issue.  We all have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to our finances.  Even Cyclops’ well-rounded approach will eventually need the help of the others along the way.

When I first started focusing on my finances, I was in full-on Wolverine mode.  Lately, I’ve slid more into a freakish combination of Storm and Nightcrawler (describing it that way makes me smile).  I’ve never benefited from Colossus’ power (a healthy income) and I could also learn a little more from Cyclops from time to time.  :-)

What ability most resembles your own strengths? There are literally hundreds of X-men, so I’ve only cracked the tip of the iceberg here.  If you are an uber comic nerd go ahead and get creative.  ;-)

Whew…  this took longer than I thought!

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff @ Sustainablelife blog November 19, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Baker,
Great article, again. Love the references to the X-men video game….I also have rather fond memories of that game. You always seem to have interesting takes on finances, and it’s refreshing, to say the least.
As far as my x-men, I’m in wolverine mode most of the time, with a bit of dazzler thrown in. I’d love to be in nightcrawler mode, so that I can zap around the city really fast (like he did in the video game).
My biggest tormentor at this point is Juggernaut, but I am already looking ahead to taking on the blob (my repayment starts in dec). I’ve got to remind myself to keep looking ahead instead of back and fight juggernaut while keeping the blob in my scope!
Enjoy the time in Thailand
.-= Jeff @ Sustainablelife blog´s last blog ..Plastic Bags =-.

Reply

Craig November 19, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Excellent post and metaphor. Besides the fact that I loved that arcade game, the metaphors are true. I like to think I have the financial personality as one of the good guys.

Reply

Carlos Miceli November 19, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Hahah, you’re nuts Baker…

You should do a series with Dragon Ball, I know Jun and I would appreciate it.
.-= Carlos Miceli´s last blog ..Happiness Hyperopia =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Dragon Ball? Is that how they roll in Argentina?

… maybe I won’t come visit … ;-)

Reply

Greg Rollett November 19, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Haha, Dragonball. Baker you rocked this one man. Wherever you draw your inspiration to write from, I need to tap into it!
.-= Greg Rollett´s last blog ..Gen-Y Lifestyle Design – Opening a Restaurant in Costa Rica =-.

Reply

Diggy - Upgradereality.com November 19, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Hey Adam!
Really enjoyed reading this! Thanks for putting it together! :)

I really loved the latest movie “Wolverine” , where it showed his origins.
Two thumbs up!!:)

Peace
Diggy
.-= Diggy – Upgradereality.com´s last blog ..Too Much Mind =-.

Reply

Tyler Karaszewski November 19, 2009 at 12:35 PM

I think this post was lost on me. Baker, imagine that someone else had written it, and *had* used Dragonball instead, with Vegeta in place of Wolverine, and… I don’t know, I only know one Dragonball character’s name. Anyway, your reading of the Dragonball version would probably make about as much sense as my reading of the X-men version.

Which isn’t to say it’s a bad post, but it’s a post with a specific audience.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Yeah, for sure. I get that.

However, I’m a little surprised you aren’t more familiar with X-men! I guess I *am* partial, but they are a fairly popular bunch (especially with the newer movies, while that’s not the source of the post).

I do enjoy mixing it up from time to time, but don’t want to get too specific. ;-)

Reply

Erica Douglass November 19, 2009 at 12:57 PM

And you can tell that because so far, I’m the only female who has replied to this post.

And I skipped the post since I’ve never played the game. ;)

-Erica
.-= Erica Douglass´s last blog ..Using the News to Spot Innovative Business Ideas =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Psh, I’m going to call all my female gaming friends up and…

oh wait.

Reply

Four Pillars November 19, 2009 at 12:44 PM

I think you should do similar posts for every popular video game ever invented. I had no idea X-Men was a video game.

My video game time was the early 80′s – Pacman and Space Invaders were still popular plus Defender and my all time fave Asteroids.

I expect to see financial comparison posts for all 4 of those games by the end of next week! ;)
.-= Four Pillars´s last blog ..Blending Investment and Labour Income =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 12:50 PM

You old man! :-)

I of course played my fair share of Pacman and SI (less of the other two), but mostly just to be a little old school. I may not have even been born when they came out originally! o.O

Reply

Credit Card Chaser November 20, 2009 at 11:09 PM

My favorite semi old school video game would definitely have to be Battletoads on the NES. As I am typing this I can still hear the music in my head lol
.-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Credit Cards & Bankruptcy: A Visual Tragedy =-.

