|Why is the Twitterverse cackling with delight over Mila Kunis' statement to CNBC that she has "started investing in stocks?"
It seems as though many financial commentators are surprised that anyone who has graced the pages of "Maxim" magazine knows what a stock is, let alone how to buy one. Apparently, the star of "That '70s Show" and "Family Guy" previously had preferred conservative investments, telling the business news channel, "I'm an advocate of like put things in the bank, put it in a CD (a certificate of deposit), be safe."
West Wing Report, among others, questioned whether Kunis' change of heart was a sign of a "market top." That seems a bit ridiculous. Others were critical of CNBC over what they considered to be a ratings stunt by the Comcast-owned (CMCSA) cable channel. "Just when you thought CNBC couldn't be any more idiot-baiting, ratings-whoring and irrelevant," snapped StreetEye.
The financial media has a soft spot for celebrities who show an interest in the stock market. My colleague Aimee Picchi recently took note of teen stock-picker Rachel Fox, who played Kayla Sciavo on "Desperate Housewives." Wayne Rogers, who played Trapper John on "M*A*S*H," runs an investment strategy firm and regularly appears on Fox Business News. A few years ago, a trading company asked several Playboy Playmates to pick stocks as a publicity stunt. The models actually did pretty well, at least in the short run.
Perhaps the most infamous celebrity stock-picker was former baseball player Lenny Dykstra. He proclaimed himself a financial guru and wrote a column for TheStreet (TST). Dykstra's lifestyle fell apart during the housing bubble, and he ran afoul of the law. He was recently sentenced to 6 1/2 months federal prison for bankruptcy fraud and is already serving a three-year sentence for grand theft auto.
The 29-year-old Kunis, to her credit, doesn't appear to fancy herself as the next Warren Buffett and declined to offer her stock picks when pressed by CNBC. The episode makes me wonder if the financial pundits would find the situation as amusing had Kunis' boyfriend Ashton Kutcher offered his views on the value of investing in stocks before establishing some bona fides as an investor. Hey, maybe Kunis is getting her advice from him.