The WC – Let’s buy some underpants

New here?

The WC is a selection of five useful, interesting & notable insights handpicked by CIO Wyatt Cavalier and dropped into your inbox every Wednesday.

OK, let’s go!

Which would you rather have? Choose one.

There’s some wild stuff going on in auction land right now.

The world’s oldest Hebrew bible is set to hit the auction block in May, and it’s expected to sell for an estimated $50m.

There’s something in here about giving money to the poor, I think.

Codex Sassoon, created circa 900, is the earliest surviving example of a single codex containing all 24 of the books of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament for you Christians out there) with their punctuation, vowels, and accents.

While the book of Matthew isn’t part of this codex, it does provide a potentially relevant passage:

“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Moving swiftly on…

A couple weeks ago, someone paid over $63k for an original, sealed, first-generation iPhone. From a historic standpoint, it’s a museum piece in the same neighborhood as the printing press — you’d be hard pressed to convince me smartphones haven’t changed the world, and Apple’s first iPhone played a big part in that.

No one really knows how scarce these are, and it’s the subject of contentious debate (on Twitter anyway).

Like any asset in this class, scarcity is everything, and if it turns out there are only a handful, $63k may prove a wise investment. If there is a truckload somewhere….

And now for something completely different.

If you’ve seen Breaking Bad — and probably if you haven’t — you’ll know about its opening scene.

Brian Cranston spends much of the first three minutes running around the New Mexico desert in his underpants.

As it turns out, these tidy whiteys are a thing people want to own. The pair (or possibly another from the set) originally sold for $9,900 ten years ago, and they sold again this week for $32,500.

Whether or not that’s a good investment over a decade depends entirely on how much joy the collector extracted from them while he (must be a he, right?) held onto them.

Dig deeper into these delightful assets:

Battery Tech — less boring than it sounds

The price of solar electricity has come down dramatically in the last several years. Panels today are something like 90% cheaper than they were ten years ago.

But because the sun doesn’t shine at night (mostly), all that excess energy from the daytime has to be stored somewhere if you want to, like, do stuff after sunset.

And because residential lithium ion batteries often cost more than the panels themselves, the bottleneck to adoption is now energy storage.

Battery pricing has come down recently — though not as dramatically as solar panels — but costs are ticking back up.

Batteries as such a big deal, and access to them is enough of a concern that Tesla is looking to acquire Sigma Lithium Corp for around $3.6b.

So it’s fantastic to see companies taking an innovative approach to solving the battery storage problem.

One company, Qnetic (disclosure, they’re a sponsor) is using kinetic energy instead of electrochemicals like lithium (as basically everyone else is).

  1. Electricity is converted via a motor to kinetic energy of a spinning rotor.
  2. Energy is held as momentum with very little loss because it’s in a vacuum and uses magnetic levitation bearings (welcome to the future).
  3. Electricity is discharged when the process is reversed—simple.

They’re currently raising on WeFunder if you’re interested. I haven’t crunched the numbers on this deal, but Battery Tech has been on a tear over the last year while the rest of venture funding was a tire fire.

Data courtesy of Crunchbase; chart by me.

Not quite as sexy as AI taking over the world, but that’s a helluva chart.

Dig deeper into Battery Tech:

Dubai is flying

While the rest of the world is muddling along through a housing crash correction and sky-high interest rates, Dubai is smashing forward.

Emaar properties, which owns Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building), reported profits of nearly $3b for 2022 and has a committed backlog of $14.5b. Emaar also owns Dubai Mall, which reported 97% occupancy rate for the year when retailers around the world are struggling.

Not to be outdone, Dubai’s leader, Sheikh Mohammed, recently signed of on the world’s first flying taxi service in Dubai. Set to launch in 2026, it’ll cover four popular spots — called veliports.

An artist’s (or maybe AI’s) conception of what a flying taxi in Dubai might look like.

The craft each hold four passengers plus a pilot and travel at over 200mph (300km).

Dig deeper into Dubai:

First world problems

Speaking of a housing correction, even Marky Mark isn’t immune to the troubles. Wahlberg listed his 30k sq ft Beverly Hills home, which sits on just over 6 acres, for $87.5m in April of last year, when he moved his family to Las Vegas.

Mark’s wine cellar / smoking lounge

It finally sold last week for $55m, a 40% haircut on his possibly optimistic first try.

I reckon he’s done well out of anyway, though. How well did he do? Let’s make a few very generalized guesses:


  • $8.25m for the plot in 2009
  • $24m for the build (typical luxury homes are $200 to $400 per square foot; I’ve allocated $800)

$32m total, more or less.

So the $55m sale has netted him $23m, which I assume he’s rolled over in some very clever tax-avoidy way.

Except, he surely didn’t pay in cash when he bought / built the house, so his cost basis is even lower than $32m. Perhaps as low as $10m plus interest payments of $6m over 14 years.

That means Marky Mark more than 3x’ed his money in 14 years and probably didn’t pay any taxes on it at all while living in possibly the most stunning home in Beverly Hills.


Dig deeper into the celebrity housing market:

Innovate or Die, Restaurant Edition

During Covid lockdown, restaurants had a pretty tough time. I owned a company supplying wholesale coffee to many of them, and roughly half the restaurants we supported didn’t reopen once lockdown lifted.

The average American (is there such a thing?) forks out for 6.7 subscriptions today against only 4.2 pre-Covid. A lot of that is streaming networks, but not all.

How much can one person possibly eat at P.F. Chang’s?

Innovate or die, and some restaurants jumped on the subscription bandwagon. Everything from free delivery to ready meals was on offer, and a variety of venues stuck with this as an additional revenue stream now things are mostly back to normal.

Some fun examples:

  • For $130 per month, Gravitas Supper Club (Michelin-starred restaurant in DC) subscribers get a three-course takeout meal for two.
  • P.F. Chang‘s Platinum program gives you free delivery and something called VIP Concierge Support for $7 a month.
  • At El Lopo, a bar in San Francisco, diners get $100 dining credits for $89 a month.

Results are mixed with some propositions working better than others. El Lopo only has 26 members, and On The Border, which experimented with $1/yr for free cheese sauce, had to close down the program when they started bleeding profits.

Dig deeper into restaurant subscriptions:

  • On the Border deals: How to get a year’s worth of Queso for $1
  • Restaurant subscription: the Netflix model that is already all the rage in the US
  • 8 Subscription Ideas for Your Restaurant

That’s all for this week.




  • Our friends at and ​Webstreet sponsored this issue.
  • We’re considering investing in WebStreet for our upcoming ALTS 2 fund.
  • I don’t personally hold any stock or vested interest in any products or companies covered in this email.



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.

Related Posts

lithium in volcano

Let’s dig up a volcano

$800 billion worth of lithium, Mortgage scams, Check your biases, What’s the best franchise, and More.


Invest in parental sanity

This month, we’re looking at a company making parents’ lives easier by taking the hassle out of travelling with little ones.

interest rates

Rates are going higher

The Fed’s not done with you, Mortgage ​defaults​ are on the rise, Startup investment is down >50% YoY in most markets, and Private credit is set to double to $3 trillion

jim cramer

Inverse Cramer Weekly Update — Sep 24

I told them not to over-expand but do they listen to me? No! I’m just a TV guy, they’re in a coffee business, but I know how to read a balance sheet. They’re over-expanding, they want to cool it, and just slow down. Don’t own the stock -On Dutch Bros (​$BROS​)

Recently Published

Unique investment ideas worth exploring

Our newsletter is everything. Start here.

    Join thousands of subscribers.
    Absolutely spam-free.