Reply

Steve Johnson November 19, 2009 at 1:12 PM

In the beginning I was Wolverine, but have turned into Dazzler. However, I would like to be a combination of Wolverine and Storm, then transition into the Nightcrawler.

Let’s see. Since my wife and I started our fight against debt, we have defeated Juggernaut and Wendigo. Our biggest enemy right now is The Blob. He is slowly decreasing our life bars.

With the help of Dazzler and Colossus (and hopefully a few others later on), The Blog will go down…oh yes, he will go down.

Wonderful post!
.-= Steve Johnson´s last blog ..The Beginning Of Financial Transparency =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 1:30 PM

“He is slowly decreasing out life bars…”

Haha, thanks for making my day!

Reply

Suzanne November 19, 2009 at 1:26 PM

LOL – “Nothing moves The Blob (student loan debt)”. This is my greatest competitor and I’m taking it down with consistent and repetitive force. I fought the Nimrod (hasty home ownership) a few years ago, too, and fortunately my Pyro (basic income) was able to march ahead fast enough to combat that. I had a little Mystique (lifestyle inflation) back in the day, but have mostly eradicated that one from my life by bringing in the Dazzler (frugality).

Love it! What a great analogy.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Haha, isn’t it awesome how badly translated Japanese quotes can take on such new meaning some 17 years later! I almost put a Youtube clips of that quote in that section. :-)

Reply

Elle November 19, 2009 at 1:28 PM

I fall into the Nightcrawler/Dazzler powers. I think my strength is finding creative and different ways to earn a bit of extra income and cut down on expenses. I wouldn’t call myself a coupon maven (that would be my sister!), but I’m always on the lookout for deals on things we need.

By the way, I’m a huge X-men geek (Rogue is my fav) and I love your post!
.-= Elle´s last blog ..Making Student Loan Payments Affordable =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Now we have the females rolling! :-)

I don’t know what Rouge’s comparison would be off the top of my head. That would be an interesting one. Although, I do like the NightDazzler combo, hehe.

Reply

Beth November 19, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Loved this post too :) Never played the game, but I’m a comic geek too.

Perhaps it’s a stretch, but I’d say Rogue is a life-long learner. She can absorb and use other people’s powers, so in financial terms that would be someone who takes the best of all financial strategies and applies it to his/her own life.

yeah, it’s a stretch. ;)

Reply

Yu-kai Chou November 19, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Awesome post Adam! This is one of the posts I curiously clicked on and actually read it to the end. It embodies the FD idea of being fun and productive :D

Anyway, as most video games go, as long as you keep playing the game and don’t give up, the good guys always beat out the bad ones. You just have to choose your characters wisely and sometimes have a good ally :)
.-= Yu-kai Chou´s last blog ..Why Miles Dyson from Terminator 2 is my Role Model =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 1:37 PM

And occasionally have $20 in quarters! ;-)

Seriously, though, great analogy and I’m glad you enjoyed it. :-)

Reply

FFB November 19, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Know what? If I spent less on video games when I was younger and put more money away I’d be far wealthier today! Still, fun times! Man I want to find an old arcade somewhere.

Great associations to personal finance. PF isn’t alone in it’s lessons and methodology. Much of what we learn and do can be applied.
.-= FFB´s last blog ..Tips For Shopping Black Friday And Cyber Monday =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Yeah, another great study would be to find that number that I’m scared to calculate (how much we spent) and then invest it out over 17 years. :-)

I wouldn’t trade it in, though! Too much fun memories.

Reply

Lakita November 19, 2009 at 2:22 PM

I think I may have enjoyed this more than the “Fight Club” post! Your ability to tie financial analogies into pop culture is hilarious.

I think Golden Axe II is why I chose a career in Information Technology :)

Kita
.-= Lakita´s last blog ..The DUMBEST (Financial) Move I’ve Ever Made =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Haha, yes! Another female who plugs not only GAI, but GAII.

I can’t choose between this and Fight Club on the ‘fun factor’ scale of writing, but they are close.

Reply

Lakita November 19, 2009 at 3:57 PM

I went to a high school & college where being a geek was the norm. I’ve embraced my inner geekness since I was 8!

