Fun with counterfactuals

The world we live in was not inevitable. But it can feel like it is.

One of the ways I like to draw attention to this is by looking at movies that could have been casted very differently. Imagine:

  • Cary Grant as the first James Bond;
  • Al Pacino as Han Solo in the Star Wars movies;
  • Scott Baio as Maverick in Top Gun;
  • OJ Simpson as the Terminator;
  • Jim Carrey as Dr Evil in the Austin Powers movies;
  • Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the roles that were played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon in The Departed;
  • Sean Connery as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings movies; and
  • Will Smith as Neo and Sean Connery as Morpheus in The Matrix.

These all, allegedly, could have happened.

It’s easy to imagine that with different actors, these would have been very different movies.

The importance of who is cast in a movie is, in the scheme of things, not especially important. What other twists of fate, of greater import, could have occurred, to make the world seem like a very different place?

Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie is the founder and principal of Fairhaven Wealth.

Before founding Fairhaven Wealth, Sonnie worked in the legal and financial services industries for over a decade.

Sonnie first became involved with financial advice as a specialist financial services lawyer. For many years, he was an “adviser of advisers”, reviewing thousands of advice files prepared by hundreds of financial advisers, and providing feedback in relation to the quality and appropriateness of advice; industry best practice; risk management; and regulatory compliance. He has published work in industry publications and spoken at various financial advice conferences.

Sonnie has also worked with banks, investment management firms, insurers, and derivatives providers.

Sonnie has worked as a private client lawyer, focusing on succession, estate planning and trusts. He ran his own legal firm in Australia before relocating to New Zealand. He has also acted in independent trustee and company director positions.

Sonnie is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and manage the risks to which they are exposed.

He has written extensively on his blog, New Zealand Wealth and Risk, which can be found at

Sonnie is married to his wonderful wife Chrissy, and has two young children, Ben and Anna.