I Own That Guy’s Arm
This entry could be called “The Future of Investing,” since I seem to be on a “future” theme lately, but the above title is catchier.
I had an idea the other day while reading this article. The article discusses a minor league baseball player named Randy Newsom who is selling shares of himself. More specifically, he’s selling shares in his future career as a MLB pitcher so that he can make ends meet now. For $20 a share, Newsom is selling 2500 shares, which he deems 4% of his net value (I can only imagine if he had decided to sell off 51% of himself—then someone else would hold a majority stake in Newsom). Investors will make money off Newsom if he someday earns a contract worth more than $1,250,000.
It’s a pretty interesting concept, investing in a person. Our parents do it and rarely expect anything but conversations, visits, and expressed love in return. You do it when you loan a friend a few bucks for rent. In both cases, the “investor” isn’t gaining any interest or dividends. The investor is merely maintaining the status quo and maybe gaining some intangibles in return.
But why not invest in people while expecting an ROI? In a way, universities do this. They offer the smartest kids academic scholarships and hope the kids will become rich and repay the school with huge donations in the future. Why can’t individuals invest in other individuals as well? We all know people who, from a very young age, we could tell were going to be successful. Why not invest in them while you have a chance? And sometimes you know you have a sure thing—I have many friends in med school who are going to make buckets of money someday, but right now they’re swamped in loans. What if I could invest $1,000 in half a share of a med student currently worth $200,000 (that’s the tough part—assessing the current value), and when his net worth jumps over $2,000,000 in ten years, I cash out and make $9,000 profit.
So here’s my pitch: I want you to invest in me.
My current value (this doesn’t include my assets, like my car—this is purely how much I’m worth to the world, by my estimation. This also has nothing to do with my current salary): $50,000
You laugh! How, you ask, is Jamey possibly worth $50,000? Let me count the ways…
1. I’m devilishly handsome.
2. I make a mean garlic bread.
3. I rarely count my chickens before they’ve hatched.
4. I have 20/20 vision without contacts, glasses, or Lasic.
5. I’m writing a novel that may get published and make me big bucks.
6. I’m a cautious, careful, grandmother of a driver.
7. I’m responsibility, organized, and literally track everything on Excel spreadsheets (in high school, I tracked which clothes I wore every day so I’d never where the same shirt twice within a 14-day period).
8. I wear boxers, not briefs, keeping my sperm count high.
9. I floss every day.
10. I’m able to listen to both sides of a conflicting story and find middle ground.
11. I’m very fast for a white guy.
12. Given that I have absolutely no medical education, I’m surprisingly good at diagnosing and curing ailments (Caroline would use the words “misplaced confidence” instead of “surprisingly good”).
Unlike Newsome, I’m willing to sell 49% of myself. I want to maintain a majority stake in myself, but I’ll go right up to the edge. One share will cost you $500. You can cash in on your investment any time you want.
Seriously, why wouldn’t you do this? The only reason you wouldn’t do this is if you don’t think I have the earning potential to make over $50,000 faster than you could otherwise invest that $500 and make a quicker, higher rate of return.
And I’ll admit, I’m not the best candidate for such investment. Find a med student, a law student, an MBA student, and invest in them. But if you want to roll the dice, take a gamble, consider putting your money where your mouth is. (Although, if your mouth is on Jamey Stegmaier, we might have a problem).
Seven: The Movie, and America