Financial Planning

Financial Tips From Rock Icon Gene Simmons

The Kiss frontman riffs on investing, saving and building a brand.

Even if you don’t know Gene Simmons’s music, chances are you know his face—the one he’s trademarked, anyway. The Kiss cofounder and bassist has established a personal brand that encompasses everything from his band’s thousands of licensed products to his co-ownership of an Arena Football League team called the LA Kiss.

Simmons’s latest venture is a money book titled Me, Inc. (Dey Street Books, $27). In it, he explains his branding strategy, a message sure to resonate with anyone looking for a job in today’s market. The philosophy in a nutshell: Never forget that marketing yourself is every bit as important as what you bring to the table. “If a vacuum cleaner salesman rings at your front door, he will be selling himself first. The vacuum cleaner is secondary,” Simmons writes.

The ambitious book covers other money topics, too, including investing, saving and home buying. Simmons says he set out to write an abridged version of all the money advice you never learned in school. “They don’t teach you how to pay taxes, earn a living and invest,” he says. “They teach you Columbus discovered America in 1492. Great. I’m prepared for life now.”

But the book addresses these subjects mostly with familiar financial platitudes. Simmons tells you to live within your means and riffs on Poor Richard’s Almanack (two pennies saved is one penny earned post-tax). Don’t expect more than the Cliff’s Notes version of personal finance. When Simmons does go into detail, he occasionally appears a little out of his depth. Sure, you shouldn’t buy a house you can’t afford, but if everyone waited to amass a net worth four times the value of the home they want to buy, as Simmons recommends, it would spell the end of homeownership as we know it. His idea of a diversified investment portfolio quickly devolves from stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average to penny stocks.

With Me, Inc., Simmons offers a glimpse into the financial mind of a rock legend. But don’t quit your (many) day jobs, Gene. Leave financial advice to the pros.

Most Popular

Are You Rich? The Answer May Surprise You
personal finance

Are You Rich? The Answer May Surprise You

Whether you are considered rich depends on how you measure it – and the bar for that is changing. Have a look at the numbers that define who's wealthy…
August 12, 2022
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
Save More on Green Home Improvements Under the Inflation Reduction Act
Tax Breaks

Save More on Green Home Improvements Under the Inflation Reduction Act

Tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements are extended and expanded by the Inflation Reduction Act.
August 19, 2022

Recommended

What’s All the Fuss About Direct Indexing?
investing

What’s All the Fuss About Direct Indexing?

Investors who want control over which stocks they own are looking at direct investing. It comes with some distinct advantages, but it’s not for everyo…
August 19, 2022
10 Best Bond ETFs to Buy Now
ETFs

10 Best Bond ETFs to Buy Now

The bond market has struggled in 2022, but investors with a longer-term view should consider these bond ETFs to balance their portfolios.
August 18, 2022
The Strong Dollar’s Winners and Losers
Foreign Stocks & Emerging Markets

The Strong Dollar’s Winners and Losers

The greenback’s rise may hurt companies with a global footprint, but benefit those that depend on imports.
August 17, 2022
The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 45 Warren Buffett Stocks Ranked
stocks

The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 45 Warren Buffett Stocks Ranked

The Berkshire Hathaway portfolio is a diverse set of blue chips, and increasingly, lesser-known growth bets. Here's a look at every stock picked by Wa…
August 16, 2022