Sharing the spoils?


How I wish I had a lazy grand!


I’ve hooked a brilliant new client.

(I’m so glad I fragged the other one!)

This award-winning firm is smart, cashed up, bleeding edge, ethical and respected.

They’re on the cusp of colossal expansion.

Their share price is twitching like a floating fly line; I’m convinced a golden rainbow’s about to strike.

I’m dying to buy their shares before they hit the roof.

But would that ruin everything?


Risky business

Last time I had this feeling about a client, I gave Dad the hot tip.

In four days, his investment plunged 25%.

(I blame the GFC, not my web copy.)

But this time it’s different!

This firm is so in tune with world affairs, only a meteor strike could stop them.

Yet there is risk.


Inside out

First, I’m writing a killer campaign to catapult this crowd into the minds of a thousand prospects.

The media spend is BIG. We will make a splash.

If I buy shares ahead of this, is it insider trading?

A golden rule of investing is never to get into something you don’t understand.

If I can’t answer this primary question, what the hell am I thinking?

Then there’s the small matter of discretionary capital: I don’t have any.

Another golden rule is never to invest borrowed funds.


Cash for comment

On the other hand, I could double – even quadruple my stake in months.

Can you imagine how much fun it’d be to watch my writing boost the price of my shares?

And as my ebook sales dwindle, how ace would it be to receive dividends and capital gains for zero effort?


Double take

My copywriting hero, David Ogilvy, made a point of using his clients’ products. From shirts and oysters to Guinness and Rolls Royces, he took an intense personal interest in their success.

What better homage to my client than to link my (bank’s) fortune to theirs?

But maybe they won’t see it that way.

Maybe they’d prefer a more arm’s-length relationship with their copywriter.

I could always ask them, but that might queer the pitch.

Lucky I’ve got you!


Good advice

What do you think of this crazy notion buzzing round my brain?

Should I dive in or stay out?

Spill my guts or say nowt?

Can my client and I share the spoils?

Or will that spoil the shares?

Time is money,

so act now.

Tell us what you really think!



| Founder & Senior Writer – The Feisty Empire

  • “Can you imagine how much fun it’d be to watch my writing boost the price of my shares?” Absolutely – it would be great fun and very satisfying!

    I totally agree that it is good to put your money where your mouth is and truly support your clients – wear their t-shirts, eat their food, etc so investing with them sounds good from that point of view. You write better if you know the product (service) – as long as it is good anyway!

    I’m no financial whiz or legal person but just knowing a company is doing a marketing push and employing a good writer doesn’t seem like insider trading to me.

    I think a basic of investing is knowing what you’re doing to the point of trusting your investment’s potential for earning and it sounds like you have that covered.

    Good luck Paul…

    • Thank you, Tash. I appreciate your encouraging comment very much! :)

    • I agree with Tash – I fail to see that this even remotely approached insider trading. And sometimes you need to take a leap of faith. But YMMV. :)

      More than anything, I’m glad to hear you have picked up a good client.

      • Onya, Stephen. YMMV was a new one on me. Thanks for broadening my horizon! :)

  • A quick response Paul….

    Firstly re: Insider trading

    read this:
    then this:

    to determine whether you have material information, and whether it would be insider trading. (The real world reality is insider trading to totally rife and tacitly accepted because it is usually extremely difficult to prove)

    Anyone who gives you concrete buy/don’t buy advice on an individual unknown stock based on the info you have provided is not someone to take advice from.

    Thirdly, the general stock market risk:

    Anyone who is bullish about the stock market in general right now is talking bullshit. We are in unprecedented times. Sentiment around the Euro zone debt situation is driving world markets and causing extreme volatility. If we liken Europe to the titanic – lots of people are yelling “it’s sinking”, plenty of deck chairs are moving, but no one has actually reached for a bucket yet! Forget Greece for a minute. Italy is on the brink. The EFSF (Europe’s bailout fund) is tiny compared to Italy’s debt. It could all go even more pear shaped on the world markets at any time. Or not. If it does then all Aussie stocks will be sailing into European head winds and I doubt there will be instant riches to be made.

    Personally, I think 5 or 6% guaranteed in an Aussie bank looks pretty good right now. I sleep well at night!

    :) Jas.

    • PS – borrow to invest only in a rising market. That is not now.

    • Brilliant stuff, Jas! I know you’re busy today, so thanks HEAPS for this very helpful exposition. :)

    • Thanks for the tidy up, Emma! I was in quite a rush. :) Jas.

