Actor Willie Aames makes comeback after bankruptcy, homelessness

In our last episode of "Willie Aames Confidential," the onetime star of TV's "Eight Is Enough" and "Charles in Charge" was holding a yard sale in front of his foreclosed home in Olathe. Eight months have passed since then, and the 49-year-old Aames has since begun an extreme makeover — not of his house, but of his life.

He's training to be a financial adviser.

That's right. Aames, who has filed for bankruptcy twice since 1997 and was selling his possessions in March just to make ends meet, has stabilized his finances and is well on his way toward learning this new profession. He hopes his story will inspire others who find themselves in similar straits.

"As of Dec. 12, I had no wife, no family, no car, no computer, no home, no electricity, no gas and no way to obtain any of it," Aames said this week. "How do you start over from scratch? I didn't know. But I thought that if I made it, maybe, just maybe, it would be helpful to some people."

No less than Thomas W. Butch, the president of Waddell & Reed Inc., and the VH1 cable channel — which is airing a one-hour special on Aames tonight — took an interest in the former actor after he hit bottom. Aames has responded by passing the Series 7 and Life & Health examinations, two of the three tests required to qualify as a financial adviser.

Not unlike a contestant on the weight-loss program "The Biggest Loser" who decides to become a fitness trainer, Aames could find himself hanging out a shingle as a financial adviser with Waddell & Reed by 2010.

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