Reply

Colin Wright November 19, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Wow, I’m pretty much geeking out right now.
.-= Colin Wright´s last blog ..How To Embed Your First Impressions =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Mission accomplished.

Reply

Live for Improvement November 19, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Wow …..This is one of the most enjoyable financial Blog articles I have ever read. I remember countless hours of playing that same game too. The Character metaphors were spot on. I especially liked the Juggernaut as credit card debt, and the blog as student loans.

-Dan Malone-
.-= Live for Improvement´s last blog ..The Budgeteer =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Ah, Dan, you are far too kind! I spent way too much time planning out which characters would get which qualities, haha. Glad you can appreciate it. ;-)

Reply

Martin November 19, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Cool post. I really like these articles you write that have the movie or character theme (Fight Club Finance Rules, etc.)

Keep ‘em coming!
.-= Martin´s last blog .."Child of God" by Cormac McCarthy =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Will do! I usually write them when I’m on the verge of burnout to kind of make things interesting (at least on my side). At least I know that bleeds over a little bit to you too! Thanks.

Reply

Evan November 19, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Really Cool Post – A similar game that came out around that time was the old school Simpsons arcade game.
I think most video games can teach lessons – my fav was Legend of Zelda!

http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/9-personal-finance-lessons-from-legend-of-zelda/
.-= Evan´s last blog ..When Calculating Life Insurance You Are Replacing Two Incomes! =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Yeah, we played the Simpsons a little, as well. Not nearly as much as TMNT or this one, though! Thanks for sharing the Zelda link.

Reply

Evan November 19, 2009 at 4:22 PM

wow TMNT was amazing! Fighting off be-pop and rocksteady and kang! Wow you have my video game nerd nerves going nutty.

I think it was our generation that really discovered the fighting games, with the creation of Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, did you get into those?
.-= Evan´s last blog ..When Calculating Life Insurance You Are Replacing Two Incomes! =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Nah, I didn’t go for the fighters much. I mean, a little, but not hardcore.

Reply

Mike November 19, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Adam, this is great! Thanks for the flashbacks. I love X-Men.

Too bad Cable wasn’t part of that game because he was my favorite Marvel comics character and obsessively collected all his cards. :)

From Wiki, Cable’s inception is described:
” I was given a directive to create a new leader for the New Mutants. There was no name, no description besides a ‘man of action’ the opposite of Xavier. I created the look, the name, much of the history of the character. After I named him Cable, Bob suggested Quinn and Louise had Commander X”

So with that, I’d like to add one more character to the list which I think represents me (or at least, I like to think it does): A Man of Action – Cable!

So for all those that are struggling with debt, too overwhelmed to start tackling your financial mess because you don’t know where to start, OR you’re just plain scared and immobilized by fear to start your own business, or start traveling….Cable says:
JUST DO IT! :)
.-= Mike´s last blog ..What A Nerd! =-.

Reply

Baker November 19, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Haha, nice! I knew there would be an uber-nerd out there somewhere… ;-)

Reply

Eric | Eden Journal November 19, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Any post referencing video games is a good post in my book. I played X-Men a little, but I think I played Gauntlet more. “Red Dwarf needs food badly.” I wonder if all those quarters would have equaled the cost of a new Playstation 3 game. Think you pumped in $60 worth of quarters?

I like Dave Ramsey as the Wolverine… good stuff.
.-= Eric | Eden Journal´s last blog ..Mish Mash Free for All – November 2009 Edition =-.

Reply

Baker November 20, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Yellow Wizard is about to die!

Reply

Financial Samurai November 19, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Hilarious! Ahh, the good times. Baker, hope you’re not spending too much time on video games and comics now though. You got an empire to build and monetize!

I see myself as Xavier now, and a WALKING Xavier in 8-10 years.
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..My SUV Will Beat Up Your Hybrid & Save The World! =-.

Reply

Baker November 20, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Sadly, I play almost NO games now. Hard to do when traveling besides the occasional game of cards with Courtney! :-)

Reply

B Kinch November 19, 2009 at 8:47 PM

I am LOVING this. Was Gambit in the video game? Somehow I’m thinking he wouldn’t make a great debt reduction mode…but hey, he can turn playing cards into bombs so whatever.
.-= B Kinch´s last blog ..Thanksgiving Menu =-.

Reply

Baker November 20, 2009 at 4:29 PM

No, Gambit wasn’t. You only could play those 6, although Gambit does make an appearance in several games since this one on different platforms!

