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  • Hugh Miller
    When a friend sent me this I chuckled, but then I thought, why not ? ^-^ ^-^ ^-^ Enjoy! Badger (originally in the Wall St Journal) Sent: Thursday, November
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1 2:14 PM
      When a friend sent me this I chuckled, but then I thought, "why not"? ^-^
      ^-^ ^-^



      (originally in the Wall St Journal)

      Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003 5:22 PM
      Subject: Japan's newest investment product: Idol funds

      This Japanese Investment Gives

      New Meaning to 'Glamour' Stock

      Product Called Idol Funds

      Allows Profits or Losses

      Based on 5 Heartthrobs



      TOKYO -- The securitization market keeps pushing the envelope. The latest
      "asset" that investors can invest in: pinup girls.

      Japan Digital Contents Inc. said it plans to allow investors to buy an
      investment product that will rise or fall based on the careers of five
      female entertainers. It hopes to draw five million yen ($46,266) into five
      separate funds from individual investors. This is the latest twist on
      turning entertainment assets into an investment, such as the investments
      tied to musicians' future royalties that became known as Bowie bonds.

      "Apart from the expected financial returns as an incentive, the funds aim to
      give investors a sense of satisfaction, that they're supporting the
      entertainers as fans," said Tomoki Hamao, the company's spokesman and
      planning manager. The funds "will become a kind of fan club," he said.

      Japan Digital expects a typical investor in these "idol funds" will be a man
      in his late 20s or 30s who uses online securities firms.

      Investors can buy into the funds in units of 50,000 yen, through accounts at
      online brokerage firm Jet Securities Inc. In exchange for their investment,
      they obtain rights to proceeds from sales of photo books and DVDs that
      feature the personalities.

      Japan has a fast-growing securitization market. Jurassic Park Institute Tour
      Inc. this year attracted 1.5 billion yen from investors who bought into
      funds in return for a share of ticket sales from a theme park that was based
      on the successful movie of the same name. In 2001, Music Securities started
      its first fund to invest in unknown musicians, whose CD sales resulted in
      double-digit percentage returns to investors.

      Other funds have offered investors exposure to videogame and movie sales.

      The five entertainers, who were selected after a number of auditions, will
      work independently of each other, so returns on each of the funds will be
      different depending on their success, Mr. Hamao said.

      Japan Digital plans to unveil the as-yet unknown entertainers at a news
      conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. "Investors can take a look at each girl's
      photo and profile and decide which one will make it," Mr. Hamao said.

      Japan Digital's funds will mature March 31, 2006, and the firm hopes the
      funds will pay a first dividend in March 2005.

      Write to Asako Tanabe at asako.tanabe@...

      Updated November 20, 2003 12:57 a.m.
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