5 financial life lessons from reality TV

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I, myself, have been surprised, when confessing my secret predilection for a certain reality television franchise, at the number of intellectual types who cop to the same viewing habits, from litigators to literati -- even including a surgeon!

But the genre that provides so many of us with seemingly harmless, mindless entertainment -- wherein we scoff at the lifestyle follies and social dramas of the "Real Housewives of (you name it)," among other shows -- took a serious and seriously tragic turn last week when one cast member's husband, Russell Armstrong, took his own life, leaving three children behind and exposing his troubled personal and financial affairs to public scrutiny.

I've written here before on the foreclosure curse that seems to have affected "Real Housewives" franchise cast members across the country; at latest count, 12 of the ladies' homes have been in some stage of foreclosure, and most of those propertie...