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Netflix’s ‘Ozark’ Holds Some Truths About FAs

August 4, 2017

Financial advisors say that “Ozark” – the new Netflix series about their profession – gets many things right. But they wish its message were more positive.

The 10-episode series stars Jason Bateman as a financial advisor in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks who launders drug cartel money while living a middle-class life, MarketWatch writes.

Richard Rosso, director of financial planning at Clarity Financial, tells the news website that the show gets many details right, such as when Bateman’s character says “that money is the measure of a man’s choice” — advisors would love that, according to Rosso.

Rosso also likes the “everyman” demeanor of Bateman, which he says makes him perfect for the role, according to the news website. And the fact that Bateman’s character drives a Toyota Corolla makes it much more representative of the profession than shows such as “Billions” with its larger-than-life characters, Rosso tells MarketWatch.

Unlike those fictional advisors, “there’s nothing sexy about [Bateman’s character] except he has the ability to understand the middle-class dilemma and exploit it for his own purposes,” he tells the news website.

(pic: Netflix)

The show’s portrayal of the advice profession also shows some progress in Hollywood away from the clichés of the term “stock broker,” Shannon Pike, president of the Financial Planning Association, tells InvestmentNews.

As for the money-laundering theme, Pike says it “probably sells better” as a plot driver than real life, according to the publication. Nonetheless, Pike wishes a sitcom or drama would show the real work of financial planning in a positive light, InvestmentNews writes.

Rose Swanger, president of Advise Finance, tells the publication she likes the dialogue and the plot but adds that it’s “frustrating” the series presents Bateman’s character as a typical financial advisor to a public already misinformed about the profession.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the InvestmentNews article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the MarketWatch article cited in this story, click here.