Let’s make 2000% ROI on a horror film

Welcome to The WC — your weekly shot of awesome.

Today we’ve got:

  1. Five ideas to whet your appetite
  2. Why you should never bet on a parley
  3. The best way to invest in film finance
  4. A review of the art market in 2023
  5. The good, bad, and ugly from the 2023 World Cup

Choose your poison

I have two main jobs at Alts:

  1. Write about stuff that interests me in a way that’s compelling to you
  2. Help sign up clients to sponsor these newsletters so everyone at Alts Towers can pay their bills. Want to sponsor an issue? Message us!

I like the first job a lot more than the second one.

With that in mind, we’re piloting five newsletters over the coming months — all stuff I know I like and I think you’ll like.

Click “I want this” under each one you’d be interested in. You’ll be notified when they launch.

We’ll prioritise the most popular ones.

Venture Letter

A deep dive into a hot startup raising capital every week. Fill up your call sheet with top tier deal flow.

​I want this​

IPO Brief

You weekly briefing on upcoming IPOs along with insights and analysis.

​I want this​

Saudi Rising

Saudi Arabia is aggressively declaring itself a tier one economy and has a trillion dollar pocketbook to back it up. Everything you need to know to stay ahead.

​I want this​

Finance Wrapped

Can’t keep up with all the finance and investing newsletters clogging your inbox? I’m curating the best into one easy to read digest.

​I want this​

Investing in change

Climate change will profoundly affect existing industries like real estate, energy, and agriculture. Everything you need to invest in the 21st century’s biggest challenge and opportunity. More stuff like my piece on ​how climate change will affect American residential real estate​.

​I want this​

The house always wins

And with parleys, the house is winning more than ever.

I’m not linking to DraftKings.

If you’re not into sports betting (god bless you), a parley is where you make a bet that several outcomes will come good at the same time.

e.g. if you correctly predict the winner of six different games this weekend, you get a massive payout. If any one of those is wrong, you get nothing.

Parleys appeal to the lottery ticket instinct in all of us. A $10 bet placed on six outcomes you feel pretty good about could net you $500 or more.

But parleys rarely pay off. Six wagers on outcomes that are each 80% likely only come good 26% of the time.

So statistically speaking, you’re not likely to win.

But the biggest ​problem​ — and the reason casinos make a 20% hold (margin) on parleys vs an average 5% on single outcome bets — is that their hold compounds for each bet.

Each leg is subject to that margin, and it multiplies each time.

Sports books are taking ​advantage​ of all this. Their marketing machines are pushing parleys, which are now 60% of all wagers ​compared​ with 20% only two years ago.

Don’t play parleys.

Not so horrible

Last week, Stefan wrote a great piece on an indy film looking for investment. It’s called ​A Jewish Christmas​, and you should check it out if that’s your thing.

It got me thinking about which films make the best investments, and they’re maybe not what you’d think.

Horror films are a ​goldmine​.

They’re stuffed full of no-name actors, don’t need very many special effects, and the scripts are often, well, not great.

They’re super cheap, so even though they may not do Spider Man numbers, the ROI can be through the roof.

Everyone hates drama films

Jason Blum, founder of ​Blumhouse​ Productions, is the undisputed king of this model.

His studio ​released​:

  • The Conjuring: 1,285.09% ROI
  • The Purge: 1,264.95% ROI
  • Insidious: 1,985.33% ROI
  • Paranormal Activity: 4,405.30% ROI

After the fantastic response to Stefan’s piece on A Jewish Christmas, we’re thinking about producing a lot more content around ​film investment​ — we may even launch a Horror Film Fund. Click ​here​ if you want to stay in the loop.

How’s art doing in 2023?

Not great Bob.

Artnet is out with its ​recap of the first half of the year​, and while it’s not blood-in-the-street territory yet it’s not been a banner year for traditional physical art.

After staging a blazing comeback from the pandemic in 2021 and 2022, when near-zero interest rates and (let’s be honest) a healthy dose of boredom flooded money into everything from historical masterpieces to animal NFTs, the great global marketplace for fine art lost a whole lot of value—and dynamism—in the first half of 2023.

Some key stats:

  • Fine art sales are down 14% YoY
  • Ultra-contemporary (1974 to present) is down 26% YoY
  • Sales by the mega-auction houses — Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips — are down 22% YoY
  • Revenue from ultra-high-end pieces ($10m and above) is down 51%

There are some glimmers of light, though, as well. While online sales were down 5% through the first half of 2023, they’re still up 300% since 2019.

Where does women’s football (soccer) go from here?

It’s been a complicated–and very political–World Cup (Felicidades a las rojas).

First, the good news.

Nearly 2m people ​watched​ the games in person, beating estimates by over 500k.

The England – Australia semifinal was the most ​watched​ television programme in Australia for twenty years.

