The Grenville Phillips Column – Pay for Fun and Make Investments

If you have an extra $50 to spend, then you can take someone to the cinema to experience 3 hours of the Avengers: EndGame.  If you had an extra $500 to spend, then you could have taken someone to experience about 3 hours of the Buju concert.  With either option, you know that you are paying for fun.

If you had the extra money, then you would not likely be disappointed that you spent it, regardless of how hard you worked for it.  You had it, you spent it, and you enjoyed yourself.  If you had not spent it on fun, then you would probably have spent it on something else, or given it to someone in need.

Since you will have extra money sometime, why not use some of it to get more money?  With the additional money, you can: pay off your debts, help more people in need, and pay for a lot more fun.  So, what can you legally do with an extra $50 or $500 to get more money?

You can play the lottery. However, you will likely lose all of your money quickly.  You can invest it in someone else’s business.  However, they if they desperately needed your investment to keep going, then there may be structural problems with that business, and you may lose that investment.  You can invest it in your own business, but if your business is not yet profitable enough to pay your monthly expenses, then a return should not be expected.

There are steps that you can take to make it probable that any extra money you invest will make more money.  Before investing in any product, ask yourself these two questions.  1)  Are similar products selling well now?  2)  Is it likely that your product will sell when you are ready to bring it to the market?  Once the answer to both of those questions is yes, then ask yourself one more question.  3)  What is likely to cause you to lose all of your money.

Let us test a few money-making ideas.  What about planting, cultivating and selling beans?  Are beans selling now?  Yes.  Will beans likely sell in 2 months when they are reaped?  Yes.  What will probably cause you to lose all of your money invested in this venture?  Crop thefts by monkeys and humans is very likely, and you can do little about it at this time.  So let us think of another product.

What about investing in building a house to sell?  Are houses selling well now?  No, the housing market is depressed.  Will the house likely sell in one year after it is constructed?  No.  The market is likely to continue to be depressed while the economy is under BERT/IMF management.  Note that if the housing market were not depressed, you could have grown your $50 or $500 investment – we will address how in the next article.

What about an example that will work?  That is the challenge.  Before I tested the ideas, I thought that both of them were worthy investments.  However, the test showed that while both ideas are good, they are just not wise investments at this time.

Every product has customers.  One challenge is to identify those who are willing to purchase your produce before you invest in it.  The euphoria of coming-up with a good idea leads many to make an emotional decision.  They then prematurely invest their money and lose it.  Testing the idea with the questions reduces the risk that you will make an emotional decision.

You can reduce the risk of failure by selecting a product from what you normally purchase in one week, and making a business out of it.  For example, you probably eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Since everyone needs to eat to survive, food will sell today and tomorrow.

How can you lose your money with food?  Preparing food that most people: will not like, cannot afford, or is inconvenient to purchase will likely do it.  Since these risks are generally within your control, the next step is to design a business that avoids these risks.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at


  • @ William

    It is perfectly fair for the NIS (although I would prefer a sovereign wealth fund) to invest in local enterprises, provided the metrics are right. But to lend such a corporation a large sum of money without a guarantee ie debt for equity, is not only gross incompetence, but carelessness.
    I know BU keyboard warriors like to talk about corruption, but although they may look the same, there is a difference between incompetence and corruption. The big problem in Barbados is incompetence. Our lawyers and politicians are not bright enough to be successfully corrupt. Look at Donville.
    How can lawyers for the NIS, accountants, actuaries, and financial consultants agree such a large loan of public funds without any protection – debt for equity, insurance, etc. This is embarrassing..
    As a nation we have to stop trying to punch above our weight and learn the basics of governing.


  • fortyacresandamule

    @PLT. To tell you the truth, I really don’t know. Some might even say the horse has already bolted. It is hard enough to convince just a few people to change years of harmful behavior to something positive, much less a whole generation of people.


  • fortyacresandamule

    @David. I admire Butch and his success, however, I woudn’t recommend any government in the region doing any ppp project with him directly. The issue of moral hazard is relevant here.

    Air Jamaica was privatised in the early 90’s ( GOJ 30% and private group 70%) to a private consortium of which Butch was a major shareholder. In the ten years of privatisation, it lost over us $400 million plus the stupid Government of Jamaica was guaranteeing the debt of a so-called private company. In the end they handed back Air Jamaica to the government with the taxpayers picking up all the debt.

    There was another project in Jamaica (Sandal’s White house) involving Butch and the Government and suffice to say the taxpayers came out on the losing end again ( a loss of US$ 50 million).


  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    Mindsets CAN BE CHANGED!!

    It’s just that you need to understand what drives people.

    Michael Kimmel – Healing from Hate presents a theory about how to manage the process of detoxifying the minds of radical extremists youth.

