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Which Friends Character would you Invest In? Which Friends Character would you Invest In?

2 years ago



IT’S been almost 2 decades since the last episode of the LEGENDARY SITCOM “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” aired and since then everything is a MOO POINT, it’s like a COW’S OPINION, it just doesn’t matter, ITS MOO. With constant reruns on TV channels all over the world and NETFLIX paying a whopping $100 Million to preserve its rights, it remains the world’s favorite sitcom.

Thus, we got to thinking if one had the chance to invest in ONE of the SIX characters(consider them as companies), who would’ve been the sensible choice, rewarding us with a RETURN, higher than PROFESSOR GELLER’s low yield bond he would’ve parked his winnings in, had the gang won the lottery in S9E12

It was a dilemma to choose from the ROSSATRON, HARMONICA, CHAN CHAN MAN, KEN ADAMS, RAY-RAY and PRINCESS CONSUELA BANANHAMMOCK given that there was very less data available to ascertain their financial position during the life of the show. To our luck, the good lads at DISTINCT REQUIREMENT  teamed up with GIFFGAFF and worked out how much each character earned and OH BOY!!, you are in for a big revelation.

To make it interesting we will be assigning the following ratings, “AAA”, “AA” and “A” to each character on the grounds of their financial conditions, and also monitoring the movement of the same. “AAA” rating signifies the most stable investment opportunity followed by “AA” and “A”.  (Refer Table 1)

    Chandler, starting with “AAA” rating, had the most stable income stream as compared to the other characters, thanks to his job in data analysis and statistical reconfiguration aka THE TRANSPONSTER. We saw his income rise from $50,000 in season 1 to a whopping $100,000 in season 9 before he quit his job to take on a Junior Advertising Copywriter gig.

    Monica is presented with “AA” rating at the start of the show.  She always wanted to be a chef and we saw her do everything in her power from waitressing at the Moonstruck Diner, to being a food critic to being a head chef at two fancy dine ins – Allesandro’s and Javu. Although Monica had to live through her share of unemployment, it was estimated that by the end of the show she was making a “CLEAN” $80,000 as a head chef.

    THE DINOSAUR GUY, also starting with “AAA” rating, worked as a paleontologist at the New York Museum of Prehistoric History earning $75,000. However, after his fallout with RACHEL, sorry, EMILY in season 5 and the sandwich incident he was sent on a sabbatical during which his income fell drastically. After his BREAK, he was able to get on his feet and was also up for tenure. It is estimated that he made an average of $49,500 a year during the course of the show.

    Rachel started as a waiter at a coffeehouse and went on to be a merchandising manager at Ralph Lauren making approximately $55,000 a year. It would be prudent to assign her a rating of “A”, due to the waitressing job at the start of the show. Nevertheless, her journey was an inspiration and “yes the real world sucked but she loved it “. Her spend-thrift nature was also highlighted several times on the show for e.g. when she purchased a sphinx cat for a $1000.

    Dr Drake Ramoray is back on “Days of Our Lives”, with a new brain!! Joey, with an investment rating of “A”, starts the series as a struggling actor, with no steady income stream, and he remains unemployed for a major part of the show, doing 17 odd jobs, struggling to make ends meet till he gets his a big movie based on WW2 “sponsored by Rayban”, earning an estimated $130,000.

    Regina Phalange worked as a masseuse, a freelance caterer and an extra on Days of Our Lives among her many other jobs obtaining a rating of “AA” at the start of the season. However in the course of the show, it is estimated that she made only $20,000 per year.  Due to her mysterious nature this is all we could gather.

Earnings growth of an asset has a major role in driving its prices. When one estimates the asset to have a stupendous earnings growth, the price of the asset tends to increase and vice versa. When these higher earnings show signs of stability, it generates a greater confidence in the asset. An investor will always look for an asset with a stable earnings yield.

KEEPING THIS IN MIND, if I had the chance to invest in any character, it would have been CHANDLER BING or MONICA GELLER.

CHANDLER’S earnings throughout the course of the show increase steadily and also provide stability. One could argue that most of the other characters also present a similar case. But my bias towards CHANDLER stems from the fact that he was placed in the IT industry which was at the brink of a major revolution. Also, down the course of the show we learn that CHANDLER had enough savings to protect him from future headwinds. At the end of the show, when he starts working as junior copywriter, we see it prudent to cut his rating from “AAA” to “AA”; however we are sure that his BRILLIANT ADVERTISING SKILLS would put him back on track in no time.

MONICA goes through unemployment for a brief period, however, after securing a steady source of income and fewer turnovers in the culinary industry, it not only provides a sense of certainty to her career and thus to her income but also it becomes sensible on our part to assign her a rating of “AAA” after she lands a job at Allesandro’s.

RACHEL also provides a perfect blend of growth and stability after she lands a job at Bloomingdale earning an upgrade to “AA”, but given her extravagant spending nature aforementioned tilts our bias. 

Investing in ROSS would have played out well, till season 5 after which he is on a forced sabbatical resulting in no income for almost 2 seasons and a stark downgrade to “A”. However his ratings tend to “PIVOTTT” higher when he is up for tenure, but his wasteful expenditure, for instance, on the sports car proves to be a no-no.

Coming to Joey, it would be a nightmare to invest in him with no earnings stability for a major course of the show and mind boggling debt of $100,000+. His ratings remain the same for a major part of the show, moving one notch higher when he gets his big break. We wouldn’t be upgrading him, when he initially lands a job as Dr. Drake Ramoray, as we were not sure if it were stable or a one off gain.

Phoebe’s source of income and no opportunity to grow in it is a bummer. Hence we don’t see any ratings movement for her for a major part of the show.