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, some form of drink with steam curling upward… and the unhurried time that comes each weekend.
Well, as summer really begins to hit now — at least in my hometown of Baltimore — maybe you should replace your steaming mug with a cooler beverage.
Regardless! Relax, read, enjoy.
And You Thought It Was Bad Before…
You’ve probably heard by now… Facebook has plans to create its own cryptocurrency.
They timed their announcement well — with cryptos going on an extended run right around the same time.
But this sure seems like a bad idea. Facebook has had serious troubles dealing with user privacy. Indeed — of every major tech company, Facebook is easily the worst offender (and that’s really saying something).
Extend those issues to financial transactions — and a wholly controlled marketplace, complete with its own currency — and it’s easy to see this car crash many years out.
Right now, Facebook’s plans are still on the drawing board. But I’ll give you 10-to-1 odds that if Facebook goes through with those plans, it’ll be the beginning of the end for the company.
Not that it’ll fail — that’s not happening. But it will wind up getting broken up, like AT&T in the ’80s.
After all, Facebook is already more powerful today than AT&T ever was. But despite living in a more monopolistic age, there are limits. Especially if Facebook tries to spawn its own financial system… that’s stepping on too many government toes.
I Like My Privacy Too
Last month, a French billionaire bought up Sotheby’s auction house…
And, in the process, is taking the venerable company back into private hands. It will no longer be traded publicly — or, crucially, have to divulge any details about its business.
Will that be good for the company — as it can now compete with archrival Christie’s on even ground?
Or will the lack of oversight lead to profligate spending and poor choices?
Opinions are forming. I plan to keep my powder dry and wait to see how things start to shake out… but I’m definitely paying attention.
Plus, a 160-Hour Weekend?
With automation slowly coming for us all, our notions of work are starting to change…
But it’s going to be a long slog. Partially because, for most people, their job is a defining characteristic.
But how much work do we need to fill that part of ourselves? Turns out — not much. Eight hours is enough to get all the psychic benefits.
Now, as long as we can figure out the financial benefits — and a mature, automated economy might do the trick after years of growing pains — we’re in good shape.
Maybe Beachcombers Have the Right Idea After All
Not too long ago, a man with a metal detector found a gold coin in a field in England.
Last month, that gold coin sold for $700,000 — five times the auction estimate.
Now, before you go out and get your own metal detector, be aware these sorts of finds are rare. If they weren’t, this coin wouldn’t have gone for such a high price.
But still — using metal detectors to find precious metals, jewelry and rare coins is a fine hobby. One that probably won’t make you rich but will often at least pay for itself.
So if it’s something you’d enjoy doing… if you relish spending time in the great outdoors… if there’s a waft of treasure-hunting romance in it… go for it!
Just temper your expectations.
And if you do wind up finding something extraordinary, I’m happy getting a 10% tip for giving you the idea.
Editor-in-chief, Unconventional Wealth
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...