Investments with ‘Star Quality’ rarely add-up….

Thursday, 2nd August 2018

Investments with ‘Star Quality’ rarely add-up….

I have no interest whatsoever in celebrities….

I never read Hello magazine. I’m not interested in what the Kardashians or the Katie Prices of this world are up to. I couldn’t care less who is topping the download charts or who is dating who….

I would recognize a big film star or a sporting icon. Most of the time, anyway….

But I can tell you with some small element of pride that the winners of Love Islandcould walk into my office this morning and I wouldn’t know who they are….

These days when I look at the right-hand sidebar on the Daily Mail website, I don’t recognize the faces or know the names of at least 80% of the young starlets, bronzed hunks and assorted Z-list glitterati the stories behind those links are focused on….

That is just as it should be. If it were otherwise, I might need psychological help….

  • I am not the norm….

But I am not the norm. I am an outlier on the scale. An old fuddy-duddy who doesn’t ‘get it’….

The rest of the world appears to be obsessed with celebrities and their various trials and tribulations – placing an emphasis and importance on matters that seem so pointless and trivial to me that I can’t fathom it….

The mass media has played a large part in that process – turning the lives and times of celebrities into a relentless 24-hour-a-day soap-opera that never dies….

But the public has played its part too. Tens of millions of men, women, teenagers and children lap this nonsense up like gold-top cream….

People aren’t fussy either. There was a time celebrity was earned. By achievement or endeavor. Celebrity status required to you to be or to do something special….

Not these days. In 2018, just sleeping with the right (or wrong) person can deliver celebrity status overnight….

If you have a big mouth and some obnoxious opinion that you’re not frightened to put out there, you can find yourself with a six-figure deal to appear on some TV show everybody is going to be watching and talking about….

Hang around the right clubs, take your top off in front of the right cameraman or get thrown off a plane for being drunk and disorderly, and you too might find a home on some reality TV show. You too might become a celebrity….

  • Don’t give them too much credit….

I guess that’s the entertainment industry. That’s how it works….

A constant flow of fresh meat is required to keep things relevant and vibrant….

It doesn’t really matter who the new flood of ‘celebrities’ are or where they come from or what they do, just so long as they appeal to the audience on some level – any level that gets a reaction….

And who am I to criticize? I’m not a kill-joy. I don’t want to throw a wet towel over things….

If the 21st century equivalent of the freakshow is the thing that floats your boat and keeps you going, I wouldn’t be the one to try and change your ways. It is each to his own in my book….

I would just be careful not to give celebrities too much credit – credit they haven’t earned and don’t merit….

There’s a dangerous trend at work out there in the media. One that mistakes success or achievement or notoriety in one environment for credibility in another environment entirely….

  • Introducing the celebrity shills….

We saw this trend play out most recently in the cryptocurrency sphere – with grinning celebrities of one form or another dusted-off and wheeled-out to add their gushing endorsements to individual cryptocurrencies, crypto-exchanges or Initial Coin Offerings….

Their credentials were never openly questioned….

Nobody asked what it was that qualified them to make a public endorsement of one financial instrument or another….

No journalist present raised his hand and asked what it was that was motivating the celebrity’s endorsement….

Nobody made any serious attempts to figure-out how invested or not the celebrity was in the crypto-product he was up-on-stage peddling to the masses….

That’s not how this thing works. Celebrities are there to add stardust to whatever product is being promoted. No more. No less….

They smile, they shake hands, they say a few words, they play-up to the scrum of journalists and cameraman and then they get back into the limousine and head off to cash the cheque….

Meanwhile, the public eats this stuff up. The fans take it all at face value. And some of them are encouraged into taking the celebrity endorsement seriously. Some might even part with cash as a result….

Which, of course, is the whole point of getting the celebrity involved in the first place. The celebrity is used as an influencer and a persuader – a glad-handing shill no less….

Make no mistake about it. Taking financial advice of any sort from a celebrity source is a very dangerous game….

Celebrities are generally not in the public eye because of their financial acumen or their skills as investors….

So, when they start talking about where you should be allocating your hard-earned capital, it’s probably time (and probably very wise) to stop listening….

  • Taking financial advice from celebs is a dangerous game….

To illustrate this point there are no better examples than those that arose during the recent crypto-bubble….

Remember Bitcoiin anybody? Bitcoiin is not a typo. Bitcoiin (the extra ‘i’ was intentional) appeared briefly on the crypto scene last year and Hollywood tough guy Steven Seagal was swiftly unveiled as the ‘brand ambassador’ of the coin….

Wow! Seagal must really believe in this thing to take on such a public role!

Almost immediately Bitcoiin was served with a ‘cease-and-desist’ order by regulators because the coin was never properly registered….

Seagal and Bitcoiin went their separate ways shortly afterwards and Seagal has maintained a dignified (or perhaps embarrassed) silence on the matter ever since….

Ex-boxer Floyd Mayweather was so up on cryptocurrencies that he renamed himself Floyd ‘Crypto’ Mayweather….

And he was so serious about the sector – he’d studied it in such fine detail – that he felt moved to go out to his fans with details of an Initial Coin Offering that he was feeling good about….

He told fans he was backing Centra. No doubt the folk behind Centra hoped Mayweather’s interest and endorsement would succeed in sucking-in investment from the ex-fighter’s huge fan base….

Fast forward 12-months and Centra has been charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The founders of Centra have been arrested. One of them just as he was boarding a plane to get out of the US….

Floyd is curiously silent on these latest developments. But no doubt fans who invested on his say-so are appreciative of the great tip ….

Paris Hilton – famous for being on TV and for making the kind of films that don’t get distributed at mainstream cinemas – was another celebrity who stepped forward during the crypto-boom to reveal a previously unheralded interest in financial matters….

‘Looking forward to participating in the new @LydianCoinLtd Token!’ she tweeted to her legion of followers on the social media platform in July last year….

Nobody was ever sure what this ‘participation’ amounted to. But whatever it was didn’t last long.

Just weeks later there were stories circulating on the Internet about the coin’s founder facing possible jail time after being accused of domestic violence. Hilton’s tweet was swiftly deleted. The Securities and Exchange Commission was motivated to come out and warn investors about the dangers of putting money into celebrity-backed ICOs.

Seagal, Mayweather and Hilton. That might make for a catchy name for an investment brokerage. But – be warned – celebrities don’t make the best investment advisors….

When the ‘stars’ start recommending investments – of whatever sort – take that as a cue to steer clear. Most of the time you’ll be making the right move….

That’s how it looks from here….

All the best,

Dave Gibson

Money Truths