The Attic Update Vol. 8 - Beautiful Work, November Rain, and Trading Event Contracts

Beyond Alternative Assets

Thanks for reading the Attic Update, a weekly look at the exciting world of collecting and investing in alternative assets.

The Attic Update is broken down into three sections - PastPresent, and Future.

  1. PAST - Interesting ideas about the history of collecting, investing, and markets.

  2. PRESENT - Ten of the most relevant stories in collecting and alternative asset investing over the past week.

  3. FUTURE - Where are we headed? We’ll look at what’s next for alternative assets and the people working hard to make visions into reality.

Let’s begin!


A Short Word With a Good Ring To It -

Hans Wilsdorf registered the trademark for his new company in 1908 when he was just 27 years old. After careful thought as to what word would perfectly describe his new venture - BAM. There it was. The word was short - and had a certain ring to it.

After his mother died when he was a boy, and his father died when he was twelve years old, young Hans was suddenly an orphan. Luckily, he had uncles to look after him and encourage him in his education, curiosity, and work ethic. He later said, “our uncles were not indifferent to our fate; nevertheless, the way in which they made me become self-reliant very early in life made me acquire the habit of looking after my possessions and, looking back, I believe that it is to this that much of my success is due.”

His curiosity and intelligence pointed him toward the fast-growing industry of pocket watches and precision timekeeping. Hans accepted a position as a clerk for a Swiss watchmaker in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where he was responsible for winding hundreds of pocket watches each day.

As Hans created his own company, he had a vision of the future. Precision, perfection, and reliability, not only in pocket watches but in timekeeping devices worn on the wrist.

Years after he created his company, and success began to compound, he was asked how he came up with the clever name. Hans remarked,

I tried combining the letters of the alphabet in every possible way. This gave some hundred names, but none of them felt quite right. It was one morning when I was sitting on the upper level of a double-decker powered at that time by horses, driving along Cheapside in London, that a good genie whispered in my ear, Rolex."

Within just a few decades from its humble beginning, Rolex became one of the most respected brands in watchmaking. And now, more than one hundred years later, it’s one of the most recognizable names in the world.

Today, Rolex has never been more dedicated to creating the finest watches. Some may wonder why a Rolex watch is so expensive. The unaware will say, “what’s the big deal about a Rolex?”

Others understand determination, sacrifice, achievement, and pursuing the unattainable goal of perfection. Each Rolex watch carries the legacy of Hans Wilsdorf, the brilliant founder who wanted to “produce nothing but beautiful work.”


November Rain, A-Rod Rubin’ed, and Who’s JR? -

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, investigation, curiosity, and fun!

  1. Fractional Ownership - Rally partners with Gibson to offer shares of rare prototype guitars, beginning with the ‘Slash Doubleneck.’ If you’re like me and instantly begin whistling the guitar solo from ‘November Rain’ when you hear the name “Slash,” I hope you were able to grab a few shares of his Doubleneck. They sold out super fast. And that’s a super cool partnership for Rally.

  2. Memorabilia & Collectibles - If you’re into space, why not buy a few rare photos from the NASA Apollo missions? Heritage Auctions will be offering 300 photos from the JL Pickering collection. Technically, many of the images are available for use in the public domain, but actually owning extremely rare, original vintage photos from the Apollo missions is not only cool but somewhat affordable. Prices start at just a few hundred bucks each.

  3. Sports Cards - Michael Rubin and his Fanatics deal is still rippling through the sports card world. Alex Rodriguez and Slam Corp. recently backed out of their planned merger with Panini Group. The merger was planned until Panini lost its trading card licensing deal with the NBA and NFL to Fanatics. Rubin’ed!

  4. Rare Books - One of the 500 first edition hardback Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone books sold at auction for $110,000. Estimates were for the book to sell for $27,000 - $41,000. One thing I’ve been thinking about lately, how do they come up with the pre-auction estimates, anyway?

  5. Crypto & NFTs - Solana market cap is adding billions by the day. The market cap is now over $40 billion and has gained almost 300% since August 1st. Why? One simple reason is the role Solana plays in smart contracts and NFTs.

