Wayne Gretzky the hockey legend needs no introduction -- at least not in this country, anyway. But "The Great One" as an advocate for prudent retirement planning and fiscal conservatism? That's something new.
"I never borrowed or leveraged myself to turn $1 into $10," he said during a panel discussion Monday "on life after hockey, financial advice and the need to plan for retirement, even if you're Wayne Gretzky" at TD Waterhouse, the wealth management division of Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Gretzky, 51, learned early how to stretch a buck, making just $24 a week in 1978 while playing hockey in Sault Ste Marie, Ont. And from an early age, his father imparted a conservative approach to money management that has built the framework for Gretzky's continued financial success.
Even after banking his first signing bonus -- a $250,000 payout for his first pro contract -- Gretzky continued to lean on his dad, Walter.
"He wrote me a check for $5,000 and said: 'Go get whatever you want.' I bought a used Trans Am for $3,800. So I guess the story is that he taught me from a young age to be really conservative and that's the way I've lived my whole life."
A talent for choosing the business partnerships and an aversion to the stock market and other risky investments have also helped his successful transition from the ice to entrepreneur.
"I don't risk more than 10 per cent of the family net worth because I've worked too hard in hockey, he says.
Now that's prudent advice. For a full lock at the TD panel discussion, check out our video below.