My friend wants me to invest in his hare-brained business, how do I let him down easy?

My friend Jerry is incredibly sensitive. I've known him since we was kids, one day on the playground, he was wearing an ill-fitting red beanie cap, everybody called him "Super Mario" and he ran home. He lived like an hour-long walk away! So when he called me a fortnight ago, as I was mixing up linguini for my daughter's hot friends (relax, they're in their early 20s), he pitched me this business idea that was basically gum for kids. I asked him if it was bubble tape, but he said "nah, fam, it's gum shaped like cartoon characters and s**t. Barney Rubble, Howdy Doody, Scooby Doo, E..T, stuff like that". I told him that first of all, those are all very old cartoons that most of today's kids might not recognize, secondly, two of these weren't even cartoon characters at all and thirdly, he'd have to get permission from the creators to use those characters for commercial purposes. He basically told me that he'd sell them to crooked gas stations with Armenian mob ties, and that we'd get a cut. All I needed to do was invest. I really like him as a friend, but this is bananas. In a panic, I told him I'd think about it, but I know if I say "no", he's gonna go to some really dark places. He's a bit mentally unstable, ever since his divorce. How do I go about this?

5 Answers

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  • 2 weeks ago

    How much does he ask for to invest?

    You maybe right about today's generation... what about people your age and older? I've noticed during this Covid situation nostalgia calls very often...

  • John
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    WAY too much time on yer hands......

  • 3 weeks ago

    If he will not accept NO for an answer then tell him to have a CPA draw up a detailed business plan that gives both a 5 and 10 year CLEAR Profit and Loss analysis.

    Tell him that once he gets that to a bank and the bank approves him for financing,  you will happily invest an amount equal to 5% of what the bank provides in return for a 5% share in the company.  That should provide you with write offs on your taxes that will compensate for the cash you put in.

    In the case he says he will not go to the bank for financing...tell him: 

    Use the business plan to raise capital from big investors.  When he has enough investors signed on that he has 80% of the capital he needs in the bank, you will invest ($an amount equal to 5% of the capital already raised)

    To prove it...put $2,000.00 in a savings account and tell your friend that you will invest that once he has his business plan, investors (or bank loan) and has used a reputable CPA to form a legal entity (LP, LLP, LLC, CORP) to handle the business correctly.

  • 3 weeks ago

    So tell him you thought about it and realized you don't have the money to do it with. 

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    One word, two letters....NO.

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