I’ve discussed briefly my move towards domain name investing. Last November I took my my options trading account and cashed out. I decided I was going to put all the money into domain names for the future. I still have a buy and hold account and will always have that, but I am not buying options for a while. You’ve probably heard the story, in 2006 I quit an investment club and got a check for 2K when I left. I traded it all the way to 125K after taxes by the end of the year. After blowing it on random stuff and putting some away for my daughter’s college fund, I was left with 50K. In 2007 I lost 22K. I wasn’t going to trade this year but I had one year to make 22K tax free to offset the loss so I decided to start trading again. I made about 50K this year and cashed in. I made six digits selling websites this year as well so I decided to have some fun and set 25K aside for domain investing.

Why domains? It’s simple. God makes more people but he doesn’t make more domains. Generic domain names are like gold. Sure there are tons of endings .com, .net, .org but we all know .com is the important one. I am not talking about squatting on names, I am talking generic names like plants.com and bicycle.com (I don’t own either). These get type in traffic or can be developed. Either way they grow more valuable day by day.

I started domaining a few years ago by starting to buy generic plant names. This is the area I know because that’s what I do for a living. I started by buying coleus.com and coneflower.com and later adding heucheras.com and nurserycatalog.com. I paid a few thousand dollars for the first two. I think I got a steal at those prices. I sell 75 varieties of coleus at our nursery and eventually will sell hundreds of thousands of coleus online. I have not developed any of these names but I figured I better buy them before prices get even higher. Ever since I have been acquiring generic plant names.

My plan at the beginning of this year was to acquire 4 letter pronounceable .coms. There is not one 4 letter .com available for registration. They have all been sold out and if you want one you have to buy it from the current owner. I purchased a few non pronounceable ones as well if I thought they would be a good acronym. Here are some of my purchases

ddzs.com (double d’s LOL)
I have about 40 more

Most of these were purchased for $10 or less and worth several hundred each now. Others I paid $50 or $60, up to a several hundred dollars. I paid $1100 for hddh.com but I think this is a great name. I think I will be able to get over 10K in a few years for this one. Lately the 4 letter dot coms have increased at a rate of 16% per month. Better return than my stocks lately.

Now I bring you to my newest investments. I have been collecting 5 letter brandable domains. I look for domains that are easy to pronounce, have vowels in the middle, generally have only one spelling, (I don’t want munnyluver type domains), and are cool sounding. I have bought a few web 2.0 sounding domains as well like (rolld.com for $25 and soldr.com) The good 5 letter names are sold out as well. Sure people can still register 5 letter domains for $8 but the good ones are long gone. I go to website that list some of the new names people have registered but they are generally a stretch and have little value. I am paying up to several thousand for some names. My plan is to open a website selling internet property. Five letter domain name properties. They will be available to new companies or blogs, looking for cool names. Sure any name can be branded and it’s all about the content, but a memorable and cool name is an important part of a product launch. Here are some of the names I have acquired this year.

eeeey.com (cool looking but not as brandable)

This shows the kind of domains I am looking for. The best part of many of these names is they still get 30-50 type ins per day and by parking them I pay for the renewal fees of all 200 names I have. Most were $50 or so and should be worth much much more in a few years. Hopefully this answers some of your questions. I get questions all the time on what I think about a domain name and feel free to ask my opinion as I love to see other people’s purchases. I plan on developing many of my sites but all of them will be plant related. They are sites that are only updated as a new variety of that plant is introduced. For instance on coneflower(just a test site up now) I am putting up pictures and info on every type of coneflower available. The test site make $2 dollars a day and the site sucks. When it gets going it should make $5 a day. I plan on doing that 100 times. Combine that with the fact the domain names are becoming worth thousands, this should provide a nice amount of extra income.

Maybe I’m throwing my money away who knows. I know it’s already turned out to be a better investment than where my options trading would have been so far this year. At least with domains I have something to show for my money.