Reply

Christine November 19, 2009 at 11:02 PM

I loved this post! I am currently fighting Wendigo! lol :)

Awesome post!

Reply

Fotografi November 20, 2009 at 4:16 AM

Really funny and interesting great blog.

Reply

Alison Moore Smith November 20, 2009 at 5:18 AM

Being so utterly uneducated in video games, I still did my best to follow. Fun stuff here. I’ll be reading and maybe I’ll catch on!
.-= Alison Moore Smith´s last blog ..Customize Your WordPress “About” Page =-.

Reply

Janelle November 20, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Baker,
I’m a very new follower of your posts and have to say I absolutely love your stlye! Inspirational & motivational; your take on this stuff gets wedged into my brain giving me food for thought for days. I’m no “gamer” and an “old fart” compared to most of your audience but I’ve always been a closet nerd. So, while I’ve never watched, read or played X-men before, now that I’ve done this exercise I fully intend to try this game out!

Mutant powers – I’d say my hubby has Colossus and I have Dazzler. We’re always working toward becoming more like Cyclops and Storm and currently we are just plain envious of Nightcrawler and Wolverine.

Our Foes – We’re up against Nimrod and Juggernaut mostly; they’ve got a real stronghold and Colossus seems to be weakend greatly by them and the ‘big city’ we live in. (infact, can u come up with a character to represent locale? This city’s like a vacuum; it’ll take a LOT of extra energy to get OUT OF IT!) Magneto really wears down my hubby and WhiteQueen is my problem. Always watching out for Mystique, we’ve defeated Wendingo, and, thankfully, we’ve just totally bypassed the Blob. (being an ‘old fart’ has one advantage here, we went to school before college debt became the ‘norm’)

Loved the wise encouragement from Cable (and Mike)too! I really needed to hear that. Thanks! Keep it coming!

Reply

Baker November 20, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Wow, for not reading or playing X-men you did an awesome job of catching on, haha!

I don’t have a character for living in a big city other than the fact that you may just be playing the game on a harder difficulty setting than others… ;-). (which has both positives and negatives)

Reply

Janelle November 22, 2009 at 8:32 AM

“playing the game on a harder difficulty setting” …. excellant insight! Wow! Thanks! I need to seek out the advantages I can use here. (I wonder if there are any secret codes to help me out too?)

Reply

Mike November 21, 2009 at 12:20 AM

You’re welcome! I like to think that there’s a superhero inside all of us that we need to unleash every once in a while. :)
.-= Mike´s last blog ..Comparison Shopping: The Good Kind =-.

Reply

Thirtysomething Finance November 20, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Great post, Adam! I’ve been trying to go all Wolverine on The Blob, but despite my having Colossus on my side, I’m contending with Nimrod and Mystique — and the ever-present Magneto! But I’m always trying to engage the Storm in me, and I’m hopeful that PF blogging will help me keep Magneto at bay.

I would love for Uatu the Watcher to just pop up out of nowhere and lay a windfall on me so I could live in “What If” world for a while.

Not sure how big a comics geek you were back in the day — that will affect whether you go up for a high 5 to geek out with me, or slowly shake your head in disgust :p
.-= Thirtysomething Finance´s last blog ..Fall Music Recommendation =-.

Reply

Baker November 28, 2009 at 3:22 AM

Haha, I think I’m only a big enough geek to start to get that reference (but not fully connect with it). ;-)

Reply

kenyantykoon November 21, 2009 at 3:22 AM

my favourite x-men were wolverine and cyclops even though both of them seemed to have a problem controlling their emotions
.-= kenyantykoon´s last blog ..A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF BOND INVESTING =-.

Reply

Brandi November 21, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Love your blog and this article! Must’ve been really fun to write. I’m very Dazzler and Wolverine, need more Storm!

Reply

Baker November 28, 2009 at 3:22 AM

Thanks, Brandi… it was! Glad to have you around.

Reply

FMF November 23, 2009 at 9:31 AM

I LOVED that game!!! I played it on the double-wide, big-screen. I was an expert at Nightcrawler. :-)

Oh, nice article too. ;-)

Reply

Baker November 28, 2009 at 3:23 AM

Yeah, after writing this article I told Courtney having one of the original double wide 6-player arcade machines was going to be a goal of mine once we “settled down”. :-)

Reply

Jill MacGregor November 23, 2009 at 2:42 PM

This is so creative!! And what a great way to get he point across–love it!
Jill

Reply

Jason of Kim & Jason November 23, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Nice job on this post. I always love when people take a metaphor and run with it. Must be the side of me that always loved Creative Writing class.

