Photo: REX USA/David Fisher/Rex.
The stock market is a fickle beast — one that many of us less financially-inclined folks choose not to engage. But, what if there were a commodities exchange for a subject about which we know a lot more about?
That's what San Francisco-based company Fantex wants to see happen. It wants members of the public to be able to buy and sell shares in their favorite celebrities.
Should Fantex gets its way, celebrities would be able to sell the company a portion of their future income. Fantex would then allow investors to buy shares of these earnings, which come from acting, endorsements, appearance fees, and other income streams. Although investors would never be able to have a direct say in an actor's career choices (just like Apple stock owners don't get to decide if the Apple Watch is a good idea), this "celebrity stock exchange" would mean that celebs who choose to opt in would have to allow complete transparency about their earnings.
Of course, the possibility of a stock index for entertainers raises all sorts of icky questions. What happens if an actor appears in a stream of duds, takes a sabbatical, or passes away? There's also the problem of industry "insider trading" — the fact that agents, managers, and publicists may know that someone has signed on for a high-profile role before the public at large.
And, how does Fantex monetize makeups and breakups? Does J. Lawr dating Chris Martin have a positive or negative impact on her share price?
Investing in celebrities' future gains and losses feels a little too much like buying and selling human beings, a historical trade that has thankfully been outlawed. Creating a profitable brand is one thing; buying shares of a person is something else entirely. (The Hollywood Reporter)