Monday, April 30, 2012

Top 5 Weird Investment Opportunities

Guest blogger Nick brings us today's post.  Nick is a father or two and husband of one, babbling incessantly over at Step Away from the Mall about his take on saving, spending, budgeting, investing and other family money matters.

Looking for the next great investment idea?  Well you came to the wrong place... Instead here are five probably dumb, but definitely weird "investment opportunities" that have come up over the last few years.

Disclosure:  At the time of this posting, Nick had the following positions in these investments:  None.  He thinks these are silly.  Let's dig in...

5: Hedging Marriages - Shameless plug alert: Yeah, that links over to my blog post about this new "investment" idea.  Essentially, if you're invited to a wedding that you "know" won't last longer than the honeymoon there's a company who will sell you insurance on your wedding gift.  For 8% of your purchase price on gifts between $50 and $500, the company promises to reimburse you for your gift if the couple divorces within three years.  Apparently there's talk of a secondary investment market where "investors" buy receipts from guests for $10 and buy the insurance without actually paying for gifts.  If the couple divorces, they score huge multiples on their "investment."  (Apparently the destruction of once-promising love doesn't deter these "investors.")

4: Garage Bands - Have a few extra bucks (to lose) and an ear for good music?  Well now you can be a mini music executive and "invest" in garage bands trying to make it.  Who knows... maybe you'll find the next NKOTB...

3: Bicycle Monorail Pods - Apparently Google invested in this one.  I'm not exactly sure how (or if) it would work, but I have to tell you... it doesn't look like the most efficient way to travel around the city.  Have you ever waited for some moron to get out of your way while walking on the side walk?  Imagine if you were stuck on a track!  I'll be saving my money...

2: Treasure Hunts - Arrrrggghhhhhh!  This one's pretty cool.  Apparently there's at least one company that will take your cash to fund underwater explorations.  You purchase a share of a treasure hunt and "split the spoils," if any.  But be careful... when your company is featured in the Wall Street Journal you expect some discussion about the company's stability, predictability, or reliability.  When, instead, the quote is that the investment would provide "an investment you can talk to your buddies at the bar about" (assuming you don't spend all of your beer money on failed treasure hunts), I'm out!  (I wonder if they'd take the cash via chests of gold coins...)

1: Whale Vomit - That's right, whale vomit.  It's pretty much the worst kept secret in the perfume industry that whale vomit helps the scent of perfume not dissipate (often unfortunately so...).  As a result, the price for whale vomit has skyrocketed to about $10,000 a kilogram.  I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure my last trip to the hot dog truck resulted in about three kilos of bad times.  I have no idea how they "extract" whale vomit, but my guess is there are quite a few kilos of the good stuff with each "event."  But be careful... scientists thinks they've destroyed the value of this one...

Are any of you crazy enough to invest in these, or have you encountered any weirder or crazier investments out there?  Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.  (Or leave Nick a note if you liked the post.)  And as always, we appreciate it every time you like us or share us.


  1. Is it April 1st again? Interesting stuff! It's unbelievable that people come up with these ideas, although sadly it is much more believable that other people would invest in them.

  2. Haha!  I know.  Pretty nuts for sure.  So no treasure hunt for you?  I think we need to redefine the word "investment" because some people just can't help writing a check when someone comes up with a crazy "investment" like these...  I know one person who would rather "invest" in anything except for the stock market (yes, a conspiracy theorist).  I just don't get it.  I'll keep with what's been working for the last century...

  3. And the winner for best blog picture goes too...... the vomiting whale! 

  4. I found that last night--hilarious!  I think it's from Futurama...

  5. People do not know how to think--seriously.  That's the underlying problem.  If people knew better how to gather, evaluate, and weigh evidence (in the broadest sense of the word), we'd be in a far less stupid society.

  6. yeah, that was pretty sweet - great find!

  7. That was really weird investing but i think they good,i was wondering who's the one started that kind of investing.

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