One of actor Ben McKenzie’s early financial mistakes was investing in a company (along with a friend) that claimed it could make synthetic blood. “I probably lost most of the money, as did he,” he says.
Best known for his breakout role on The OC and for playing Jim Gordon on Gotham, Ben McKenzie has recently also become known for another passion of his: cryptocurrency. Namely, calling it out. McKenzie made a name for himself criticizing the speculative bubble of the online currency—both the companies themselves as well as celebrities who made endorsements. That same friend who convinced him to invest in synthetic blood? He came back 20 years later to try to convince Ben to invest in crypto. But in learning more about the growing fad, McKenzie has become a staunch critic. Oh, and he has a degree in economics. And for anyone who wants to make sure they spend their money wisely, he spoke with Men’s Health about his journey to becoming a crypto critic.
Like many others during the pandemic, McKenzie felt FOMO (fear of missing out) when he saw how big crypto had gotten, and how much money other people were allegedly making. It didn’t help that celebrities were giving their endorsements, too. “It was everywhere,” he says. “It was on sports, something that I love. All the ads were either crypto or gambling.”
But in his experience, he says crypto isn’t an easy money maker; it’s more like a Ponzi scheme. The more people that invest, the more money goes to the people higher up in the business’s chain. “On average, most people who have ever bought cryptocurrency have lost money. Honestly, some of them are funny, some of them are tragic, some of them are both,” he said.
His best financial advice for anyone looking to invest their money in wiser ways? Find a financial advisor. He says it’s important to put your money in a place where you don’t have to think about it. It’s a big difference from crypto, where he says even the most successful people are “obsessed” with their investment.
“You should form a relationship. Find someone that you trust. I like to know where my money is. I like to have it in things that are pretty consistent and stable. It’s about the long journey,” he says. “It’s not about trying to score a quick buck here or there.”
Milan Polk is an Editorial Assistant for Men’s Health who specializes in entertainment and lifestyle reporting, and has worked for New York Magazine’s Vulture and Chicago Tribune.