David Bowie: Innovator in Music and Securities

David Bowie’s innovation in rock music and fashion also stretched to financial markets. (Bloomberg) The musician, who died recently, was the first to create securities out of royalty streams, selling $55 million of Bowie Bonds in 1997 that were tied to future earnings from hits including “Space Oddity” and “Changes.” Securities backed by royalties allow artists to raise money without selling off their works completely or waiting years for payments to come in.

Marketplace for Asset-Backed Securities

The notes paved the way for a now-thriving market for esoteric asset-backed securities. Entertainers from Rod Stewart to heavy metal band Iron Maiden have sold similar securities, while bonds backed by everything from timeshare rentals to shipping containers and even dirty laundry have proved popular with investors seeking higher yields. “Bowie’s bonds were as groundbreaking as his music,” said

Rob Ford, a London-based money manager at TwentyFour Asset Management, which oversees 5.3 billion pounds ($7.7 billion). “Not only were they followed by a number of other artists, but they set the template for deals backed by a whole range of assets.” Bowie, 69, died after an 18-month battle with cancer, according to a statement on his social-media accounts.


Apex Financial Advisors has decades of experience understanding the unique needs of business owners and corporate executives. If you have questions about asset-backed securities, please reach out to us.

Marsh, Alastair. “David Bowie Dies: Bond Sale Drove Changes in Financial Market.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 11 Jan. 2016. Web.