I found the tie-in of “Nimrod” to “Hasty Home Ownership” particulalry interesting. So many of my friends graduated from college and got into homes as quickly as they could. The conventional wisdom is that a home is the best investment you can make. Conventional wisdom certainly wouldn’t call these people “Nimrods.”

However.

Kim and I often wondered if we were missing the investment boat by staying in our apartment for nine years as we built up our business. We always rationalized that we were investing in our future by investing in our business. Now that we’ve finally purchased a home, I can say that I love my life as much as the home. Unfortunately, many people my age are wishing they had more freedom to pursue a career they’re more passionate about but are straddled with a sizable mortgage that limits their choices.

Right now, I’m definitely Storm, trying to increase my inner Nightcrawler, and always on the lookout to avoid Mystique. (This is a hard one.)
.-= Jason of Kim & Jason´s last blog ..Kiss and Tell: The Giraffe Confessions =-.

Reply

Baker November 28, 2009 at 3:28 AM

Jason, you bring up an amazing reflection on home ownership.

The more I run into people’s stories (and my own background in Real Estate), the more I realize that I’ve not met almost anyone whose financial situation has been radically changed for the better because of a home purchase.

And there are hundreds of first hand stories I’ve bumped into of the reverse.

I think your slow, steady investment into your business in passion will not only be better financially in the long-term, but will pay steady dividends of happiness for the reat of your life! :-)

Reply

Laura November 23, 2009 at 10:08 PM

My husband states he is Longshot, who is lucky at everything. He is the embodiment of freedom and has the ability to adapt to problems with a low amount of stress. That’s my husband all right!

Reply

Bradley November 24, 2009 at 12:07 PM

nice post! i remember that game fondly, and the money i dumped into it!

there is some well thought out and sage advice in there. at the moment, i am trying to combine as many aspects of the heroes as i can in my financial life. though there are always set backs.

it took a long time to defeat the blob. it is amazing how painfully long it can take to pay off student loans. that time line doesnt compute well when you are a student signing the loans papers, or at leas it didn’t for me.

car debt is another biggy. i have been through the nightmare that it car leasing. won’t do that again. currently, i have a modest nused car. didn’t have to take out a loan for it… thank god! had been car payment free since 2000 before i finally had to trade up.

i too fell into the trap of hasty home ownership. bought a house that me and my x could barely afford. god forbid when things had to be repaired. that usually just added to credit card debt. now, i am free of that huge burden. i live in a much more modest house that is more proportionate to my income. i have actually been able to pay cash for all the repairs that i have had to do so far.

fending off the negative influences can be a daily battle. i mean who wouldn’t like to have a nice big lcd tv/new computer/fancy thing-a-ma-bobs/etc? perseverance is the key.

overcoming the juggernaut is the hardest aspect of getting my finances where i want them to be. using juggernaut to describe CC debt is dead on! the only thing i can envision that would be harder to pay off is a loan shark. comparing CC debt to an out of control snowball is another good analogy.

i had an epiphany a year and a half ago. i used to think that having and acquiring stuff was the key to happiness. it was a lot like an addiction. maybe it even was a full blown addiction. now i realize that i don’t need stuff. i buy less stuff, and have gotten rid of a lot of the stuff i already had.

Reply

Diane December 2, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Wonderful analogies! I didn’t play the video game but followed X-Men in the early comics. I’ll have to dig through my old comics and re-read just for nostalgia’s sake! I found a reference to this post on another blog and I am soooo glad I followed up on it. Can’t wait to subscribe and check out some of your other posts! Thanks for the creative view of finance!

Reply

Ouida Vincent April 27, 2010 at 10:15 PM

Does no one play Defender anymore? I loved this post, but I’ll never see the X-Men the same way again. You are so right, employees even lifetime employees increase their value through entrepreneurial exercise, I know I did.

Reply

Nicholas June 6, 2010 at 4:30 PM

I want the mutant powers of nightcrawler.

Reply

Dannielle Stiffler September 8, 2011 at 1:49 AM

wow! good one Here’s some pass forward: Thought for the day? : Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 16 trackbacks }