The puns surrounding 50 Cent’s recent financial trouble are endless. But lately it looks as if Curtis Jackson’s rapper nickname appears slightly more appropriate.
Curtis has filed for what is known in the US as ‘Chapter 11 Bankruptcy’. This is also known as reorganization bankruptcy. It has been hailed as a smart move by financial experts in America as it delays the prospect of official bankruptcy for the rapper. While the details are sketchy, it is thought that ‘Fiddy’ now has 120 days to gather the estimated $10m to $50m (£6.5m- £32m) he owes in order to appease 49 creditors. The revelation that celebrities, whom we perceive to be so wealthy, can have financial troubles too is difficult for the average person in the street to understand. Furthermore, Curtis is not alone. The ‘American Alan Sugar’, Donald Trump, has also had his run-in with financial creditors. The man with assets worth billions of dollars has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy four times. Yet despite his multiple marriages-and subsequent costly divorces- and his elaborate comb-over causing a massive dent in his expenditure, Donald always finds the cash to cover his debts in time. It is almost like declaring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is protocol for the extremely wealthy people in this world. People like Donald and 50 Cent seem to have the self-confidence to bounce back. They always bounce back. No doubt 50 Cent will raise the cash needed to maintain his lifestyle and image. I expect a special Christmas LP or ‘Take you to the Barber Shop: Cover Versions of 50 Cent Classics’, to be hitting music stores really soon.
However, it is unlikely that mere mortals such as ourselves can just go into a recording studio and belt out a multi-platinum winning album to stabilise the bank balance.
Another Rapper, the late Notorious B.I.G. had a song, ‘More Money, More Problems’. Today this song still rings true when thinking about the aforementioned millionaires. Who could handle living a life like that and the stress it would involve? Constantly worrying about debt and having the threat of losing your reputation and everything that goes with it?
Thomas Stanley, in his book ‘The Millionaire Next Door’, published in 1998 challenges the public perception of what a wealthy person looks like. Thomas explains that while the public image of a millionaire is someone who drives a Porsche and lives on the Hollywood Hills (or Malone Road) may be true for some, it is not the case for the majority. Most millionaires live quietly and discreetly, driving sensible cars and being somewhat stingy with their cash. They are not on reality TV shows spending crazy amounts of money on yachts and diamond encrusted toasters. We as consumers of these shows in the media, have to realise that they are not real. It is far better, not to be stingy, but to live within your means. To sit down once a month or so and think ‘do I really need gold teeth or will my normal ones do the job?’ This is step one on the path to financial stability.
Perhaps 50 Cent’s next movie could be a sequel to the 2005 movie ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’ called ‘Get Financially Stable and learn to be Content’. There would be fewer guns, fights and less drama but I reckon that watching Fiddy decide which of his assets he needs to sell and whether to re-mortgage his house with a fixed rate or variable rate, would be far more beneficial viewing in the long run.
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