David Bowie Shows Us How It’s Done, Leaves Personal Assistant and Nanny Millions In Clearly Written Will.
David Bowie wasn’t your typical rock star. When he died a few weeks ago of cancer at age 69, he was worth over $100 million dollars. In documents created back in August 25th of 2004, he went into detail regarding not only how his $100 million should be divided but also what to do with his body once he left this great earth.
WAIT…YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW FINANCIALLY SMART DAVID BOWIE WAS.
This dude was brilliant. In the early 90’s David Bowie knew that online piracy of music would be rampant as services like Napster begin to gain popularity. He wanted a way to leverage what people thought his Royalty payments would be worth versus what he knew they would be worth as a result of the music sharing industry. With the help of some savvy bankers he created “Bowie Bonds”.
Basically, he was able to sell these 10 year bonds using his entire music catalogue as collateral. The Royalties that this catalogue would earn year over year would be placed into a secured financial account and if Bowie did not pay back the price of the bonds plus interest in 10 years then he would lose his entire rights to the catalog. If he successfully paid everything back in full, then he would be restored his full ownership.
To simplify it, he basically sold his royalties to Prudential Financial for $55 million at an annual interest payment of 7.9%. The challenge for Bowie was to take that $55 million and invest it in a way that earned more than 7.9% and then pay the rest back at the end of 10 years. He accomplished just that.
This proved to be genius because if banks knew then what they know now, he would have never been able to make that deal because Royalties now are worth far less than they were back then.
Enough of that financial Mumbo-Jumbo – What about that will?