Investing

Tyrion Lannister Is the Best Investor on 'Game of Thrones'—and It's Why He Could Win

Daniel Bukszpan

After years of emotional investment, the goal is in sight: In a matter of weeks, we’ll know who ends up on the Iron Throne.

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will premiere its eighth and final season on Sunday, April 14. Since the first episode aired in 2011, viewers have gained intimate knowledge of each character’s personality.

While we can examine each character’s actions to predict their fates, experts say it’s also telling in how they might behave as investors.

For example, Daenerys Targaryen is a high-risk investor. No diversified portfolio for her. In season one, she received three dragon eggs—and while almost no one else saw their value, she went all-in on them.

Seven seasons later, those dragons are fully grown and have positioned her to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. (OK, sure, one-third of that investment is now working against her. We’ll have to see how that plays out.)

“Daenerys truly had all her eggs in one basket,” says Mindy Hirt, a certified financial planner and senior vice president at Argent Financial Group in Nashville, Tennessee. “Not our typical investment advice, but definitely seems to be working well for her.”

What about the other characters? What kind of investors would they be?

Cersei Lannister

To be fair, “Stay the course” isn’t as catchy a motto as “A Lannister always pays his debts.” But that first phrase would be a good lesson for Cersei, who doesn’t seem to be the type of investor to roll with the ups and downs of the market, says W. Devin Wolf, a certified financial planner and the lead advisor at Financial Plan Inc. in Bellingham, Washington.

“Cersei is an active manager, shrewdly trying to capitalize off whatever opportunity is in front of her—and quickly discarding once their value is gone,” he says.

Tyrion Lannister

Our experts only had praise for Tyrion. His actions paint him as a shrewd, moderate- to high-risk investor, says chartered financial analyst Michelle Hung, author of “The Sassy Investor.”

“He is patient and can distinguish the bad apples out of the bunch,” Hung says. “He’d have a diversified portfolio comprised of a combination of high-growth and dividend-paying equities.”

Amine Rahal, CMO at Regal Assets, says Tyrion would make a smart venture capitalist. “He loves investing in people and coaching them along the way,” Rahal says. “His trust in the right people has paid dividends multiple times on the show.”

Jon Snow

King in the North…and Boglehead? Snow would probably be a fan of index funds, Wolf says.

“Jon Snow is a passive investor, building a diversified, low-cost portfolio to stand the test of time,” he says. “Passive investing was once the ‘bastard’ of Wall Street, much like Jon Snow is the Bastard of Winterfell. However, passive investing has earned the respect of investors and advisors, much like Jon Snow has earned respect and his place as King in the North.”

Sansa Stark

Hung says Sansa has been a relatively safe investor who “would be 100% in bonds, money market funds, and CDs.” Unfortunately, being the good girl and not making waves didn’t do her much good for the first few seasons. More recently, however, her prospects have improved.

“While she has finally gotten some justice due to outside help from Jon, Arya, and Littlefinger—akin to the interest-rate environment finally being in her favor—she is making some headway on her gains,” Hung says.

Arya Stark

Like Daenerys, faceless assassin Arya Stark has also dabbled in high-risk investing—but she’s shifted her strategy as she learns from her gains and losses, says Hung.

“[Arya’s] eagerness for some instant gains has caused her to suffer some consequences,” Hung says. “However, her determination and persistence have allowed her to prevail. I’d say she went from being a day-trader to a long-term investor who would be in a diversified portfolio comprised of 100% equities.”

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