Actress, author and spokesperson Jamie Lee Curtis shared her personal wisdom about wealth – and a lot of laughs – at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit on Friday afternoon.
Ms. Curtis, who has starred in films “A Fish Called Wanda,” “True Lies” and “Trading Places” and is a pitchman for various brands, told the crowd she would offer a “kind of counterpoint” to many of the alternative investment strategies discussed throughout the two-day summit.
“The greatest wealth is who you are as a human being, what you do with your money in regard to other people, and taking care of education for children and healthcare and global initiatives for other people,” Ms. Curtis said.
On Friday morning, Ms. Curtis made an example of her words, taking the time to read to local schoolchildren at Camana Bay. Ms. Curtis has written 12 children’s books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide.
When she is not acting in films and writing best-sellers, Ms. Curtis often appears as a spokesperson for various products, and has been the face of brands such as Hertz, L’eggs pantyhouse, Voicestream Wireless, and, most recently, Activia yogurt.
“I wasn’t going to make much money as a writer or actor alone,” Ms. Curtis said. “I needed to diversify.”
Ms. Curtis told the audience that as a freelancer, which she described as waking up every day without a job, she is wary of high-risk alternative investment strategies.
The crowd briefly appeared to think she was joking when she explained that real estate had been a particularly good investment for her and her husband, actor and director Christopher Guest, but she assured them she was serious.
“We call ourselves the idiot savants of real estate,” Ms. Curtis said.
She credited much of her success to making good choices at what she called “hinge” moments.
Quoting author Marisha Pessl, Ms. Curtis said: “Life hinges on a couple of seconds you never see coming, and what you decide in those seconds determines everything.
“All of our planning, all of our investment strategy, all of our health strategy, all of our marital strategy, life is going to hinge on something coming we don’t see before it happens, so how will we live our life if that’s true?” Ms. Curtis said.
“The way we live our life is to be the wealth manger of humanity, to be wealth managers within our families … so I hope you make good choices leading up to that hinge and that when it happens, that because of the good choices you made in your life, you will be able to intuitively handle that situation.”
On the opening day of the summit, comedian and conference keynoter Jay Leno delighted his standing-room-only audience with his rapid-fire delivery of some very (very!) funny material.
We won’t attempt to “quote” any of Leno’s best jokes – they wouldn’t have the same effect in print (and a few were unprintable) – but after years of being a fixture in “late-night comedy,” Leno, we can report, is still at the top of his craft.
(There was a strict no photo rule at the Jay Leno performance on Thursday.)