‘Crashes are a golden opportunity to make money, because the American economy is always solid enough to rebound.’
That’s Alex Trebek, the beloved longtime host of “Jeopardy!” who died on Sunday at the age of 80, opening up about his approach to money and investing during a Reuters interview in 2017.
“I remember after the crash of 1987, I immediately started buying, and ended up with a lot of shares of companies like Coca-Cola
” Trebek explained years before his cancer diagnosis. “I tend to protect what I have, rather than invest it for big profits.”
Before his passing, he had plenty to protect.
Trebek reportedly earned some $18 million per “Jeopardy!” season, which brought his total net worth up to $75 million, according to the Celebrity Net Worth web site.
The Midas touch he enjoyed in his show-business career didn’t always translate to his personal life. He shared the ill-fated story of investing a big chunk of change in a friend’s winery — one of the biggest money mistakes he ever made.
“Little by little the enterprise needed more money, and other partners weren’t kicking in, so I ended up being pretty much the sole investor,” Canadian-born Trebek, who became a U.S. citizen in 1997, told Reuters. “In the end I lost over $2 million, and it destroyed a friendship. I think it was the only winery in California that didn’t make money. But I got to enjoy the wine, at least.”
And for more than three decades, fans, like “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings, got to enjoy Trebek.
“Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did,” he tweeted after Trebek’s passing. “He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him.”