In a casual interview episode, I’m joined by Mike Merrill. Mike, or KMikeyM, has been doing one of the longest-running art project on capitalism as the world’s first publicly traded person, selling shares of himself to friends and strangers for 10 years. Shareholders then vote on his life decisions. Having just launched my own experiment in community-based capitalism with Oh My Dollar!’s patreon, I thought I should get his advice. We talk about how his personal self-image fluctuates based on his share price, eliminating his personal credit card debt, finding your own “personal rap video” version of wealth, and why everyone should set a dollar bill on fire in front of an audience at least once.
This Show is Brought to You by our Listeners
This show is supported by generous listeners like you through our patreon. This episode was underwritten by the Tamsen G Association and Surreptitious Huggermugger Foundation. To learn more about ways to support Oh My Dollar! and get cool perks like exclusive livestreams and cat stickers, you can visit ohmydollar.com/support/
About Mike Merrill, AKA KMikeyM
Mike Merrill is the world’s only publicly traded person, which means he sells shares in himself and allows the shareholders to vote on his life. He is obsessed with concepts and focuses less on practical details, leading to many half baked projects. He is currently “writing” a ghostwritten crowd-sourced fanfic about himself, lives in a cabin in Los Angeles, and had left technology to work in advertising.
Disclosure: I coached Mike through some personal debt and was paid in “shares” of him, so I’m a shareholder.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Index Fund of People
- Is the whole stock market an art project?
- Should the cats that follow me on instagram get half votes on my haircut or double votes?
- Why money feels like wizardry and wealth is a spell
- How Mike’s self-value has ended up correlating to his stock value
- If you’re an anxious person, putting your retirement portfolio on autopilot
- Mike’s using the model of a stock market to represent a decision making engine
- Dressing in Brooks Brothers (as the personal embodiment of capitalism) in hyper-casual Portland
- How this project has changed Mike’s relationship to money (and it’s not really necessarily positive)
- Your own personal rap video and what wealth really means to you
- Why you should burn a $1 bill
Resources from this episode:
- KmikeyM.com website – maybe you’d like to buy some stock!
- Alexa skill that says KmikeyM’s share price!
- Millionaire Next Door – a classic personal finance book, the largest survey ever conducted on the lifestyle of true millionaires (most clip coupons)
- Download your own “Things I want tracker”
Other episodes your might like
- Curbing Impulse Purchases & Regrettable Spending– the original episode about the “Things I want Tracker”
- Budgeting Rule #1: You Do You– all about spending according to your own values (AKA “create your own rap video”)
- The Art of Debt ft Cathy Byrd– more discussions of personal finance art projecst