Michael DouglasMichael Douglas is no Gordon Gekko, his "Greed is good"-spouting alter-ego from Wall Street and now the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (opening Sept. 24). But the Academy Award-winning actor has led a volatile financial life.

In an interview before he was diagnosed with throat cancer, Douglas offered a peek into his roller coaster ride in the stock market.

"I try to keep up," he told WalletPop. "I read stuff. I've got friends."

Maybe he ought to get his information elsewhere. He recalled jumping on the tech venture market that gushed profits in the '90s. "Everybody was smart," he recalled. "You could do anything. Then it exploded and crashed. After that time, I did not try to get so smart. After that time I got a little more conservative."

But Douglas got slammed again with the rest of us in the recession. He told the London Sun that he lost 35 to 40% of his net worth in the 2008 nosedive.

He's still in the market -- ever-mindful of whom he entrusts with his fortune. "I choose fund managers for investments, but I don't have one person who oversees it," he said to WalletPop at Cannes.

Douglas had other plans for his financial future: He proclaimed he would no longer put in the hours required of a movie star. "I have children," he said. "I'm happily married. Why do I want to go to work? I'd rather spend time with my children. I don't have to work my ass off."

Asked in a light moment if he was greedy, Douglas smiled and said yes. "Greedy about life. I want to take as much as I can get."

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