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Friday
Nov062009

Investing in People, or the personal IPO

This guy has done what I've been hoping to see for a while: he's invested in a person, no strings attached, just based on a belief that she will do amazing things and wanting to share in the success:

Imagine you are in your early twenties, out of college several years and your best friend, who recently came into an inheritance of $300K cash told you they could think of no better way to invest the money than to invest it in you.  Not the company you started, not as a loan, but invest it in YOU, as if you were a startup.  In return your friend said all they wanted was 3% of your gross income for the rest of your life.  Do you think you would take it?

Now what if your friend said that they didn’t care what you did with the money or how much you made each year.  If you wanted to sit on a beach in Nicaragua learning to surf, go work in the Peace Corps, stay at home and do your art projects, whatever you want it would be fine, just as long as you made sure to always pay the 3% of whatever you make (as little as that may be).

And finally, what if your friend said you could buy out of your obligation at any point for $6 million in cash.  Then would you take the deal?

I've been intrigued by this concept ever since I learned about my former classmate, Randy Newsom, and his selling of shares of his future income as a professional baseball player. Randy is now in law school, the baseball dream over, and I don't know if the shares that he sold (4% of his future value) are now valid that he has chosen an alternative career, but what a smart way to raise a quick $50,000 as a minor league prospect.

[Alas, my attempt to buy the domain i.po failed. Poland is .pl not .po unfortunately]

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Reader Comments (2)

Hi Melody,

a Swiss website offers just that (only that your return is limited on a percentage of what the person you invested in earns in ONE year).

See
Studienaktie - P2P Loans with a twist

Wiseclerk

November 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWiseclerk

Hi Wiseclerk,
Thanks for the pointer. I still prefer the idea of long term investing though, i.e., to invest in a young person early to help them fund their early education believing that they will be wildly successful in the future. Most people don't just invest in a company to make gains in one year; investing in a person shouldn't need to be any different.

November 9, 2009 | Registered CommenterMelody
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