  • G’Day Paul,
    I know absolutely nothing about investing. But I reckon David Ogilvy is a genius. See: I ca be brief. It’s your money.

    Good Luck,

  • Using your client’s products will only make you understand them better, their good and bad points. It should make your work worth more to them. One of the challenges I find in outsourcing copy work is that I seldom work for a company that sells something that everyone just understands. Whether it be financial services or software I usually have to put effort in to explain what I do and what I sell. If I have to invest lots of time explaining and rewriting other people’s work, I might as well write it myself and get others (clean eyes) to proof it.

    • Thank you, MCB. As I’ve never seen you evince the slightest difficulty in producing your many excellent comments, I see no reason why you shouldn’t write your own stuff! :)

  • Buy!

  • No, sell!

  • Dammit.

  • Speaking of meteors … missed us by this much:

    Compare and contrast the terms ‘asteroid’ and ‘meteor’. [3 points.]

    • … then there’s ‘meteorite’ and ‘comet’ … [5 points.]

      • Actually, ‘asteriod’ and ‘comet’ are terms better compared and contrasted, asteroids originating in the asteroid (usu. rock) belt or the Kuiper belt, and comets (usu. frozen volatiles) more from the (hypothetical, admittedly) Oort Cloud.

        I’m a bit hypothetical, admittedly, myself.


      • Thank you, Ad. You could host QI with this sort of Kuiper! I’d belt up now, but I’m all tuckered Oort. :)

  • Hi Paul,

    The first thing I saw run across Twitter this morning was your question about this post. If I wait until I see the second thing, I’ll be gone forever.

    You haven’t heard much from me at The Pulse because I’ve been working on a project in a new role with a former client. I say ‘former’ because our mutual love affair turned into me joining their company. Global Copywriting is no longer taking freelancing work. I’m now part of Jobs in Industry Group and they’ve given me a very generous share of their company. Our first project, AMMA launches officially in Perth today.

    I had the same feeling about JIIG – “smart, cashed-up, bleeding edge, ethical”. We’re busy earning our ‘respected’ as we move into the marketplace. It’s been a XXX project – exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting – but also the most fun thing I’ve ever done.

    So, yes, I would buy shares if I were you. In my case, these wonderful visionary people had no idea how they were going to implement their grand plan. Enter one crusty old content marketing/copywriting chick who could clearly see the way forward even though she NEVER could have imagined the destination in the first place. Here’s the best part – the visionaries are quite happy to let me get on with what we have to do and don’t fiddle or muck in. I’m doing everything I ever wanted, the way I wanted, without the pressure of find the next client to keep the cash flow going.

    So I feel incredibly lucky. It’s a match made in heaven. We’ll either all find our fortune or all pick up the pieces of past careers together. It’s a big gamble but this is one of those times when I knew I would have regretted not doing it.

    Maybe you should ask your client if they need a Chief Content Officer? I bet the Feisty Empire would make a great service arm to their outfit.


    • You write the BEST comments, Sarah! And the fact you’ve spent precious, finite minutes sharing your story with us is even more impressive.

      I love the excitement in your tone. It really sounds like you’ve found a terrific groove. Non-fiddling visionaries are certainly thin on the ground in my neck of the woods. Hearty congrats on a match made in heaven. Best regards and thanks again! :)

    • Congratulations on the new role Sarah – as Paul said you sound very happy and excited with the new arrangement. Good luck with the new venture and enjoy those non-meddling visionaries!

  • Don’t take a logical stand point Paul – experience is the best guide, so just plunge in and do it! Then you’ll know for next time..

  • Thank you, Dan. The shares have risen 17% since I wrote this post, so it seems I should have followed your advice!

    • I disagree, Paul. You may wish you had followed your own advice back when you wrote the post. But hindsight is almost always 20/20. Foresight is rarely that.

      I stick by what I said – no one in this forum could possibly give you definitive advice based on the information you provided. It’s a 50/50 proposition at best.

      Did the company announce a merger or acquisition? Have they made an announcement to the market in the last couple of days (which you would find on the ASX website)?

      • Hi, Jas. I think this crowd just benefited from a seismic shift in the law.

  • Looks like you were right, Jason!

    I’m mighty relieved I didn’t whack a few grand worth of shares on my credit card! :)

  • An opposing view:

    Like my Dad says: ‘If you can’t afford to lose, don’t play!’

  • Another warning not to dive into shares just now:

    I had this bloke as a lecturer when I failed to attain my Master of Commerce. I didn’t understand a word he said. But his predictions in the last few years have been freakishly accurate. Definitely worth a look.