Celebrities are usually just a little below gambling winners on the “Who you should not take financial advice from” scale. But like all of us, they get older and sometimes even wiser. Money Magazine ran a piece recently featuring answers to questions about money from famous people who are not so young any more. Here is a sampling of their views on money:
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."
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 59
Bodybuilder, actor, politician
"Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million, but I was just as happy when I had $48 million."
Bobby Seale, 70
Co-founder of the Black Panther party, lecturer
"Money is the medium of exchange, and it’s how you make things happen. To say you hate it is some farfetched, idealistic crap."
William Shatner, 75
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."
Chaka Kahn, 54
Singer and 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."
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."
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?"
Jerry Seinfeld, 52
"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."
All in all, it looks like they have an understanding about money that we don’t normally attribute to superstars. The article hints that for many of them, they paid the price of tuition with big mistakes. If we are successful, our client’s won’t have to wait until 30 years after they made their money to make smart decisions.