Fyre Festival, a music festival co-produced by rapper Ja Rule, made the news over the weekend after it turned out to be a massive disappointment. After paying anywhere between $1,000 to $12,000 to see Diplo, Blink-182, and Migos, go glamping, and eat luxury foods, festival-goers were stranded and left to brave emergency relief tents, mass band cancellations, and the world’s worst ham and cheese sandwiches.
As it turned out, Fyre Festival was less “Coachella in the Bahamas” and more Lord of the Flies. Paying customers were stranded on the festival’s small island without necessities and a chance to go home. The company had the audacity to ask the festival’s VIP attendees to wait even longer for rescue. It was one of the most poorly executed entertainment events in recent memory. It was also met with the world’s worst PR response, hyping next year’s iteration of the festival.
In retrospect, anything would’ve been better than spending thousands of dollars on the festival — including burning one’s money for warmth on the secluded island. Here at Money Badger, we have a much better suggestion than paying for a ticket to Fyre or any festival: investing.
Sure, investing doesn’t give you the chance to meet Instagram models or get caked by Steve Aoki. Instead, it lets you afford more festivals down the line, while saving money from bad decisions in the here-and-now. So, if you have a nice nest egg saved up and are on the fence about attending Bonnaroo or the EDC, consider these options before you do. They could end up paying for many VIP festival visits in the future!
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
1. Invest in index funds.
Investing doesn’t have to be exciting, and index funds are the least exciting things you can invest in. Instead of investing in a single company, they follow the progression of stock indexes like the Dow, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq 100. These indexes historically increase over time, which is why many investors and robo-investors suggest this to stock market newcomers. For more on index funds and how to invest in them, read our all-encompassing guide.
2. Invest in the music industry.
You can’t have concerts and outdoor festivals without recording artists and their record labels. Yes, the idea of a record label is antiquated in 2017, especially with streaming, SoundCloud, and social media. Yet these labels constantly put out top artists and make a decent chunk of change on hit records. If you want to invest in the music industry, check out this article on how to do just that — and how the industry is making some interesting decisions.
3. Give your money to the hottest music stars (and the companies they keep).
Rihanna and Kanye West are not publicly traded entities, but they make as much money as a small-cap stock. If you ever wanted to invest in Ri Ri, you can always buy stock in the companies that license her name and work. If you’re more of a Yeezy fan, you can invest in his stuff, too.
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
4. Splurge on high-cost tech stocks.
Apple ($AAPL), Google ($GOOG), Amazon ($AMZN), Netflix ($NFLX), Facebook ($FB), and Tesla ($TSLA) are among the most popular and fastest-rising stocks on the market. They also cost anywhere from $146 to $950 per share, depending on what you’re buying. If you have a decent chunk of change lying around but don’t want to spend it on a poorly planned dumpster fire of a music festival, you could always buy one of these stocks instead. They’re not guaranteed to keep going up — as nothing on the stock market is guaranteed, but investors are pretty positive about them, and some are even getting close to a $1 trillion valuation.
5. Finally contribute to that retirement account you neglected.
No one wants to think about retirement ever. Yet putting money away instead of spending it on a crappy weekend in the Bahamas could let you afford many crappy weekends in the Bahamas when you’re older. By maxing out your 401k or IRA accounts for the year, you could save for the future and take some sweet-as-hell tax credits. If you don’t want to pay taxes in the future, a Roth IRA is the way to go. They’re not as fun as glamping at an outdoor festival and waiting for the bass to drop, but they’re a much better bet than, taking a questionable pill that some guy in a tent offered you.
Festivals aren’t the best investment. In addition to the overpriced ticket, you must pay for travel, lodging (read: tents and permits), and absurdly expensive food. There’s also the “sharing paid, dirty showers with drugged-out college kids” thing, but you probably knew that going into it. If you want to afford festivals in the future, or save your money for the finer things in life, investing will help you get there.
Though returns aren’t guaranteed (unless you can predict the future), they could mean the difference between splurging on an island getaway now and taking your entire extended family to a private island getaway in the future. Diplo and Blink-182 will probably still be around then, too.