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Times are a-changin': Now you can own a little piece of Bob Dylan

September 06, 2012|By David Lazarus
  • A bond offering from Goldman Sachs will allow investors to claim a piece of musicians like Bob Dylan, seen here in 1965.
A bond offering from Goldman Sachs will allow investors to claim a piece…

They say that when it comes to investing, you should put your money into things you understand.

So how about a little piece of Bob Dylan? Or Neil Diamond?

Goldman Sachs is preparing to offer an unusual $300-million bond that's backed by performance royalties from these and other musicians. Rights to the music are held by a Nashville outfit called Sesac.

The way it'll work is this: Cash from the artists' royalties will be pooled together and sold to investors in the form of a security. Basically you'll be loaning money to Sesac, which will in turn, hopefully, pay a handsome return based on the classic tunes of various musicians.

However, the bond offering has been tangled up in blue. It was originally supposed to hit the market in August. But technical problems have forced Goldman to delay the offering until later this month.

Now there will be two investment groups, or tranches. One will be riskier than the other but will carry the potential for greater returns.

A bond backed by "Lay Lady Lay" or "Sweet Caroline" might sound a little goofy. But is it any weirder than buying a piece of people's mortgages and hoping they make all their payments on time?

At least when people ask if your investment portfolio is diversified, you can smile knowingly and say that your money is making sweet music.

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