Discover more from Collectible Insights - The Attic Capital Newsletter
The Attic Update Vol. 18 - The First Pitch, Cornering the Market, and the Tinderbox
Beyond Alternative Assets
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Featured Article -
“The Dive,” “The Flip,” “The First Pitch.” What turns a great athlete into a Legend? By doing things nobody’s seen before when the steaks are highest.
The Latest -
Here’s the ‘Attic Top 10’ - The most relevant stories in collecting and investing in alternative assets over the past week. Not only to keep you informed but to provoke deeper thought, curiosity, and investigation.
1 - Fractional Ownership - “The most disappointing auction in the history of the world.” Nope, that’s not a quote from Ken Goldin or Dana Mecum - it’s from yours truly. And it’s regarding the 1982 Aston Martin V8 Vantage offered on Rally back in December. The car was finally fully-funded after what seemed like an eternity. First things first, I absolutely love Rally. Best platform out there for fractional, hands down. But after displaying the V8 Vantage in the app for years, the Aston did a face plant in its debut.
2 - Memorabilia & Collectibles - Yes, stamp collecting is a real thing. Maybe it’s not as popular anymore, but some are calling for a comeback. From the ‘Inverted Jenny’ to the ‘Ben Franklin Z-Grill,’ rare stamps can be worth millions. One of the most prolific philatelists (stamp collectors) in the world is getting closer to his goal of cornering the market in Tiger Stamps. Johnny Lowis, who owns over 9 million stamps, also recently acquired 80% of all Tiger stamps in circulation worldwide. Of the 600 known Tiger stamps, Lowis now owns 500 of them. “Cornering the Market” is a fascinating phrase. So, if you’re out there trying to find Tiger stamps, at least now you know what you’re up against.
3 - Sports Cards - One of my favorite baseball feuds is between Jose Canseco and Alex Rodriguez. Not sure you can call it an official feud. It’s more just Canseco relentlessly calling out A-Rod, but it’s been going on for a while. And it’s great. Do you know what else is great? I’ve developed an appreciation for both ex-pro ballplayers over the years. After decades, I’ve reached a startling conclusion - A-Rod was a great player. It feels good to finally admit it because I’ve always known it was true, deep down. Just never wanted to say it. I’m now a fully converted A-Rod fan. Of his playing career, business career, and his valuable rookie cards - here’s a primer. And just like two peas in a pod, the ultimate Jose Canseco rookie card resource must follow shortly behind.
4 - Rare Books - Recently, I visited a local used book store - again. My visits to used bookstores have been occurring more frequently lately. And the duration of each visit has increased exponentially. I’ve uncovered gems on nearly every shelf. The growing stack of books in my office waiting to be read is concerning. It’s hard to imagine I’ll ever get through them all. I could care less. Old, new, used, vintage, and rare, I love books. I can hear ole Warren Buffett’s voice mumbling his famous quote when asked about his busy daily schedule, “I just sit in my office and read all day.” Feeling tired, stressed, and worn down? I would recommend a trip to your nearest local used bookstore, STAT.
5 - Crypto & NFTs - Bitcoin and Ethereum come roaring back after dipping to year lows. The recent price dip fueled chatter about the coming “crypto cold winter.” Who knows if bitcoin will follow its historical price pattern around its 4-year halving cycle, but I can’t help but think a cooling-off period for crypto would be an all-around positive event. Maybe market swoons are good. In the past, it seems that low prices help kill-off excess goofiness and make way for long-term success. Who knows? I have no clue what will happen. But as I check prices this morning, I notice the top crypto gainer over the last 24 hours is - wait for it - the “Noshit” coin, symbol NSH, with a gain of 69% in the last day. Come on, man. YGTBKM
6 - Watches - I ask, and I shall receive. A new video on the Casio G-Shock has dropped, and if you create a video about the G-Shock, I’m watching it. As a proud Casio G-Shock owner, I absolutely love wearing it. I love the way it tells time, and I love how I never worry about damaging it on my wrist - because it’s indestructible. I know you love wearing your shinny expensive Swiss timepiece, and I know Luxury watch values have skyrocketed, but don’t let it go to your head. You’re not that great. Strap on a G-Shock, and you will be humbly squared away and fully prepared to face the week head-on.