    De ole man, albeit not a professional in these matters, has seen and internalized enough of these issues to (1) understand and recognize their impact and (2) understand mechanisms that achieve results.

    Let me give you an example of how one programme would work.

    The above image is from The Exhaustive Compendium of Piece the Legend (or Piece the Legion as my most ardent fans lovingly call me)

    Look on the image a while and soak up its sheer brilliance!!!

    Just by using that image and those words about sheer brilliance I have emoted the specific response that j wanted from 90% of you.

    You are saying this man is an egomaniac and is too full of himself.

    But just pause again and go back to the moment in time when all you had done was view the image and read the cuss word.

    Right there, even with the rough language, 50% of you readers were able to understand that de old man was speaking to the fact that, all we keyboard warriors heah typing about issues AND SOME ARE GIVING SOLUTIONS but the majority of Bajans are out there AND DON’T GIVE A FVUCK!!

    So in 2 steps de old man moved you from introspection to the accustomed dislike of me poor self.

    So what does this drivel mean?

    I suggest that INSTEAD OF NICE VIDEOS THAT COMPLIMENT BAJANS we package them with a negative “leader” or intro showing something derogatory.

    Get their attention!!

    Then slip in the positive

    That is just one of the many ways de ole man suggests to engage with the people AND THE ENDEMIC SHEEPLE WHO ABOUND.

    “To attract ants, you use honey and sugar.

    To attract sheeple and docile people, use derision and castigation!!”

    A quotation from piece the Legend ‘s book “Smashing the Bajan Negro’s Mirror of Self Hatred”

    Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You


  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with an item here for Mr Peter Lawrence Thompson


  • @ fortyacres,

    Air Jamaica’s prize intangible was its slots at Heathrow Airport. What happened to those is still taught at business schools in the UK. I mentioned incompetence versus corruption earlier. Don’t underestimate Caribbean incompetence. It is a joke n the UK.


  • fortyacresandamule

    @David. That is why I would rather for the government of Trinidad &Tobago not enter into a PPP arrangement with Sandals in Tobago . Let Butch go it alone.


  • fortyacresandamule

    @Hal. You are 100% correct about incompetence. If memory serves me right, I think Virgin bought the Heathrow slots from Air Jamaica on the cheap.


  • @@fortyacreaandamule

    Thanks for fleshing out the blogmaster’s earlier comment. It is one thing to toss around the name Sandals and Butch, there is another side to the story as you have highlighted.


  • A couple days ago the Unions made loud noises because the BEC stated that the economy of barbados was lose 48million because of holidays
    As a country who always speak of slow productivity one would think that behind all thoses millions would be a slowing of productive measures meant to keep the economy stable relative to tempoary suspension of a workforce due to repeated back to back holidays
    The BEC is correct in their effort to bring this issue to the forefront as the country wrestle with backlogs and unneccesary slowness and disorder in the work force


  • “@ William

    Of course you are right. A simple explanation: a post office balanced sheet bank, funding small businesses, would enfranchise many of those small self-employed people and, most important, liberate them from the foreign owned banks.
    Bds$50m of the $1000m foreign reserves to fund turning the 18 post offices in to banks would be the most exciting thing we have done since Nov 30, 1966.”


    Can you imagine the above Neanderthal proposal is emanating from the brain of a man who fancies himself as a ‘literary’ guru on ‘modern’ economics and finance?

    Does this ‘fully-retired’ financial peripatetic messiah take time out of his busy life to walk the ‘High Streets’ of London (and indeed all ‘towns’ in the UK) to observe the relics of his long dead proposal?

    All the major banks (and retailers/shops) are shedding their physical presence on the High Streets and moving to cyberspace and this ICT Luddite wants to resurrect the banking and post office dead in Barbados.

    The banks in the UK are literally forcing people to do their banking over the Internet while the remaining post offices- in order to survive financially in this brave new world of ICT- are ‘diversifying their services like processing applications for passport, driver and vehicle licensing renewals.

    The self-acclaimed messiah might have had his nanosecond of publicity during the recently aired “Stephen Lawrence Murder” mystery on the BBC where the name ‘Hal Austin’ appeared at the top of a Newspaper clipping but to extend this journalistic adventure into the world of modern banking and business might just be “a bridge too far” in trying to take the mickey out of naïve Bajans.


  • A happy Saturday morning to all in Barbados and those outside of Barbados. May your God give you a peaceful (piece full) and restful day.


  • WARU, Crazy & Unstable, Hogging the Blog

    “All the major banks (and retailers/shops) are shedding their physical presence on the High Streets and moving to cyberspace and this ICT Luddite wants to resurrect the banking and post office dead in Barbados.”

    can’t get any modern, this era ideas from asses with their mentalities still mired in the 1950s, they were the lost generation…drowned in mindwash.


Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s