by Mike Chen on 10/01/08 at 02:30 PM ET
During the total system meltdown of the US financial system, you may have noticed an increase in commercials talking about the value of gold. Well, about 20 years ago, a few hockey players and a Hollywood hanger-on had the foresight to invest in this market. They just didn’t get anything out of it.
Tom Arnold—yes, that Tom Arnold—was on the Howard Stern show today and among many other stories (including how he found a passed-out Britney Spears on his apartment building’s stairs during her shaved-head days) was a discussion of his investment in a gold mine with a few friends. Friends who happened to be NHL Hall of Famers.
This ain’t a metaphor for a hot new company or anything like that, it was a literal gold mine. A gold mine, as in a big hole in the ground where people hope to unearth precious metals. He said the logic was that they would purchase the land then unearth $100 million worth of gold. Sounds like a solid plan, right?
Fellows, you better stick with making guarantees on pivotal Game 7s or setting up plays from behind the net.
So, about 20 years ago Tom Arnold, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and the Courtnall brothers gathered in a room and decided that it’d be a fantabulous idea to invest in a gold mine. And, uh, well, there’s not much else to the story other than the fact that they lost everything. Several years later, the same group decided to invest in an internet startup that went from being worth millions to worth nothing in a week or so (not sure if he’s exaggerating but with dot-com implosions, it sounds about right). Moral of the story? Don’t go into financial investments with Gretzky or Messier.
Arnold did say that the well-mannered duo were very polite about the whole after the fact. He attributed that to their Canadian upbringing but I’m guessing it probably had more to do with the fact that they’re all worth more than Tom Arnold.
Now the reason I bring this whole thing up is that it makes a great warning for future NHL stars to wisely invest their money. After all, those who ignore the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat it. Ok Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin?
Arnold brought up another story where he tried to counsel Kevin Federline about not acting like such a hanger-on idiot all of the time because that was the same role he was in back in the early 90s. He told Mr. Fed Ex that anything dumb he does today will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Let’s flash forward about 15 years. Picture this: Crosby and Malkin, the Gretzky and Messier of their time, get a call from Kevin Federline to invest in this hot new thing he found out in the middle of the Nevada desert. And he’s even got the Sedin twins along with him on the investment.
Sid, Evgeni, try to learn from the past, ok?
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