This post was inspired by J Money’s post about why he thankfully didn’t sell Budgets Are Sexy and Rockstar Finance.
It was a normal Tuesday morning two months ago. I brewed some coffee. Opened my email and literally spit out my coffee. The first unread email title: “$45,000 for MillennialMoney.com”. Was this for real? I called the number in the email immediately. Had domain investing paid off? Yes it was real. Whoah.
A marketing agency who works with a large investment bank were offering me $45,000 for the MillennialMoney.com domain. Just the domain – they didn’t even care about the social media accounts. They said they could move quickly and have the paperwork and money wired within the next 24 hours. Their client wanted to build a platform for Millennial investors. They wanted an answer within 3 business days. I acted calm and cool and told them I’d get back to them. 3 minute conversation done. I had a lot to think about.
Domain investing is a great investment
collecting INVESTING in domains. Domains are the “real estate” of the internet. My wife calls it my “obsession” and doesn’t hesitate after a few round of drinks to laugh about it with everyone. “Wait, what,” they always say, “you really own 800 domains?”. Yes, it’s true I am a domain name addict. Some people buy vinyl, new shoes, or collect watches – I invest in domain names. I bought my first domain when I was 13 with my fathers credit card (and I still own it!).
I have been investing in domains now for 17 years and while I didn’t keep great records for all those years I estimate I’ve made approximately $50,000 – $60,000 in net profit from my collection. See it’s actually pretty expensive to maintain them. I spend about $8,000 renewing them each year, but I’ve sold a few too that pay for my habit.
I bought MillennialMoney.com for $300 in an auction
Over the past 5 years I have watched as the value of domains increase significantly. It is not uncommon to see some domains sell for millions of dollars, and I know people who make $25,000 per domain regularly. So how did I find MillennialMoney.com? I bought it in a domain auction (yes those are real things). I thought it was a steal for only $300. After buying it I sat on it for a few years and then tracked down the Twitter account and bought it for $500.
Some domains I buy to sell and others I hold as long term investments. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how to invest in domain names! Millennial Money was one that I saw huge potential in and now others clearly do too. It was going to be hard for me to part with it – even for $45,000. But let’s just do the math.
If I sold my $300 domain I would generate a 14900% return! Beat that 401k.
So should I cash out and sell it? I hadn’t written a Millennial Money post in over 4 months when I got the offer. I launched the blog and had grand plans to write every morning for 2 hours, but we all know life happens. The truth is that writing a blog is hard. It also takes a lot of time to do well.
I stated the blog with big plans, but then I stopped writing. Now here was my chance to make $44,700 on my domain investment and I didn’t have to write another post, or have the guilty feeling that I should be writing more. Everything rational investor in me told me to sell! Get rid of it! Take the money! Build a new kitchen!
Selling was the easy thing to do, but for some reason I kept making excuses in my head. So I did whatever I do whenever I have any tough decision – I went to my whiteboard. Here are the exact questions that I wrote down:
1. How much could the domain be worth in 5 years?
Domain investing is a big business since many premium domains are just going up in value. If someone was willing to offer me $45,000 today, why wouldn’t they offer me more in the future? It is common to see domains selling for $100,000+ , and even more if they have a lot of content and are making money. While it is hard to project a domains value, it is important to look at the topic of the domain itself. Money domains always demand a premium.
Also given the fact that a firm that works with investment banks offered me $45,000 – presumably to market some investment product to Millennials, I am pretty confident this domain will continue to increase in value over the next 5 years. Millennials are only making more and more money and will continue to need money advice over the next 3 decades.
2. How much time to I realistically have to dedicate to building Millennial Money?
This was a huge question for me. Like a lot of entrepreneurs I don’t have a lot of free time. In fact I have a disciplined time management philosophy which helps me move all of my projects forward, and also schedule some time to chill. I dedicate a specific number of hours per week and per month to each project. Yes, I really do build in “chill time” and “wife time” into my weekly schedule.
My wife doesn’t read this blog – don’t tell her! If I end up falling behind on a project one week, I try to add hours to it the next. So how can I fit in writing and building Millennial Money? Dun dun dun.. something had to go. I took 10 hours from TV time and 10 hours from a consulting gig that I am planning to wind down. 20 hours. I can spend a maximum of 20 hours per week working on Millennial Money.
3. Do I want to invest in the Millennial Money brand and platform?
This was an easy one. If you’ve read anything about me you know that Millennial Money is my mission. Having money gives you freedom and making more, saving more, and growing your net worth is easier than you think. A lot of people just don’t have the information to master their money. It didn’t take me long to decided I am more interested in investing in Millennial Money than selling the domain.
Millennial Money is an idea bigger than me. I want it to become a platform the empowers Millennials (and others too) to make smarter money decisions. I believe that Millennial Money has the potential to impact people’s lives and it’s hard to put a price on that.
Although it’s more than $45,000 🙂
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