A few days ago I became aware of a Web site called predictit.org, which allows people to gambl… err… I mean “invest” in the outcome of political races in increments of a penny. So I checked it out and went through the registration process up to the point where the site asked me to invest at least $10 to get started. Being a cheapskate, at that point I backed out.
A day or two later I received an email from the site. If I would transfer $25 to my account, predictit would match it. So I used a credit card to send $25, and a few minutes later my balance on the site was $50.
The site operates by matching buyers and sellers of a political position at a price of from one cent to one dollar per share. For example, as I wrote on this blog earlier this week, I thought that it would be politically astute for Obama to nominate Loretta Lynch as Supreme Court justice. I bought ten shares at 18 cents each for a total investment of $1.80. Had I held onto the shares, when Obama picked a nominee, I would have received $1 a share or $18 if I had been right and zilch if I had been wrong.
After I bought the shares yesterday, I began rethinking my position. Loretta Lynch has never been a judge. Not all Supreme Court nominees have been judges, but given Republican opposition to anything that Obama does, they would probably use that fact to refused to consider her nomination. So, I decided to sell my shares today, which I was able to pawn off on some other sucker… err.. investor for 20 cents each. My $1.80 investment was now $2.00 for a grand profit of 20 cents. But wait! The website charged me a fee of two cents, meaning I only made 18 cents. Highway robbery!
In the Nebraska Democratic primary, Clinton and Sanders shares were selling for 50 cents each. I bought 10 shares of Clinton for an investment of $5.00. My rationale is that many of Sanders’ young supporters will be on spring break getting drunk in Mexico during the primary, and the old folks who support Clinton would be at home and would vote. We’ll see how that turns out.
I have a few more bets… err… investments, but you get the idea how it works. I have to remember to keep referring to this as an investment site. Online gambling is illegal in the United States, of course. Oh, at last check, of my $50, I had $13.99 invested and was 30 cents behind.
I’m also betting… err… investing that you haven’t checked out my ebook about walking the Camino de Santiago yet. To do so, click on the book’s cover image near the top of the left sidebar.