Are you a rock star without a clue how to take care of your finances? If so, Duff McKagan, the ex-Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver bassist, might be able to help.
McKagan, 47, had an ephiphany some years back after his pancreas exploded and he was in his basment filing through some old GN'R financial statements.
"I couldn't make sense of it. I didn't know how much we had made or lost on the tour," McKagan recalls. "As a 30 year-old millionaire, how do I admit to somebody that I don't know what the f*&! I'm doing?"
This confusion led to McKagan taking some financial courses at Santa Monica Community College and then at Seattle University's Albers School of Business (a Velvet Revolver tour was the cause for McKagan's pause in his studies; he's just a semester shy of earning his business degree).
Thanks to his studies (both in the classroom and out), McKagan has become a rather adept money manager. In fact, he's earned such a sound reputation among other rock stars that he often receives calls from fellow musicians soliciting his financial advice. He also pens a column in Playboy called "Duffonomics."
More recently, McKagan's interest and prowess in financial advisory has led to his partnering up with British investor Andy Bottomsley to start a money management firm called Meridian Rock -- whose three tenents are "righteousness (i.e., not screwing people over), transparency, and education."
According to McKagan, what sets Meridian Rock apart from other money management firms is his understanding of the industry. For example, the bassist believes that "most bankers overestimate the 'window' in which music acts are guaranteed income, which he places at three to five years."
He also believes that the musicians themselves incorrectly estimate this window. "You think the money is going to keep coming," he says. "When you get that big contract, or your record goes platinum and you're selling out concerts, you don't see that it's going to end."