We read a lot of personal finance books, and one thing that we’ve noticed over the years is that the advice in these books never seems to come from truly rich people. For the most part, guides on how to accumulate and manage wealth are written by folks who are worth maybe $1 million in a good quarter. These days, that’s barely pocket change to America’s wealthiest elite, and that’s why we decided to seek out financial advice from the richest, most successful people we know – Hollywood celebrities. The way we see it, there’s no better way to learn to be rich and famous than to listen to those who are already rich and famous.
Unfortunately, there haven’t been many celebrity financial books published over the years. It’s almost like every famous actor and musician doesn’t actually know how to manage his or her own wealth. We refuse to accept that as truth, and so for the sake of our dedicated readers we’ve done the next best thing. We’ve taken the time to summarize a few nonexistent, entirely hypothetical celebrity finance books. We think the what follows would be pretty accurate.
“From Back Alleys to Beyoncé: A Success Story” by Jay-Z.
Jay-Z’s guide to the American Dream would teach you how to become one of the most powerful moguls in the country without any formal education whatsoever. First, you’d need discover an incredible talent or think up a genius business idea. Then you’d have to start selling crack cocaine to fund your budding career and to promote said talent or idea. You’d be working long hours out of your car at first, but soon your product or talent would register with the masses and you’d start getting buyout or contract offers from bigger companies.
The book would advise you to turn down the offers and start your own business instead. You’d have to work hard until you achieve the mainstream success you seek, but when the money finally starts to flow, Jay-Z would say, you must immediately invest it into new products – like a clothing line, a chain of nightclubs and a basketball team. Now that you’ve established a massive flow of passive income, the rest is easy: simply marry a beautiful, rich celebrity and enjoy worldwide fame for the rest of your life.
“So Many Castles, So Little Time” by Nicholas Cage.
Nicholas Cage’s financial tome would be an Idiot’s Guide on investing in the actor’s favorite type of property – medieval European castles. The reader would get a crash course on how to pick out the perfect castle, how to renovate the property and how to sell it for a tremendous profit years later.
Unfortunately, the book would be a tremendous failure, because as Nicholas Cage recently discovered, the only person who wants to buy castles is Nicholas Cage. A $6 million debt to the IRS recently forced the actor to sell off both of his castles and several of his 15 palatial homes at a huge loss in order to stay out of jail. But hey, now that the economy is recovering it’s only a matter of time before the castle makes a comeback, right?
“Daddy’s Spinning in His Grave,” by Kim Kardashian.
Kim Kardashian’s guide to becoming a “celebutante” would begin by pointing out that it’s not easy to join this club. First, you must be born into a rich, powerful and pseudo-famous family. Then, to catalyze your meteoric rise to fame, you must date a C-list celebrity and release a sordid sex tape that features you performing acts on your significant other that would make your late father cry.
Once the sex tape is out, Kim would instruct, it’s time to hit the talk-show circuit. Apologize and explain yourself on camera, but don’t forget to enjoy all of that sweet, sweet publicity. Once you’re famous for no real reason whatsoever, it’s time to get rich. First, get yourself a reality television show. Then it’s time to leverage your newfound celebrity to secure multiple product endorsements with different big-name manufacturers. After that’s done, you are positioned to begin releasing your own licensed products. Now give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve managed to make “existing” into a career.
Judging by the way some of America’s biggest stars manage their money, it’s clear that Hollywood doesn’t make much sense. Sometimes celebrities earn their wealth and fame the hard way, like Jay-Z. Sometimes you’re simply photogenic and you’re standing in front of a camera at the perfect moment, like Kim Kardashian. And quite often, a celebrity’s estate is squandered as a result of extravagant shopping sprees or bad investments. Nick Cage, Ed McMahon and countless other celebrities can attest to that.
So it looks like we were wrong after all. If you’re looking for financial advice, talking to celebrities is a bad idea. Put your future in the hands of the small-fry financial advisers instead, people like Dave Ramsay and Suze Orman. They may not be ultra-rich and powerful, but these are people who understand money.