Bounce Back from the Housing Bubble Blues


Feeling a little down on your luck after failing to flip that refurbished 1br/1bath bungalow just outside Ft. Lauderdale? Or maybe you're flailing to get out of a subprime pit? I suggest you look into the sale and trade of domain names:

[T]he domain name market is hotter than ever. recently announced its 30 millionth name sold; the company registers, renews or transfers domain names at the rate of one per second these days.

"You can definitely do it part time, and, in fact, I think that's the best way to start," says [Ron Jackson, a domain-name investor as well as the editor and publisher of]. "This business is open to people from all financial backgrounds. A domain costs less than $10 most places, so you can start with very little. Those who already have a lot of money can afford to buy more attractive assets right away, but others can certainly build up to the major player level. Over the years, I've seen many people become millionaires."

The downside: Sales of domain names are subject to some kooky laws, such as those pertaining to cybersquatting; combine said legal obstacles with the reluctance of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to increase the number of top-level domains (which would increase the number of potential domain names by an unimaginable exponent) and what you get is a market in which a memorable URL costs more than that stupid bungalow:

Sometimes, the payoff is huge. Online entrepreneur Gary Kremen snagged $12 million in cash and stock this year when he sold to Escom, an adult-entertainment company….

"Those who understand domains and what they represent, can and have done very well," says Schwartz, 52, who sold for $1.3 million in late 2003, a huge profit from the $15,000 he paid for it in 1997.

Psst, looking to invest right now? As far as I can tell, no one has bought

Jesse Walker wrote about ICANN here. I wrote about ICANN here and here.