A Coda to 2023 Sunday Editions

Each week after publishing the Sunday Edition, we have terrific “leftover content” which gets lost in the shuffle.

Sometimes this gold comes from reader comments (we read every single one). Other times I’ll hear about a new development just a few days after publishing.

Sometimes it makes sense to put these extra tidbits in the following issue. But usually this stuff pops up weeks or months later, by which time it’s too late.

So today I’ve got a short coda for over half of the Sunday Edition issues published this year.

Enjoy these anecdotes, community replies, corrections, and other fun follow-ups.

This issue is free for everyone. 🎁

Let’s go.

Investing in Cricket​ 🏏

Tons of response to this issue, especially from overseas.

One community member named Omar is actively exploring cricket investing opportunities:

Reply to this email if you want to get in touch.

​Investing in Athletes​ 🏋🏻

This one resonated like crazy. Community members replied with stories and even plans to create their own athlete investment marketplaces and funds.

The most interesting response was from Nicho S.:

Last year there was a website here in the UK called Football Index. It was advertised all over the biggest soccer leagues, and basically turned footballers into stocks. You speculated who will go up in value, etc. One day they just froze trading and went bust. I never invested, but everyone who invested lost everything.

​Investing in the Philippines​ 🇵🇭

One of my favorite issues I’ve ever done.

I spent a week in Cebu and Baguio City, interviewed top-notch Filipino investors, stuffed as many insights as I could into 3,000 words, and wrote the entire thing on the plane ride home.

Expect international investing to become a big theme for Alts in 2024 (starting with ​Mexico​).

​The Economics of Tipping​ 🤌

I think we nailed the timing on this one.

I feel like tipping in America became one of the biggest financial themes of 2023. It felt good knowing we were talking about it before everyone else.

Since publishing, all sorts of think pieces have come out debating the merits, flaws, and ethics of tipping.

Barry Ritholz even wrote about how it’s ​driving inflation higher​ (although he later corrected the piece)

​Introducing the Inverse Cramer Newsletter​ 🙃

We acquired five newsletters in 2023, but this one is still my favorite. (You can ​subscribe here​.)

The timing was perfect on this acquisition. We knew the meme was growing, but we didn’t expect ​Elon Musk to keep tweeting about it​.

​Investing in Rwanda​ 🇷🇼

Hands down, the most beloved, successful, far-reaching issue we’ve ever published.

Authored by ​Caleb Maru from Tech Safari​, this issue shifted our content into a higher gear. It also solidified our “guest post” strategy.

As I’ve said before, we don’t pretend to be experts on every topic we cover. (How could we?) This was a terrific example of partnering with experts within the Alts community to expand our reach to all sorts of alternative investing topics.

I’m proud of it.

​What I learned collecting 300 vinyl records​ 🎶

Of course, there are alternative asset classes that we have very much become experts in.

For me, one of those is vinyl records. I had so much fun writing this one, and ​my collection is still increasing​.

Since I’m immersed in this world, there’s almost too much cool stuff to share. But here are 3 interesting things I’ve learned since publishing:

  1. 50% of people who buy vinyl records ​don’t even have a record player​ (!)
  2. Motley Crue released a ​”Blood Filled” LP​ of Shout at the Devil
  3. I’m still an amateur in this world. The real hardcore folks collect something called ​Acetates​. These are special pieces of metal with a lacquer coating that act as test pressings, before the record gets commercially pressed. These extremely rare pieces are nearly impossible to get your hands on if you’re not in the industry.

​The Rare License Plates that Sell for Millions​

Oh man, this might be my single favorite issue of the entire year.

A unique alternative asset class that nobody knows about, with tremendous returns, fascinating backstories, and it all started right here in Melbourne, Australia.

We weren’t the first publication to discover this exotic asset class, but we were close. It’s the kind of piece that gets ​syndicated​ and picked up by all sorts of media.

The story is just getting started, too. Just last week, the ​New South Wales #1 Plate​ went up for auction for the first time in 100 years. It’s already at $10 million with two weeks to go, and could break the ​Dubai plate world record​.

Would you pay $10 million to own this license plate? Plenty of rich people in Sydney will.

This is what Alts is all about. It was deeply-researched (we interviewed three of the biggest experts in the world) packed to the gills with knowledge, and as alternative as it gets.

A big thanks to ​Dan Remy​, who tipped me off about this esoteric market before anyone else.

(I only wish he told me years ago when prices were still ultra-low!)

​The Economics of Bee Farms​ 🐝

We made a couple of mistakes in this issue.

Megan W pointed out that, despite our claim, honey “crystallizing” has nothing to do with whether honey is organic or not:

My husband and I are beekeepers. Since you can’t determine where the honey bees fly, you’d have to certify a five mile radius organic to do so, which is nearly impossible. Organic honey is a misnomer in most places since pesticides, insecticides, and every other -cides exist in almost every county that has honey bees. Cuba would be the one place you’d most likely get “organic” honey and it’d wouldn’t be listed as such. Sorry for the rant. Honey bees like most things becomes a deep deep rabbit hole.

But the big misconception we missed is that it’s wild bees that are disappearing, not honey bees.

In fact, honey bees actually ​compete with wild bees​, and can have a negative impact on them.

