They Got Older Too
...and, in theory, wiser. We asked the pop icons you grew up with what they learned about money in all these years. You just might be surprised.
(MONEY Magazine) – • GRACE SLICK, 67 CAPTAIN, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE SMART MONEY MOVE: "Politically I'm just a little bit to the left of a Sandinista, but for financial stuff I always listened to my father, a Republican investment banker. He told me if I always pay my bills with one-third, save one-third and screw around with the last third, I'll be okay, no matter how much I earn. It's the one thing he said that I listened to, and I have never been in any financial trouble." WHAT I TELL MY DAUGHTER: "It doesn't matter because she does it her own way. I've told her you don't need $125 jeans, but she doesn't listen. She's getting straight A's in college and wants to be a professor of theology. They're almost as flaky as rock stars."
• MICKY DOLENZ, 61 HALF-MAN, HALF-MONKEE SMART MONEY MOVE: "Making my mom my business manager. I remember getting my first royalty check from the Monkees records. Our deal wasn't very good, but when you sell 60 million records, you're gonna get a pretty hefty payday. I called my mom and said, 'I've got this check that looks like a phone number. What should I do with it?'" MY WORK ETHIC: "I actually retired once. I bought a huge mansion outside London with a full-time staff of six. But I wasn't built for the life of a country gentleman. I just get bored if I'm not doing things. When I'm not touring, I work in my shop. I can do framing, I do all my own electrical and plumbing. I just got a patent for a new household tool I invented that helps to hang a picture."
• CHERYL TIEGS, 59 PROTO-SUPERMODEL WHAT MONEY MEANS TO ME: "Money means I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night scared or worried how I'm going to support my son. But over-spending on extravagant items doesn't buy happiness. I really am not the type to go out and buy furs and jewels and outrageously expensive cars. I have maybe 30 pairs of shoes, and that includes hiking boots. Right now I'm driving a hybrid Saturn Vue." WHAT I TELL MY SON: "He gets a dollar a week allowance per year of his age. Now he's 15. Long ago I said whatever you put in the bank, I'll match when you turn 18. So he's been building up this little nest egg of his own to buy a car."
• RON HOWARD, 58 TV LEGEND/HOLLYWOOD LEGEND "From the time I was 18, directing was pretty much all I talked about. I created this scenario of how to build an empire based on one porno movie. Deep Throat had come out, and I read how it was made for $8,000 or something, and it made $30 million. And I thought, 'Hmm, that would buy a lot of autonomy.' Then I began to imagine the marquee: Opie Gets Laid. I'd be kicked out of the business, but I'd have all this money to make independent films."
• WILLIAM SHATNER, 75 INTERGALACTIC SUPERSTAR MEMORABLE MONEY MISTAKE: "When I was a young actor at Canada's Stratford Festival, one of the older actors told me that Canadian uranium is the future and you must buy into it. So I bought it on Thursday with the entire $500 I had saved. The following day, the Canadian prime minister said the country would no longer buy uranium. I was wiped out. It actually hurt my performance onstage. Since then I've led a very conservative financial life." WHAT MONEY MEANS TO ME: "For the longest time I could never get ahead more than a few hundred dollars, no matter how well I did or what job I got, and no matter how hard I tried to pare expenses down. With three kids, it was always very, very tight, and it was always a scramble for what was my next job. So I learned never to go into debt because I don't want those monthly payments to preoccupy my thoughts. I never spend more than what I can afford, and I don't owe anything." WHAT I TELL MY KIDS: "Don't buy anything on time, and that includes cars and houses."
• MARK SPITZ, 56 OLYMPIC SWIMMER MEMORABLE MONEY MISTAKE: "Long ago I invested in a penny-stock opportunity of a shell corporation. Big mistake. I lost half my investment, but I was one of the lucky ones because everybody else lost 100%. If something sounds too good to be true, it's probably not true."
• CHAKA KAHN, 54 SOUL PROPRIETOR "My dad is like a genius, he's my guru, and my mother is also a very brilliant woman. She's running my finances, so I have to ask Mama for money."
• BARRY WILLIAMS, 52 AMERICA'S OLDER BROTHER SMARTEST MONEY MOVE: "My mother and father encouraged me to buy beachfront property, which was helpful. It grew enough in value that I sold it, and it became the down payment on my first house. I have set up a pension plan that I must contribute to every year. That came from training from my father, and from the school of hard knocks. The years following The Brady Bunch were not as active as I would have liked. The nature of this business is erratic, so I learned to plan for the times when work may not be as abundant. No amount is too little to save." WHAT HE TELLS HIS SON ABOUT MONEY: "I live beneath my means, so that I don't spend everything that comes in. My son is only four years old, but in the anticipation of the high tuition payments ahead, I began to shift some of my funds toward saving for his education. And when I can, I make investments that do not mature for at least five years. I put money into bonds. Long-range planning is important. You need to think in the long term."
• DENZEL WASHINGTON, 53 TWO-TIME OSCAR WINNER "I'm just not the acquisitive type. I have three cars, and that's as extravagant as it gets for me. My watch cost me $39 and it keeps good time, so why would I need a more expensive one?"
