Comedian George Wallace: From rags to riches

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George Wallace’s first job out of college was an oddly lucrative one—selling rags. But it was his next job that taught him a lesson about money—in hindsight, anyhow. Rather than accept stock in Metromedia (now Fox) in the 1970s, where he worked in advertising sales, he opted for a bonus. He says he could’ve been a rich man. However, he knows that a bird in hand is what he needed then. Oh well, the “New Mr. Vegas” isn’t doing so poorly anyway performing live at the Flamingo Hotel 5 nights a week.

About 33 percent of Wallace’s investment portfolio is in stocks; the rest is split equally between residential real estate and cash. What’s a strategy he uses for picking stocks? He considers firms after they have a major problem. He bought Jack-in-the-Box stock (NASDAQ: JACK; Price: $18.63) after the firm made headlines in 1992 for serving contaminated beef that sickened hundreds and resulted in four deaths. Recently, he sunk funds into Citibank (NYSE Arca: PCO; Price: $9.85). Another down-in-the-dumps buy for Wallace was Ford (NYSE: F; Price: $9.05).

Wallace is quick to admit that he has lost by applying his strategy, too. He didn’t gain anything from his investment in Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD; Price: $2.94), except weight, he kids. On a serious note, he is paying attention to biotechs, because he believes that cures can be lucrative.

S. Berg