Every week, I like to pass along some of the most interesting and entertaining stories happening in the unconventional investing world.

The sorts of stories that go great with a quiet morning… a full mug… and the unhurried time that comes each weekend.

So relax, read, enjoy.

That’s a Mouthful

I don’t know about this “fully automated luxury communism” that author Aaron Bastani is talking about in The New York Times.

Utopias — technologically fueled or no — tend to fizzle from their promise when they meet up with the realities of human behavior. Until we evolve into some grander animal, I doubt we’ll put war, hunger, inequality and all the rest to bed.

That said, Bastani does have a point about a coming age when the luxuries of today — like wine, whiskey and the finest cuts of meat — could be produced cheaply for all.

Which is great news for us. Because the easier it is to get an imitation, the greater the value of the real thing.

Think of it this way — no matter how many college dorm walls are adorned with a perfect replica of van Gogh’s The Starry Night, the original isn’t dropping in value anytime soon.

Or if you want an even better comparison — high-quality zirconia is, chemically and physically, indistinguishable from naturally produced diamonds. But no one is paying five or six figures for a multicarat zirconia ring.

And you can’t find diamond earrings on sale at Claire’s for $9.99 either.

And You Thought Meter Maids Were Tough

Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada

Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and started in 1882, the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is an unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain.

Well, that’s got to be frustrating…

You do everything right. Submit the correct paperwork to the correct people. Maybe even build a world-famous icon while you wait to hear back from the bureaucracy.

Only to find out, while the government sat on your application, you’d amassed $41 million in fines for building without a permit.

If I were running the Sagrada Família, I’d be steaming.

At least the construction is legal now. And scheduled to be finished in about seven years.

It better be — or I’m sure Barcelona will start laying out the fines again.

Well, That Explains It

Want a quick and easy yet comprehensive look at why income inequality is on the rise? And why that matters for the economy?

Check out this article. It does such a good job showing the levers at work, I’ve got nothing to add.

Now I Wish I’d Held Onto My Nokia

At one point in time, I had a graveyard of Apple products. Four old iPhones. At least five old iPods.

I thought they just might become collector’s items one day.

But alas, I moved a couple times, and it just didn’t seem worth it to transport an extra drawer full of crap everywhere I went for a maybe payoff someday in the future.

Well, if this recently sold Apple-1is any indication, I made a big mistake.

Unconventionally yours,

Ryan Cole

Ryan Cole
Editor-in-chief, Unconventional Wealth

P.S.Have any old products you just know will pay off someday? Bursting to tell your personal story about a byzantine bureaucracy? Think you can solve income inequality? Let me hear it at feedback@unconventionalwealth.com.

Ryan Cole

Ryan Cole is the editor-in-chief of Unconventional Wealth. He’s been covering the alternative investment space for nearly a decade and writing about finance and investment for almost 20 years.

Ryan has walked the walk for years, living a very unconventional life. He’s led snowmobile tours through the mountains of Colorado, settled in Japan for five...

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