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THIS IS DUNCAN
Edited Words: 152,263
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December 25, 2005

Fifty Cent

I was in Best Buy recently where I noticed the iPod Video; itís a very nice little gadget. The demo playing on it was a Fifty Cent music video; he drives up in a Ferrari to a massive mansion; the electric gates open and in he drives; he steps out of the Ferrari, rapping, and then two scantily clad beauties escort him inside for a game of scrabble.

I was watching this video and thinking, "what foolishnes". How much will he make from the album associated with that music video? Letís see: thereís about five-hundred-million people in the USA; letís say five percent like his music and forty percent of those buy the album; thatís about ten-million albums; say he gets one dollar per album; okay, thatís ten-million dollars. So, heís living in a twenty-five-million dollar mansion and driving a car that costs ten-thousand dollars twice a year to service; the upkeep on that mansion is probably at least one-hundred-fifty-thousand dollars per year, for staff and materials: washers for faucets for example; heís probably spending about five-hundred-thousand dollars per year on partying, champagne, jewelry, and sexy outfits for his scrabble partners; plus heís going to want to trade in that Ferrari every couple of years, so thatís a depreciation of perhaps sixty-thousand dollars per year. So weíre looking at a total lifestyle maintenance cost of perhaps one-million dollars per year, potentially much more; presumably he already bought the mansion using all the money from his last couple of albums — hard to believe, I know — so we can assume no mortgages. If heís in his twenties, then he has perhaps another eighty years to live; so with his current lifestyle, heís going to need a cash flow of about eighty-million dollars over his lifetime, inflation adjusted; this means that heís going to need to produce at least another eight successful albums; thatís a lot of pressure for an artist. Assuming heís going to do that while heís still young — not when heís in his eighties — he's going to need some good investment advice. Heíll also need to stop expanding his lifestyle: one more mansion, a place by the sea, could blow it for him; if he goes cash flow negative, his shipís going down fast.

If I was advising him, I would recommend a small ranch style house in the suburbs. I would recommend a Toyota Camry — theyíre very reliable you know — and a wife and daughter. The video could show him pulling up onto his driveway and him stepping out, while rapping, to a warm hug from his wife; his little daughter would hug his leg, gleefully pleased to see him; and they would all go inside for a hot cup of cocoa.

My services are available to individuals with annual gross incomes in excess of five million dollars; I charge two thousand dollars per hour. The above example analysis is provided for free, although if you found it useful Fifty Cent, it took me an hour, so you may pay me two-thousand dollars. Please email me: duncan@riach.org.

"Nice job Duncan. It's all coming over very much like a man on fire with the truth, in case you had any doubts." — Michael

"We loved your [article] and both laughed out loud." — Shoshanna

"Your financial analysis was hilarious. Yeah, pursuit of wealth and materialism is crazy. Give me the wife, daughter, and the cocoa anyday." — John

 

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