Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson started his career with $7 before becoming America's highest-paid actor

The Rock started his financial journey with just $7 before he pivoted from football to the WWE. Now he wants to help parents secure their kids' financial futures.

Dwayne Johnson
Steve Diet | NBC

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, America's highest paid actor, is known for movies such as "The Scorpion King" and "Fast & Furious 6." He's also a 10-time world heavyweight champion whose autobiography debuted atop The New York Times' best sellers list.

But the entertainment mogul didn't always have it easy. Though he'd dreamed of a career as a professional football player, Johnson, a linebacker, was cut from the Canadian Football League just two months into the season.

He had to return home to live with his parents with $7 in his wallet. Depressed and unsure what the future would hold, Johnson promised himself big things were still coming his way, and he pivoted and became a professional wrestler. His success in the ring, where he became known as "The People's Champ," served as a springboard to Hollywood.

"I grew past a hard time in my life when I had just seven bucks," he said in a recent Instagram video. "Those $7 came to represent possibility, hope, and a new beginning."

The power of compounding interest

Johnson's words are a good reminder for parents that when it comes to improving your child's financial future, you don't need much to start, and that the power of compounding interest can take you a long way. Compound interest is the interest you earn on your money, plus the interest that money has already accrued.

Thanks to the power of compounding, an investment of just $1 a day from birth could be worth $13,000 by the time your child turns 18. And if they then let that balance keep growing until they retire, even without contributing further, they could end up with more than $400,000.

'There is an opportunity for us to be accountable'

Johnson talked about his "seven bucks moment" as part of his announcement that he is partnering with Acorns (in which he and his business partner, Dany Garcia, are investors) to support Acorns Early, a new product that helps parents put away money on behalf of their kids. "From now until Labor Day, every single family who opens an Acorns Early account will get $7 bucks invested into their account," he wrote on Instagram.

The dollar figure is a reference to the amount he started out with and a reminder that no amount is too little to begin with as you plan to grow your wealth for the future.

"There is an opportunity for us to be accountable and help our children be financially educated," Johnson said in the Instagram video, "empowering them from their beginning, and be the leaders we know they can be."

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

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