You can now invest in Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, thanks to Fantex Holdings, a San Francisco start-up that is letting people purchase shares of Foster's future earnings in $50 increments.
What does Foster get out of it? He receives $10 million upfront from investors in exchange for 20 percent of his future earnings from football and endorsements — which, as The Washington Post's Neil Irwin points out, pays off for him if he makes less than $50 million over the rest of his career. For a running back pushing 30 years old, that is not a bad bet.
Fantex eventually wants its market to include other athletes, as well as celebrities like actors and pop stars. If you're famous and are expecting a long and fruitful career, offering your own IPO isn't the way to go. But if you're reaching the peak of your popularity and are expecting to flame out in a couple of years? Selling shares of yourselves could be the smartest thing you ever do.
Here are five famous people who should probably offer their own IPOs as soon as possible.
(Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The General)
She twerked herself to a number one album and more media buzz than just about any pop star in recent memory. But does anyone doubt she is headed for a Lindsay Lohan-esque meltdown of epic proportions? She will be glad to have the money once she is watching an episode of VH1's Behind the Music starring herself.
A few years ago, this spot would be occupied by Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch, but his stock has already been damaged by box office bombs like Battleship and John Carter.
That leaves Aaron Paul, co-star of the Emmy Award-winning Breaking Bad. He is young, handsome, and critically acclaimed — all perfect attributes for an actor looking to drive up his share price. But then he decided to star in a movie based on the video game Need for Speed. Hopefully nobody offers him the lead in John Carter 2.
(Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
The Chicago Bulls point guard is gutsy, insanely talented, and charismatic — not to mention the youngest NBA player ever to win the MVP Award. He would make an absolute fortune from an IPO.
But he also missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. For a basketball player that relies on freakish athleticism and a daredevil disregard for his own body, that could mean a short, if spectacular, career.
(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Texas A&M's "Johnny Football" is a dual-threat quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy, captivated the media, and is widely popular despite questions about his ability to play in the NFL.
So, basically, he is Tim Tebow, except with an attitude problem. Okay, so he's not that bad. But his current hype level means he could score a huge payday right after graduation and be set even if he has a mediocre pro career.
(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Has such an expressionless actress ever been this much in demand? Thanks to the Twilight movies, she was one of the highest paid people in Hollywood, despite winning 2013's Razzie Award for Worst Actress.
Her legions of young fans should guarantee her big movie contracts, at least for the next few years. But her run as Bella Swan ended with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2. Barringa future boom in blockbusters featuring sad-sack vampires, her long-term earning potential could be limited.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
- Twin Peaks: What the newly revealed 'missing pieces' change about the series
Subscribe to the Week