  6. Watches - Audemars Piguet releases eleven new models of its Royal Oak Offshore collection. One of my favorite new models is the limited edition Royal Oak Offshore Diver with a black dial and beige highlights. Damn, that’s a great-looking Royal Oak. Prices start at $73k with only 300 pieces of the Offshore Diver produced.

  7. Wine & Whiskey - Want to buy a Vineyard? Stop reading articles and start crunching numbers. Here’s a link to 75 Vineyards for sale right now on LoopNet. Prices range from $200,000 to $15 million. Let me know if you find a great deal where the math pencils out.

  8. Markets & Investing - Coal! Yes, that coal. The 300 million-year-old combustible black or brownish sedimentary rock - is looking more like Solana cryptocurrency lately than a piece of carbon and sulfur buried in the dirt. The price of coal has doubled so far this year and is on a roll over the last few weeks. One more thing, I have no idea why coal prices are going up. I could take a random-ass guess, but I won’t; everyone else already has.

  9. Collector Cars - The Hagerty Market Rating for August increases for the fifth straight month and is now at its highest reading in four years. Since 2007, Hagerty has used a weighted algorithm to gauge the North American collector car market. Here’s how it’s calculated.

  10. Art - Who is JR? Although his identity is unconfirmed, he’s one of the most famous artists on Instagram, with over 1.6 million followers. The French street artist and photographer also claims to have the “largest art gallery in the world” by displaying his giant art on the side of buildings around the world. Check out his latest creation, where he ripped through the side of the Palazzo Farness in Rome.

Featured Pod - 

I stumbled on an incredible pod called “One True Podcast,” which explores the work and life of Ernest Hemingway. Of course, the name of the podcast is a tip of the cap to the famous quote by the legendary author himself, when he said,

“All you have to do is write one true sentence, write the truest sentence that you know.”

In the episode below, Sean Hemingway (grandson) joins host Mark Cirino to discuss the epic Hemingway story, ‘The Old Man and the Sea.’ One of my favorite Hemingway stories. Watch this awesome animated Short video.

Rare book collectors understand the enormous value of first edition ‘A Farewell to Arms’ and ‘The Sun Also Rises.’ Most likely, these titles are out of reach for the beginner book collector. But many other incredible first edition Hemingway books might be within your budget.


Trading Event Contracts -

Do you have an opinion? Put your money where your mouth is, as they say.

There’s a new asset class giving you the ability to capitalize on your opinion and potentially profit from the outcome. Kalshi introduces Event Contracts, now in Beta.

From economics to climate, politics to entertainment, Kalshi offers the ability to trade events with a futures contract attached to each. Contract buyers have a choice to buy “Yes” or “No” tied to a specific event. As the odds of the event actually happening change over time, the contract price also changes, ranging from $.01 to $.99.

When the date of the event has expired, and you were correct, you are paid out $1 for that contract. If you were incorrect at the contract expiration, you are paid out $0.

Kalshi claims to be the only financial exchange for event contracts regulated by the CFTC.

Behind Kalshi is two co-founders who were classmates at M.I.T. and a New York-based team of 33 employees. Backed by Sequoia Capital, Henry Kravis, Charles Schwab, Y Combinator, and Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, the company has raised $36 million to date.


Quote From the Legends -

There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he can’t afford it and when he can.” - Mark Twain

Tweet of the Week -

The tweet of the week is from Dan McMurtrie, aka @SuperMugatu. Dan is co-founder and a portfolio manager at Tyro Partners, a New York-based hedge fund.

McMurtrie is all over Twitter with a fresh spin on investing and markets. Dan brings a much-needed crisp and original perspective. No doubt, he’s one of the sharpest minds around. (I don’t think I can call him “up-and-coming” anymore.) Dan has tons of great insights daily. Follow him.

Judging by his tweet, it seems Dan might be smelling a little irrational exuberance in the ‘Crypto’ air.

As I’m someone who is well versed in Keanu Reeves history, I’m not sure he is actually credited with the quote above. But it’s a great quote, and Keanu Reeves is a great human being, so let’s go with it. Live and let live. Just don’t blow up your 120x leveraged Ravencoin trade.

A Question for You -

What new categories would you like to see more discussion about each week? Ethereum mining rigs? Vintage VHS and cassette tapes? How about West Texas oil wells?? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading! And if you enjoyed it, share it!


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