Your new financial guru

One day in 1994, while recovering from a ruptured pancreas, Guns ‘N Roses bassist Duff McKagan was puttering around his basement when he happened upon GnR’s financials from the previous six years. Flipping through the reports he had a bit of a panic attack when he realized, “I couldn’t make sense of it. I didn’t know how much we had made or lost on the tour,” and got himself into even more of a tizzy when he though about admitting to someone, “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.” So he decided to take some finance classes at Santa Monica Community College and while fronting his new band, Velvet Revolver, started giving financial advice on the side.

…word started spreading that he knew something about managing money. He began getting regular calls from musician friends with questions about everything from whether to buy a house to where they should invest their money.

It was around that time that McKagan realized a coupla things. 1) That he was pretty good at this money management stuff and 2) fellow musicians were comfortable being counseled by him because he didn’t “wear a suit” and therefore wasn’t representative of The Man. And that’s when a lightbulb went off.

He would team up with someone who had a little bit but not much more financial wisdom to impart but who wouldn’t scare off anti-Establishment rockstars with his fancy degrees and experience in the industry because Duff would be there to tell them the guy was cool. McKagan found him in former banker Andy Bottomsley. Together the two will launch Meridian Rock, which will “educate rockers about their finances instead of pandering or lying to them,” and will be straight with colleagues re: whether or not they’re completely broke. The firm is actively seeking money managers in Europe and the US. Here’s what will be expected of you.

McKagan says Meridian Rock’s advisors will talk directly to the talent, in plain and simple terms. The company’s three tenets, he notes, are righteousness (i.e., not screwing people over), transparency, and education.

No word on comp but it seems as though you could easily work in some guarantees for a few groupies at year’s end.

Duff McKagen Launches Wealth Management Firm [Fortune]

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Comments (112)

  1. Posted by AZP | March 4, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Santa Monica Community College Finance Course > CFA

  2. Posted by NakedShort | March 4, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Hello?

    Is it me your looking for?

    -L. Richie

  3. Posted by GroupiesGroupiesGropees | March 4, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    The thought of the talent that’s going to want receptionist / admin positions where they get to meet rock stars makes me almost want an HR job there.

  4. Posted by GroupiesGroupiesGropees | March 4, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    The thought of the talent that’s going to want receptionist / admin positions where they get to meet rock stars makes me almost want an HR job there.

  5. Posted by GroupiesGroupiesGropees | March 4, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    The thought of the talent that’s going to want receptionist / admin positions where they get to meet rock stars makes me almost want an HR job there.

  6. Posted by guest | March 4, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Other than that, no concerns.

  7. Posted by guest | March 4, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Other than that, no concerns.

  8. Posted by Non-Entity Hedge Fund Manager | March 4, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    I’ll wave 100% of my usurious fees for these guys if they support me in live band karaoke one time per year.

    Duff, calllll me…

  9. Posted by Non-Entity Hedge Fund Manager | March 4, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    I’ll wave 100% of my usurious fees for these guys if they support me in live band karaoke one time per year.

    Duff, calllll me…

  10. Posted by Non-Entity Hedge Fund Manager | March 4, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    I’ll wave 100% of my usurious fees for these guys if they support me in live band karaoke one time per year.

    Duff, calllll me…

  11. Posted by Guest | March 4, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Who’ll play at their Christmas party?

  12. Posted by Seaman Bodine | March 4, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    ahhh ahh hah hah hah holy shit!!!!

    - izzy stradlin

  13. Posted by Guest | March 4, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    So you’re saying Chinese Democracy was a poor use of money?

    - Axl

  14. Posted by DitchDiggers | March 4, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    this movie has already been written

    ~HRJ Capital LLC

  15. Posted by DitchDiggers | March 4, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    this movie has already been written

    ~HRJ Capital LLC

  16. Posted by Finger Trap | March 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I’ve shared more than finanical advice with Duff.
    -Jeff G.

  17. Posted by Finger Trap | March 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I’ve shared more than finanical advice with Duff.
    -Jeff G.

