Wall Street - Standard & Poor's has downgraded the credit rating of lemonade stands to CCC from its previous rating of BB. Both ratings are considered non-investment grade, which means S&P considers lemonade stands to be very risky investments, or "speculative." The CCC rating indicates that S&P believes the stands to be immediately financially vulnerable to short-term variations in business, financial or economic factors.
Edwin Winters, Executive Vice President of the agricultural group of S&P said that the speculative nature of lemonade stands stems from their enormous dependence on favorable weather conditions and prevailing traffic patterns. Said Winters, "frankly, anyone who makes a capital investment in a lemonade stand is essentially making the decision in advance to lose that capital. It may not happen. There is of course the very slight possibility of recovering their capital, and an even smaller probability of earning a minuscule return on their investment. But, for the most part, you can kiss the money goodbye."
Peter Johnson, an investment banker and father of four, recently lost his entire investment in his nine year old twin daughter's lemonade stand. "I can't believe I let myself fall into that trap," said Johnson. "I know better. I've advised my own clients against investing in lemonade stands. But my daughters came to me requesting a sizable investment of not only direct capital, but also physical resources." Johnson not only chose to invest $12, but he put on a nicer t-shirt and drove to the grocery store in order to make his investment in quarters. "I knew the girls would need change. They were going to charge fifty cents a cup, and I know most people would pay with a one dollar bill. They were going to have to be able to make change, and two quarters is the most efficient realistic way to give back fifty cents." In addition to the $12 capital investment, Johnson's wife Tiffany contributed four cans of frozen lemonade, an assortment of paper and plastic cups she was able to scrounge up in the pantry, and her time as adviser and foreman.
Said Tiffany Johnson "I knew there weren't that many garage sales that morning, it wasn't as hot as they forecast, plus it started to sprinkle around 10:30 (am). If it weren't for the $5 Ms. Franklin from down the street paid for her glass of lemonade, the entire thing would have been a complete and total diaster - money right down the toilet. But, it seemed like the girls had fun. At least that's something."