Tougher than nails. 007 has every skill every man wants. All of us want to be the hero, stop a crime, save the world, and be able to protect our family. James Bond can all do that while influencing political and socio-economic outcomes. He knocks all that out while looking suave, clean, and getting the girl. But 007 is probably loaded right? If he saved and spent money in our world, what financial James Bond gadgets would 007 use?
Just a couple of weeks ago I was posed this question by Average Joe from Two Guys & Your Money Podcast. I got on the horn with them last week and recorded a 15 minute segment for their weekly show, which they just released this morning.
You can listen to the full podcast by clicking on the logo below:
Fearless Men starts at about the last third of the podcast, but the whole thing is good content. If you want to read my thoughts while listening to my well-refined voice, read on!
Taking over for 007’s tech man, Q, I would suggest these James Bond Gadgets to keep all of his hard earned cash in order.
I imagine Bond liking the quick paced risk of Options trading. He can log in, get it done, and log out. Then again, in between killings he may not care to look, he may just want long term investments to mature as he goes about his business. This guy is a spy, he must have some insider trading secrets.
We know 007 likes high risk. In Casino Royale he rules Texas Hold’em. In the book version, he loves Baccarat, and plays it in several older films and books. The man knows how to take calculated risks, and I have no doubt that a James Bond gadget would be a top-tier stock app.
I see him using a premier trading company’s app version of their full software platform. Such as TD Ameritrade’s Think or Swim. This is considered by many to be the most robust. They are always leading the pack. But eTrade and others are always quick to catch up. Some companies require you to make a minimum number of trades each quarter or pay a monthly fee to use their software. With TD, you can sign up for an account and download the software for free, then you could use a different company for your actual trading. Such as Options House, who has lower brokerage fees and commissions.
If you don’t tell your money where to go, it will go everywhere. I’m absolutely certain this is a James Bond gadget he’d hold tightly in his financial repertoire.
007 must have numerous financial accounts across several countries. He’s got to keep this all consolidated and at a glance. Mint.com is a financial service that can bring all of his accounts into one place. 007 can see his savings, checking, credit card and investment accounts all in one screen. All this while receiving great auto-categorization and budgets made easy.
Sign up at Mint.com, it’s always free, and they have a great free corresponding app.
Read our Mint.com review here.
Tax service force field
I don’t know how taxes work across the pond. But I’m guessing Bond has money accruing around the world. If anything, he’d hire Q to be his Tax Service force field and become his CPA.
For us Average Joes, I’ve used HR Block, Turbotax, and a no name brand that I cannot remember. The services were free and pretty much the same. Come tax seasons should you choose a free tax service, I encourage you to sign up for two and make sure they arrive at the same tax return number.
If you invest, services like HR and Turbotax have paid options that easily link up to most big-name stock brokers. If you own businesses, property, etc., I’d go with hiring Q.
Bond travels internationally a lot. Money is power. And there’s no form of money that’s more powerful than cold, hard cash.
Credit card companies rave about their cards access in even the most remote countries. I’m confident they will work in 1st world hotels. But in a village, a market, or a small town square? Not so much. Bring cash when trotting the globe. It’s probably the very best “James Bond Gadget” you can have in your pocket.
And 007 wouldn’t bring only big bills, but small ones as well.
You don’t want to be dropping huge wads of cash and the local village warlord sniffs out that they’ve got a rich Westerner on the loose.
Getting the best currency exchange rate
If you’re about to travel, think ahead about this! As you exchange money in and out you will end up paying a few extra percentage points both directions.
A. Don’t leave the airport without exchanging.
B. There’s typically an exchange counter which will charge worse rates than an ATM.
C. Find an ATM of your major bank (brands like Chase are going to be carried further than BofA or Wells Fargo). There’s a foreign transaction fee of 1-2% usually, but hopefully not an ATM fee if it’s your bank.
D. Use your debit card. If you use your credit card at the ATM, you’ll be charged a cash advance fee which is usually between 3-6% up front, plus a 15-24% APR.
Would James Bond gadgets include insurance? I’m sure 007 wouldn’t have life insurance. All these 00’s seem to be orphaned. And they don’t make many friends. All of Bonds girls seem to get killed. Who’d he have to hand his riches off too?
Let me ask you this: Did you know that Bond was married once? It was in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I just watched it for the first time this week. Just because it was the only one with George Lazenby-the guy that only did one Bond film. I guess if you get your wife killed you don’t show up for work as Bond again.
Car insurance as a James Bond gadget: I’ll be honest. I tried to find a service I could suggest for high risk drivers with lots of tickets and incidents that’ll get you a good deal. I couldn’t. There is no good deal. You’ll be paying out your ass. You should stop driving.
American Express Black Centurion
This is the most elusive credit card in the world. It’s by invitation only. If you spent over $250,000 on your other American Express card last year, you might get invited to join this elusive club. It’s hard to find much info about this card. But apparently it’s got tons of secret perks for a guy like Bond. But there is a $5,000 initiation fee and a $2,500 annual fee. But if you’re already spending $250k annually, that’s probably pennies for you.
James Bond Gadgets
If you’re jumping on the Skyfall bandwagon, enjoy the return of Q to the franchise. But as he gets handed his hand-encoded Walther PPK, don’t forget to think about what financial James Bond gadgets Q would suggest to keep 007 money-smart.