The Word on The Street
JBL has had a bull's-eye on his back plenty of times. As the longest-reigning WWE Champion in the past 10 years, he had the entire SmackDown roster gunning for him. But this time, JBL doesn't mind being called out.
When financial powerhouse TheStreet.com decided to put together a stable of "Celebrity Investors" with stock smarts and economic know-how, the popular Web site immediately set its sights on WWE Superstar John "Bradshaw" Layfield.
"He was a target, and we sought him out," said Aaron Task, co-executive editor of TheStreet.com. "I was familiar with him from his appearances on CNBC and FOX and other business news channels, so I knew that he knows his stuff."
JBL already earned a reputation on Wall Street for his well-received book, Have More Money Now: A Common Sense Approach to Financial Management. And he's been advocating those ideas on his ever-growing nationally syndicated radio show that also bears his name. Now, JBL will reach millions more as a contributor for TheStreet.com.
"We're trying to put together … people who have made a name for themselves in some other area, but are also very avid and successful investors," Task said, "and he was one of the first people who came to mind."
Also contributing as a Celebrity Investor for TheStreet.com is Lenny Dykstra, who was an outfielder on the New York Mets' 1986 World Series champion baseball team.
Two columns into this new venture, JBL has highlighted such giants as Dell and Cisco, while bringing to his stock advice the same candor and blunt force employed in a SmackDown ring.
"I think the content, in terms of the financial stuff, is there, but what he's been able to do … is weave in some of the entertainment value that we thought he would bring," Task said. "He's made allusions to Bruno Sammartino, The Rock and Andre the Giant, but he's done it in a way that really fits in what he's writing about in terms of the stocks he's writing about. … The initial reaction has been very positive to what he's done so far."
JBL is also garnering attention with an approach to investing that defies expectations and stereotypes.
"He's surprisingly conservative," Task said. "You'd think someone who does what he does for a living would be a risk-taker, but he's kind of ‘old school' when it comes to the financial realm. He practices a very conservative approach to investing; he looks for companies with stable cash flow and low debt, strong revenues. He's not out chasing the high-flying momentum stocks — penny stocks — things of that nature. He's looking for strong, stable companies."
So, can the former world champion hold his own with the main-eventers on Wall Street? TheStreet.com is banking on it.
"He has the advantage because since he's a celebrity and a professional wrestler, people are going to underestimate him," Task said. "That's going to give him an advantage so that he can compete with some of the heavyweights."