When Jack Black’s Polka King comes selling investments, you should run

Personal Finance


Netflix is out with the next installment of its unintended financial education series.

Last year it was “Ozark,” where Jason Bateman played a crooked financial advisor who shreds the fiduciary rule that says you must protect your clients’ interests faster than the New England Patriots’ secondary.

Available now on the video streaming service is “The Polka King,” a fictionalized comedy about the nonfiction story of a Polish immigrant, Jan Lewan, who gained some fame as the “Polka King” of Pennsylvania coal country in the ’90s. Played by comedian-actor Jack Black, Lewan just wants to be loved and live the American dream.

Unfortunately, living the dream takes money, a lot more than Lewan can muster playing weddings and other small-time gigs with his polka band, as well as manning a gift shop with his wife (played by Jenny Slate) in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

So, Lewan stumbles on another idea.

When an elderly couple, enthralled by Lewan’s upbeat and kitschy polka shows, wander into his shop, he entices them to invest in “Jan Lewan” enterprises. He tosses a thin pamphlet across his desk and tells his would-be investors to think it over.

They, of course, fall for his charms and while grumbling how they’ve been mistreated by stockbrokers and Wall Street, fork over their money. You can see how this will end.

To make sure you don’t fall prey to the same type of con, consider these lessons:



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