The tournament generated more than $570 million in revenue, breaking even for the first time. That’s still only 10% what the men’s tournament generates, but it’s up significantly from four years ago.

Finally, while the female players still earn far less than their male counterparts, FIFA ​aims​ to close that gap by 2026.

The outlook for women’s football is strong, and I think there will be a number of fascinating (and lucrative) investment opportunities here over the next decade or so.

And the bad…

There was a strong undercurrent of injustice that ran through the tournament, particularly with respect to womens’ place in the game. Last week, you read about ​the sordid and overtly sexist history​ behind the beautiful game. Women were banned from playing the game for decades in much of Europe.

There’s still a lot of work to be done, and much of that was evident over the last fortnight.

FIFA’s folly

Ahead of the final, FIFA president Gianni Infantino told the female players:

“Pick the right battles. You have the power to change. You have the power to convince us men what we have to do and what we don’t have to do. Just do it. With men, with Fifa, you’ll find open doors. Just push the doors.”

It was not received well.

Norwegian footballer Ada Hegerberg ​jibed​ “Working on a little presentation to convince men. Who’s in?”

English runner-up Lucy Bronze refused to shake Infantino’s hand after the final.

America Falls

For Americans, it was a disappointing result.

The tournament favourites were knocked out early by Sweden in a game the Americans ​should​ have won, but they failed to take their chances.

Before the Sweden match (and others), several members of the team ​chose​ not to sing the American National Anthem, and Megan Rapinoe took a knee. The protest sparked criticism from conservatives, and former President Donald Trump ​blamed​ the team’s wokeness for their loss.

“I’m thrilled they lost,” ​said​ former Fox News host Megyn Kelly. “You don’t support America, I don’t support you.”

Pretty gross no matter how you look at it.

Spain wins but loses

Spain, which beat the odds (and England) to take home the trophy, was mired in its own controversy. The Spanish male game has got a long history of success at both the international and domestic level, and every level of the football bureaucracy is dominated by a culture of machismo and misogyny.

The two primary antagonists are the national team coach, ​Jorge Vilda​, and the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol (RFEF) President, ​Luis Rubiales​.

Jorge Vilda

A year ago, fifteen members of the team ​called​ for the manager to be sacked citing bizarre policies forbidding them from locking their hotel room doors at night, among others.

The Spanish FA stood by their manager, and only three of the fifteen played in the tournament. The animosity between players and coaching staff persisted through the World Cup.

There’s also ​footage​ of Vilda appearing to ​grope​ an assistant’s breast during the match.

Luis Rubiales

This is where it gets (even more) bizarre.

During the trophy presentation, Rubiales ​kissed​ las rojas forward Jeni Hermoso on the lips. She said immediately afterward that she “didn’t like that.”

Luis Rubiales kisses Jenni Hermoso.
That’s assault, brother.

It doesn’t stop there.

  • Rubiales was ​filmed​ making obscene gestures during the match.
  • He has been ​accused​ of using RFEF money to pay for orgies
  • He also kissed match winner Olga.

Insanely FREF seems to have forged a statement from Hermoso, which she’s said she had nothing to do with.

Amid ​calls for his resignation​, Rubiales responded:

¿El beso con Jenni? Idiotas hay en todas partes. Cuando dos personas tienen una muestra de cariño sin importancia, no podemos hacer caso a las idioteces.

Translation – “The kiss with Jenni? Idiots are everywhere. When two people have an insignificant show of affection, we can not listen to the idiocies”

The ​calls​ ​are​ getting louder, and the ​Spanish Prime minister has got involved​. Rubiales may actually be forced to resign.

Women in Spain are ​claiming​ victory, saying this is a first step toward equality and the softening of the country’s machismo culture.

Longtime readers know I’m super bullish on women’s sports — particularly football and particularly in the US. I’m looking forward to seeing the sport evolve.

Bonus!

What I’m learning about

Shouting at the tide is pointless. At Alts Towers, we’re looking at how we can use AI to uncover trends and ideas that are worth exploring. Early entrants here are newsletters like ​Yellowbrick Road​, which does this for stock picks.

It’s very early, but there’s a promising future here.

What I’m reading

​The Knowledge​: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch – Just in case AI doesn’t work out.

That’s all for this week; I hope you enjoyed it.

Cheers,

Wyatt

Disclosures

  • This issue was sponsored by our friends at Divvy and FundHomes
  • There are also a couple affiliate links sprinkled in.
  • Our ​ALTS 1 Fund​ doesn’t have a stake in anything here.

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Author

Picture of Wyatt Cavalier

Wyatt Cavalier

With a background in finance & intelligence analysis, Wyatt has an unhealthy obsession with finding the best blue chip investment opportunities. His previous newsletter, Fractional, resonated deeply with subscribers, bringing actionable insights and unconventional trading strategies. His rare book collection specializes in banned editions. He currently lives in Spain with his beautiful wife, three young boys, and dog Monty.

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