• BOB COWSILL, 58 FORMER SINGING COWSILL WHAT HE TELLS HIS KIDS ABOUT MONEY: "No matter what business you are in, you need to educate yourself about the finances of the business. I didn't have to fall apart financially. I should have parlayed the success we had as The Cowsills into my own personal success. Instead I was getting things I couldn't afford, which trashed my credit rating. I still can't buy a house. I created my own nightmare with the IRS because I didn't pay taxes for five years. You have to think ahead while you are young; don't use credit cards to ruin your credit. I made bad financial decisions because of my ignorance."
• BRADLEY WHITFORD, 47 TELEVISION PRODUCER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE STAFFER "My father used to tell me a riddle: Who is happier, the guy with $11 million or the guy with 11 kids? The guy with 11 kids. Why? Because he doesn't want more."
• BRUCE JENNER, 57 OLYMPIC DECATHLETE MEMORABLE MONEY MISTAKE: "In 1998 I bought a lot of stock in a telecom company that opened at 15, immediately went to six and then over the next two years went from six to 163. It had a three-for-one split and got back up to over 100 on the split. And then in 2001, when everything died, I just didn't get enough of my money out. It was a great company, but I learned a lot about the stock market from that." WHAT I TELL MY KIDS: "I tell them that the good times don't last forever, so be conservative with your money. Always try to live off half of what you make. The other half goes to taxes and investments. If you can do that, you'll succeed at money."
• DAVID CASSIDY, 56 TEEN IDOL WHAT I TELL MY SON: "It's hard because my work is so different from that of his friends' dads. If I say, 'Go out and get a job for $8 an hour,' he says, 'What do you make, Dad?' I tell him it's not relevant."
• JAMES TAYLOR, 58 SINGER/SONGWRITER "Time may be money, but your money won't buy time."
• STEVE JOBS, 51 APPLE PICKER "I was worth about $1 million when I was 23 and more than $10 million when I was 24, and more than $100 million when I was 25, and it wasn't that important because I never did it for the money."
• ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, 59 FORMER AUSTRIAN BODYBUILDER "Money doesn't make you happy. I now have $50 million, but I was just as happy when I had $48 million."
• DONNY OSMOND, 49 ONE-HALF OF AMERICA'S SWEETHEART MEMORABLE MONEY MISTAKE: "I once tried to become a day-trader. I lost thousands." SMART MONEY MOVE: "Back in 1993 I was reading an article— in MONEY magazine, actually— about how to organize your finances. I realized I had no idea where I was financially because I trusted this one individual who was my business manager then. I told her I wanted to see every single file and report. There were 23 file boxes, full of mostly garbage, and nothing was organized. I ended up with about four boxes. I took a bold step, and I fired her." WHAT I TELL MY KIDS: "They learn there is no such thing as free money, and as a result they're very careful. My wife and I give them a credit card, but they're responsible for paying the bill. When they're old enough to drive, I pay for half of their first car. If they can't afford their half, then they can't buy the car."
• JERRY SEINFELD, 52 MANHATTANITE "Dogs have no money. Isn't that amazing? They're broke their entire lives. But they get through. You know why dogs have no money? No pockets."
• ALICE WALKER, 62 PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING NOVELIST SMART MONEY MOVE: "Early on, my father said that each of us had to have a savings account. He took us to the Farmers & Merchants Bank in Eatonton, Ga., where I opened my first account with 50¢ I made selling eggs."
• TIM MATHESON, 59 AMERICA'S FAVORITE FRATERNITY BROTHER "My father would drive around town and point at various houses. He'd say, 'You know, I could have bought that house in 1940 for $2,800.' Why didn't he? I would ask. His answer: 'Because it cost too much.'"
• BOBBY SEALE, 70 CO-FOUNDER OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY, LECTURER AND BARBECUE ENTREPRENEUR "Money is the medium of exchange, and it's how you make things happen. To say you hate it is some farfetched, idealistic crap."
THINK BACK, WAY BACK... ABOVE, BOOMER ICONS AS THEY WERE WHEN YOU FIRST SAW THEM. REMEMBER THEM ALL? ON THE PAGES THAT FOLLOW, THE SAME ICONS TODAY.
1) GRACE SLICK 2) DAVID CASSIDY 3) DONNY OSMOND 4) RON HOWARD 5) JAMES TAYLOR 6) BRUCE JENNER 7) STEVE JOBS 8) BOBBY SEALE 9) CHERYL TIEGS 10) BARRY WILLIAMS 11) ALICE WALKER 12) MICKY DOLENZ 13) BOB COWSILL 14) WILLIAM SHATNER 15) MARK SPITZ 16) CHAKA KHAN 17) DENZEL WASHINGTON 18) TIM MATHESON 19) ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
1) MARK SPITZ 2) GRACE SLICK 3) ALICE WALKER 4) ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER 5) BARRY WILLIAMS 6) WILLIAM SHATNER 7) DENZEL WASHINGTON 8) DAVID CASSIDY 9) JAMES TAYLOR 10) RON HOWARD
1) CHERYL TIEGS 2) BRUCE JENNER 3) TIM MATHESON 4) MICKY DOLENZ 5) CHAKA KHAN 6) DONNY OSMOND 7) BRADLEY WHITFORD 8) JERRY SEINFELD 9) BOBBY SEALE 10) STEVE JOBS