  18. Posted by Guest | March 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    What is money? SHAARRRRROOOOON!!!!!!!
    Ozzie

  19. Posted by Guest | March 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    What is money? SHAARRRRROOOOON!!!!!!!
    Ozzie

  20. Posted by Financial_Servicer | March 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Big deal.

    -Shia Labeouf

  21. Posted by Financial_Servicer | March 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Big deal.

    -Shia Labeouf

  22. Posted by C Love | March 4, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Oh, so you’re supposed to have the babes, lap dances and cars going on before you start taking money and offering financial advice?

    -Christopher Love Blackwell
    Custody, NM

  23. Posted by C Love | March 4, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Oh, so you’re supposed to have the babes, lap dances and cars going on before you start taking money and offering financial advice?

    -Christopher Love Blackwell
    Custody, NM

  24. Posted by C Love | March 4, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Oh, so you’re supposed to have the babes, lap dances and cars going on before you start taking money and offering financial advice?

    -Christopher Love Blackwell
    Custody, NM

  25. Posted by C Love | March 4, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Oh, so you’re supposed to have the babes, lap dances and cars going on before you start taking money and offering financial advice?

    -Christopher Love Blackwell
    Custody, NM

  26. Posted by Guest | March 4, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    except that then you would have a job in HR

  27. Posted by Sir Iggy Pop | March 4, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    How much worse could he do than you MBA-totin’ Ivy League geniuses?

  28. Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Not saying this guy is a Ponzi scheme but he does illustrate the first rule of building one:

    Find an affinity group like yourself. People are more willing to give you money and trust you if they feel comfortable with you ie look like you, act like you, have the same hobbies, have the same career, belong to the same religion, etc.

    It just goes to show how desperate people are for good advice these days.

  29. Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Not saying this guy is a Ponzi scheme but he does illustrate the first rule of building one:

    Find an affinity group like yourself. People are more willing to give you money and trust you if they feel comfortable with you ie look like you, act like you, have the same hobbies, have the same career, belong to the same religion, etc.

    It just goes to show how desperate people are for good advice these days.

  30. Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Not saying this guy is a Ponzi scheme but he does illustrate the first rule of building one:

    Find an affinity group like yourself. People are more willing to give you money and trust you if they feel comfortable with you ie look like you, act like you, have the same hobbies, have the same career, belong to the same religion, etc.

    It just goes to show how desperate people are for good advice these days.

  31. Posted by Smartguy | March 4, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Smart guy to know that going by Duff Capital would be a bad omen

  32. Posted by Lenny Dykstra | March 4, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    He doesn’t know jack, not to crap in his house or nothing.

  33. Posted by Lenny Dykstra | March 4, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    He doesn’t know jack, not to crap in his house or nothing.

  34. Posted by Il Papa | March 4, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Hey!!!

    -Pope Benedict XVI

  35. Posted by Il Papa | March 4, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Hey!!!

    -Pope Benedict XVI

  36. Posted by Il Papa | March 4, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Hey!!!

    -Pope Benedict XVI

  37. Posted by Frustrated Graphic Designer | March 4, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Imagine the logo possibilities if they’d chosen Duff & Bottomsley…

  38. Posted by Frustrated Graphic Designer | March 4, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Imagine the logo possibilities if they’d chosen Duff & Bottomsley…

  39. Posted by Salacious Seahorse | March 4, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    I’ve never been much of a Duff man. I only drink Fudd.

  40. Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    I thought they stopped making that stuff when a bunch of hillbillies went blind or something.

  41. Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    I thought they stopped making that stuff when a bunch of hillbillies went blind or something.

  42. Posted by Ivy League Genius | March 4, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    Much, much, much worse.

  43. Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2011 at 7:01 PM
  44. Posted by C. Sheen | March 4, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    What about rock stars from Mars? I don’t usually deal with investments in this particular terrestrial realm, but this sounds like it’s right up my alley.

  45. Posted by Spanishmoon | March 4, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    “These fools still didn’t discover my embezzling” -

    Slash

  46. Posted by College | March 4, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    It’s totally plausible. My mom is finishing her accounting degree at Texas State and just got funding for a hedge fund. I was never allowed to listen to G-n-R growing up though.

