CANNES -- If you want to play the stock market like Shia LaBeouf, then prepare to zig when the others zag.
"I made most of my money by contrarian investing," the actor said when queried by WalletPop at the Cannes Film Festival this week. "Nobody was putting money into financials, then financials exploded."
He had help. As LaBeouf was preparing to film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which premiered here, he worked with traders and studied for the broker exam. "I was surrounded by a lot of smart people who made picks for me, and they were incentivized to do so because I was the conduit to their hero."
That would be Gordon Gekko, the oily wheeler-dealer reprised by Michael Douglas from the 1987 Wall Street original. "I would tell them make me money and I'll take you on the set to meet Gekko," added LaBeouf, whose previous hits include Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the Transformers movies. LaBeouf said he made gains (Douglas told Esquire that LaBeouf turned $20,000 into $380,000) but lost his advisers. They were whisked off the trading floor in massive layoffs.
LaBeouf said stock-trading isn't gambling if well-researched. "It's gambling when you listen to Jim Cramer and jump on the thing."
LaBeouf held court with reporters in a cliffside cabana at the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, an uber-luxurious inn for
the in crowd. Despite confessing that he could not spend all the money he has made in his career, the setting remained a
novelty. Asked by WalletPop what the best financial advice his parents gave him was, he replied, "I come from outrageous poverty. My parents never had any money. It's hard to give advice on something you don't have."
The soon to be 24-year-old actor said his dad was a drug dealer and his mother sold homemade jewelry in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles. "For a long time I blamed money for ripping my family apart," he said. "I blamed money for my parents' divorce."
The cycle ended when LaBeouf got a job as the lead on Disney Channel's "Even Stevens" for $8,000 a week. His father finished rehab and became his guardian on the set. Said LeBeouf: "Money also brought my dad back. My relationship with my
father started at work."
Shia LaBeouf of Wall Street 2: rags-to-riches star picks winning stocks