So if you’re looking to save the wild bees, starting a honey bee farm probably won’t help.

​Adidas Yeezy Sneakers​ 👟

The big question in this guest post from ​TheSneakerSavant​ was around the ramifications of the breakup between Kanye West and Adidas.

Less than a month after publishing, Adidas sold over ​half a billion dollars​ worth of leftover Yeezy stock in 48 hours. They’re now expecting to breakeven for the 2023 financial year.

And just yesterday, Kanye launched Yeezy Pods, his first post-Adidas footwear brand, potentially garnering interest from women looking to ​ditch high heels​.

​Alternative Sports​ 🏟

The Alternative Sports issue generated more follow-ups than any other issue written this year. It’s not even close.

There are a plethora of other unique sports which I heard about after publishing. It seems like every few weeks a new Olympic contender enters my radar.

I failed to mention Padel in our issue on Alternative Sports. Padel is like Pickleball, (but actually fun to watch).

And of course, as Wyatt is fond of saying, Pickleball may be the fastest-growing sport, but that doesn’t make it a good investment. Major League ​Pickleball’s founder just resigned​, and the sport still doesn’t make any money.

Just a few weeks ago, pro pickleball players decided to band together amidst ​chaos and pay cuts​.

​Office to Residential Conversions​ 🏢

Word finally seems to be getting out that the economics on these conversions rarely made sense for developers.

But the big news since then is ​Biden’s initiative​ announced in October. This will leverage federal funding to help accelerate conversions of commercial properties to residential use.

The full impact won’t be felt for years. But in the meantime it’s great news.

Alternative Therapies​ 🍄

It’s been six months since Australia became the first country to legalize psilocybin and MDMA for mental conditions like depression and PTSD.

I was hoping to get some insight into how it’s going so far, but there has been surprisingly little chatter or data around the number of prescriptions made, results, etc.

This stuff is still very alternative, but it continues to go mainstream.

​A film supply crunch is coming​ 🎥

Our issue on the Hollywood strikes was well-timed and well-received. But what was especially fascinating was actually the sponsorship angle.

We pride ourselves on finding sponsors for each free issue that are both relevant and valuable. You may recall for this issue we partnered with screenwriters and Alts community members Lisa Scott and Alan Field, who are developing an indie film.

They reached out a few weeks prior to see if anyone might be interested in helping finance their film.

Results were bonkers. Over a hundred requests for introductions to Lisa and Alan! To this day it’s one of the most successful campaigns we’ve done.

It’s what our community is all about.

​The Museum Artifact Ownership Debate​ 🗿

For me, there are few greater joys in life than being able to travel, write about my experiences, weave everything into themes of investing, finance, or ownership, and get paid for it.

I’m happy to say that my trip to the British Museum in London this past summer ticked all those boxes. And it seemed to tick the timing box as well.

Now, I don’t know if chatter around the British Museum has actually increased since I visited, or if it just seems that way because I’m attuned to it. But either way, The Guardian has been all over the drama:

​Investing in Rugby​ 🏉

Replies were through the roof on this issue, as well our follow-up piece on the NFRL (​Creating a Pro Sports League from Scratch​).

It opened a lot of people’s eyes to rugby’s potential to take off in the US. People especially liked the “trickle-down effect” of picking up players cut from the NFL, as well as the delta between rugby’s popularity and revenue.

But some fans were upset that I left out talking about the whole Union/League divide.

See, Rugby Union is the original 15-player game. In 1896 there was a ​split​, and Rugby League (a 13-player version of the sport) seceded & branched off.

Union confuses the issue in some countries by referring to itself as a league.

The NRFL stands for the National Rugby Football League, but they play union rugby, and are referred to as a “​Union League​.”

Confused yet?

Exactly. This is why I left it all out.

​Shipbreaking: How Mega-Ships Get Recycled​

The first time I met ​Brian Flaherty​, he told me he wanted to do an issue on shipbreaking.

“Ship what?” I remember asking.

“Trust me,” he replied.

And thus he set out to pull the covers off a market nobody else is talking about.

What I like about this issue is the journey Brian took. While reading the piece, I started out thinking there may be an investable angle here.

But the deeper you go into this world, the more you realize how complicated and ugly it gets. By the end he concluded that it’s probably best to stay on the sidelines.

Vivek S. agreed:

And this is what I love most of all. How our issues draw out the experts from within the community.

We’ve grown to the point where no matter what topic we discuss, someone in the community responds intelligently with ideas, challenges, suggestions, proposals, and expertise.

It’s a great feeling. 🙏

Hope you enjoyed this coda. Keep the replies coming as always.

Like I said, I read every single one.

Happy new year everyone! We’ve got a great year planned.

See you in 2024 🥂

— Stefan & the Alts team

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Picture of Stefan von Imhof

Stefan von Imhof

As the CEO of Alts, Stefan lives and breathes alternative asset analysis and valuations. His alternative investing newsletter has grown into Alts.co — the world's largest alt investing community, with over 200,000 investors. His favorite alternative investments are holiday rentals, cash-flowing websites, and especially his collection of 300 vinyl records. Originally from Boston and Santa Barbara, CA, he now lives with his wife in Australia.

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