7 - Markets & Investing - Anytime the market dips like it has over the last month or so, I like to see which short-seller will pop up in the headlines for making a killing during the plunge. One name that usually surfaces around this time in a stock market selloff is Mark Spitznagel. But I haven’t heard a peep from him. Silence. Back in mid-December, I do recall reading a Reuters interview where Spitznagel expects “lower returns from risk capital.” In the article, Spitznagel says, “I do not believe the Fed can ever truly tighten again, we’ve just come too far in the forest, it’s too much of a tinderbox now.” When it comes to global monetary policy, I have no bleeping idea what I’m talking about. But it seems like the Quintillion dollar question on everyone's mind right now is - does the Fed actually raise rates - and how fast? Is it a tinderbox??
8 - Collector Cars - The Bonhams car auction show in Paris posted over $21 million in sales, with a few well-known models leading the event. A 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari sold for $3 million, a 1996 Bugatti EB110 GT sold for $2 million, and a Robert Redford 1964 Porsche 904 GTS sold for $1.5 million. Recently, the Hagerty Market Rating increased to record levels for January, just shy of its all-time high and 10th consecutive month of increases. Other than the 1982 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the collector car market is still on fire.
9 - Art - Fascinating article in Wired Magazine on turning street art to NFTs can preserve the life of unique works of art long after they are covered up. Companies like Streeth are looking to help artists connect the real-world streets to the virtual by minting street art NFTs. I like the idea of helping artists broaden their audiences, and this seems to be a no-brainer application for NFTs.
Quote from the Legends -
“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” - Paul Samuelson
It’s possible Paul Samuelson said these words fifty years ago, but the lesson can still be applied today. Nowadays, you don’t need to fly to Vegas to gamble a few bucks. Whether it’s NFTs, Crypto, trading Eurodollar futures, or sports betting, there have never been more ways to get that instant financial dopamine hit. The temptation is real. And constant. And inside a phone that’s glued to your hand.
You could apply this quote to the present-day investing landscape by setting aside a small amount of money for rolling the dice. Try to determine if you’re making an investment or chasing something that seems exciting at the moment. Entertain yourself with a small amount, invest the rest.
Featured Pod -
Watch collectors know Breitling, but what’s the story behind the brand? This podcast digs into the origins of the Breitling Montbrillant Watch Manufactory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. It’s where the watchmaker has been producing epic timepieces for more than 85 years.
The Watch Files Pod focuses on stories and events that shaped the horology industry. Serge Maillard and Stephen Foskett host this deeply researched and well-produced podcast. Give it a try!
Tweet of the Week -
These are my favorite tweets. A simple question followed by hundreds of (mostly) thoughtful replies.
Alex & Books asks for the best book about investing, and the replies are jammed full of great recommendations. A few of my favorites from the replies that I’m adding to my reading queue - Secrets of Sand Hill Road by Scott Kupor, The Strangest Secret in the World by Earl Nightengale, and The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel.
Featured Video -
Ask your parents (or grandparents) what a Javelin was, and there’s a chance they might remember the muscle car era beauty from the 1960s and 70s. Built by the American Motor Corporation, the Javelin was an underdog story.
As a classic car enthusiast, there’s something unique about the Javelin design that catches my eye. For Mike and Jim Ring, founders of the Ringbrothers auto restoration company, the Javelin was one of their favorite models growing up.
So what did the Ringbrothers decide to do? They restored and customized a 1972 Javelin AMX and dropped in a 1,000 horsepower Hellcat engine. It’s completely bonkers. Take a look at a few other amazing restomods by Ringbrothers, totally amazing craftsmanship.
Question for You -
What alternative assets would you like more discussion about next week? There are only 9,000 alternative assets out there to choose from, let’s hear your favorites. House flipping? Livestock? How about rare and mint condition 1965 Washington Quarters??
Leave your comments, I’d love to hear them -
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!