Welcome to RIDO Investment Ideas TV, the new home for neophyte entrepreneurs and small business owners. We are a full time television network with programs featuring investment ideas, investment advice and entrepreneur success stories. RIDO Investment Ideas is dedicated to the success of entrepreneurs and small business, because that is who we are.


A stock tip from 50 Cent? Listen up

1/17/2011 2:03 PM ET|By Jason Notte, TheStreet
Article from The MSN Money

The rapper tweeted, investors jumped, and a penny stock soared. Turns out they may have had good reason to follow him. His investments have been as dope as his rhymes.
Image: Gold © Stockbyte, SuperStockUsing Twitter to pump a penny stock in his portfolio doesn't make hip-hop businessman 50 Cent more than a novelty in the financial world. That so many people apparently took his advice does.

Days after 50 Cent flirted with market malfeasance and SEC scrutiny by using his Twitter account to encourage 3.8 million followers to invest in H&H Imports (HNHI 0.00%, news) -- the company that produces his Sleek line of headphones, for which he holds roughly 7.5 million shares and warrants for more than 20 million more -- the question isn't why he would do such a thing. It's why investors would go along with it, boosting H&H stock's value by nearly 300% (or more than $50 million) in one day and extending 50 Cent's influence from MTV and BET to CNBC.

The smarmy answer is that he's a celebrity and the lemmings will jump off any cliff he points to. But the truth is Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent, has been right about these sorts of investments before.

From pocket change to mogul
It's been more than half a decade since 50 Cent's only job title was "rapper" -- and even longer since his resume included "crack dealer" -- and his extracurricular business dealings have arguably influenced his brand as much as his 2003 debut album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" and the single "In da Club," or its multiplatinum follow-up "The Massacre" and tracks such as "Candy Shop" and "Just A Lil' Bit." In 2003, following in the footsteps of Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons and his Phat Farm clothing line and rapper/producer Sean "Diddy" Combs' Sean John label, 50 Cent teamed up with designer Marc Ecko to launch his G-Unit Clothing line.

Two years later, he licensed himself and his G-Unit crew to former Vivendi Universal video game company and now-dormant Activision Blizzard (ATVI -0.20%, news) subsidiary Sierra Entertainment for "50 Cent: Bulletproof" -- a "Grand Theft Auto"-style run-and-gun game for the Sony (SNE -1.12%, news) PlayStation and Microsoft (MSFT +0.05%, news) Xbox that eventually yielded the Middle East-based war games follow-up "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand" released by THQ (THQI -1.81%, news). (Microsoft publishes MSN Money.)

That same year, 50 Cent starred in his first feature film, the semi-autobiographical "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," spawning film production companies G-Unit Films in 2007 and Cheetah Vision in 2009 -- the latter of which secured $200 million in funding last year and released its 50 Cent-starring first film "Gun."

Dan Charnas, a hip-hop journalist who wrote for The Source and is the author of "The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop," says hip-hop's do-it-yourself ethic itself deserves much of the credit for 50 Cent's early successes and for the accomplishments of fellow hip-hop entrepreneurs such as Combs (whose holdings include Diageo's (DEO -0.24%, news) Ciroc vodka), Akon (Konvict Clothing and a sweet PepsiCo (PEP -0.14%, news) endorsement), Dr. Dre (Aftermath Records and the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line) and Ludacris (Conjure cognac and endorsement deals for Tag body spray and Trojan condoms).

"One of the reasons that hip-hop was able to come in from the outside and suddenly find itself as the world's predominant pop culture and a multimillion-dollar business is the specific nature of what hip-hop represents in the American context," Charnas says. "If you are shut out of regular institutions, then you have to create your own . . . if corporate America won't give you endorsement deals, then you might have to create your own companies."

Or your own opportunities.

An $80 million investment score
The transaction that transcended 50 Cent's hip-hop persona and eventually separated him from a crowd of drink-endorsing, bad-movie-making hip-hop entrepreneurs was his purchase of a 10% stake in Glaceau, the beverage company he worked with to produce an energy drink. When the company was sold to Coca-Cola in 2007, 50 Cent took home $80 million and went from "hip-hop entrepreneur" to businessman with investment ideas that could move markets.

"Wall Street moves real money, but a lot of it is a game of perception, and I think that perception means a lot," Charnas says. "Fifty's not the most wealthy person, but he's able as a thought leader and a legend in terms of what he's been able to do with himself to move the needle a bit."

That influence placed 50 Cent in the rare company of entrepreneurs such as Simmons and Jay-Z, who once dismissed him with the lyric "I'm about a dollar, what the (expletive) is 50 Cents?"

Despite a similar crack-dealing back story as 50 Cent -- minus the bullet wounds -- Jay-Z went about building Roc-A-Fella Records and the Rocawear clothing label from the ground up (and selling it for $204 million in 2007). He later became president of Def Jam. His Armadale line of vodkas, 40/40 Club sports bars, role as Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD -0.65%, news) co-brand director for Budweiser Select and stake in the New Jersey Nets helped fill out the index of his autobiography, "Decoded," which went to the New York Times best-seller list last year, when he earned $63 million -- nearly eight times 50 Cent's take.

It also got him a seat at the table with Warren Buffett and Steve Forbes for the Forbes 400 summit in October and moved the goal posts of hip-hop business from merely rich to real wealth.

"It was hip-hop culture, and the power of it, that allowed black entrepreneurs to transform themselves like Jay-Z, who was a low-level crack dealer just trying to get some money in the late 1980s and is now a guy who can play among the ultrarich and sit among them and be accepted among them," Charnas says. "It's a great symbolic gift. And if Jay and 50 can transform their personal fortunes into something more duplicable that brings more lasting wealth -- companies that last for decades rather than years -- then it will be more than symbolic."

Article from The MSN Money

Turn the hopelessness within you into a fruitful opportunity.