  47. Posted by HighBNR | March 4, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    …One day, a couple weeks after leaving TCW, Gundlach found an old Fender Jaguar at a pawn shop in west hollywood. The only thing he could play was the opening riff of “Iron Man”. He got himself into even more of a tizzy when he though about admitting to someone, “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.”
    He decided to take some music classes at Santa Monica Community College. Soon, he realized a couple things, 1.) he was pretty good at swinging an axe and 2.) because he was fuckin’ rich and had access to great drugs he could coerce former rock stars, like Mike Starr the former bassist of Alice in Chains to come over and jam. Together the two are starting Fucksaw and gigging around L.A.

  48. Posted by Guest | March 4, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    And most of the clients are so fried in the brains from all that partying they won’t even remember giving you money.

    Genius.

  49. Posted by EasyMoney | March 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Silver’s down? Well call the Lone Ranger, he’ll cheer him up!!

    -Duff

  50. Posted by Guest | March 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    And we quite liked the ending.

    - Capital Dynamics AG

  51. Posted by Guest | March 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    And we quite liked the ending.

    - Capital Dynamics AG

  52. Posted by Bignele | March 4, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Thats cool…Richie Sambora does my taxes

  53. Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2011 at 8:00 PM
  54. Posted by AmericanBandersnatch | March 4, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    I’m going to start my own wealth management firm “Derek Zoolander Advisors For Models Who Can’t Read Financials Good And Wanna Learn About Other Money Stuff Too”

  55. Posted by Gotta Protect Yo Neck! | March 4, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Being a few IQ points smarter than your idiot-ass rocker friends and starting the next Nails Investments is the NKI.

  56. Posted by PPM reader | March 4, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Their fund could have gone the “rent a Director route” but take a look at what I pulled from the PPM:

    Independant Director: Len E. Dykstra, Twiz…..

    Independat Director: The guy from CHIPs

    This fund has to be legit with those guys involved

  57. Posted by spell check | March 4, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    My bad on spelling – sorry – too close to happy hour

  58. Posted by spell check | March 4, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    My bad on spelling – sorry – too close to happy hour

  59. Posted by Axl Rose, CFP | March 4, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    YOU SUCK!

  60. Posted by AZ_P | March 4, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    No I don’t.
    Duff M. SMC Finance Class of 1994

  61. Posted by tt | March 4, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    What is the symbol for the cocaine ETF?

  62. Posted by Sheeenit | March 5, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    FKD

  63. Posted by Axe-l | March 5, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    Welcome to the jungle

  64. Posted by Put_Option | March 5, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Meatloaf: “Mind glancing at my portfolio. I hear you have an impressive Sharpe.”

    Duff: “From the looks of it, you have a bull-spread going on hamburgers and blow, and are short salads and treadmills.”

  65. Posted by Finn Alexander | March 5, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    In defense of Duff, he did continue past the community college course, enrolling at Seattle University’s Albers School of Business before leaving a semester short of graduating. His heart is in the right place, but I would not trust a Brit if I were him, and would bring a top accounting firm and major American bank into the relationship quick fast before things get Madoffistic.

  66. Posted by Guest | March 7, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Call me!

    - Adam Wyden, former DE Shaw intern, CEO at ADW Capital Partners

  67. Posted by Good call | March 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Right because major American bank operations are squarely aligned with their clients’ best interests.

  68. Posted by Good call | March 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Right because major American bank operations are squarely aligned with their clients’ best interests.

  69. Posted by Finn Alexander | March 7, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    No, because a major bank, like perhaps Northern Trust as a custodian of client funds, might be infinitely more reassuring and reliable, when combined with a known accounting firm, and when the money management firm is started by novices of dubious background and capability.

  70. Posted by Will | March 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    What’s with the “would not trust a Brit”?

  71. Posted by Grey-haired MBA/CFA | March 21, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    I disagree. I just heard him speak at the SXSW conference and he was very lucid and properly responded to questions on market timing and equity selection with an excellent MPT/Asset Allocation response – in laymen’s terms. Ivy League Genius’s like George W. Bush and Wall Street assholes have clearly done much worse. Just cause you were born into wealth doesn’t mean you are smarter than a JUCO graduate.

  72. Posted by Charles Norwall | March 23, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    I think this is great. It’s not like he’s going to be managing a hedge fund, or some other such investment vehicle where you lose if you’re not on the cutting edge of the competition. I think most of the Wealth management for rock stars will start with things like “spend less than you make,” and other such common sense.

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