Heath Ledger, Britney Spears Teach Money Lessons On Awful New Site

It sounds too ludicrous to be true, but unfortunately it is very real: financial news publisher TheStreet.com just launched a site that takes tabloid celebrity stories, gets your attention, and then segues into financial advice. The front page of the site, at MainStreet.com, recently included stories ostensibly about Shaquille O'Neal, Tom Cruise and Jason Biggs, but really about rolling over your 401(k), saving money on a motorcycle and buying a wedding ring. TheStreet.com cofounder Jim Cramer may have developed a taste for a large audience at his popular CNBC call-in show Mad Money, but this hardly the way to build one. The warmed-over celebrity news will not draw gossip hounds, while the financial advice would be better off on its own, for easy Googling when you need that sort of information. After the jump, how the site treated Heath Ledger's death, and other insane excerpts from this misguided mashup.

On Ledger:

Ledger, 28, died in his New York apartment January 22. A medical examiner ruled his death an accidental overdose of six prescription drugs identified by their generic names: oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, commonly known as Valium (RHHBY.PK), temazepam, alprazolam, commonly known as Xanax (PFE), and doxylamine. "Heath's accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication," his father, Kim, said in a statement. On February 2, Hollywood friends of Ledger including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Sienna Miller and Ellen DeGeneres gathered at the Sony Lot for a private memorial service.



An unexpected tragedy is difficult to recover from emotionally, but some advance planning can make it easier to pay for financially. "Most funerals are unplanned and take place within a week or shortly after death," says Sarah Orr funeral director of Adams Funeral Home in Ozark, Missouri, who says funerals can run as high as $13,000 or more.



One of the best ways to financially prepare for your funeral is to start a fund for a pre-arranged funeral. The pre-arrangement is set up at the funeral home...

On Spears:

Yesterday Britney Spears left the UCLA Medical Center psychiatric ward where she has spent the past week...



One banned visitor is Spears' longtime companion and manager, Sam Lufti whom Spear's mother Lynne accused, in a successful restraining order request, of drugging her daughter with up to "10 pills a day," including the anti-psychotic medications Seroquel (AZN) and Risperdal (JNJ)...



You might not be planning for a trip to the psych ward, but what if an unforeseen health-related emergency, such a stroke, rendered you temporarily incapacitated? Who would make your medical and financial decisions? If a medical catastrophe strikes, you should be armed with a medical directive that will help dictate ...

On maroon-mystery TV show Lost:

Writers-strike weary TV viewers looking for new scripted programming found "Lost" last night on ABC (DIS). More than 16 million fans tuned into the season four premiere, which returned after an eight month hiatus. The hit drama follows the fortunes of air plane crash survivors on a remote and mysterious island. The ratings-topping season opener was packed with tears, gun shots, double-crosses, cryptic messages and flash forwards. Overall, the future looks bleak for the "Oceanic Six" – of which we know three to be Hurley, Jack and Kate – who eventually return to civilization. In typical "Lost" fashion, the audience was left with more questions about survivors' fate than answers.



If being trapped on a strange island doesn't sound like your version of paradise, it might be time to consider trip insurance before planning your spring break. Most people only think they'll need trip insurance in case their flights get cancelled or their luggage disappears. But if you're planning an exotic family trip, or just a long ski weekend, thinking about emergency medical insurance makes sense...

[MainStreet.com, Silicon Alley Insider]