A Silver Lining of the Trade Wars?
Reports are leaking in that whiskeys — specifically single malts from Ireland and Scotland — will be the next target of American tariffs.
Because of aircraft parts, apparently. Trade wars are dumb.
But there is a silver lining! If tariffs hit whiskeys, whiskey prices will rise. And that will likely spill over from new whiskeys to older ones as well.
In other words, if you’ve got investment-grade whiskey in your cellar, its value is likely to get goosed by tariffs.
And traditionally, those price bumps are slow to fade — even after tariffs disappear.
Meanwhile, if you don’t have any investment-grade whiskey, stock up now, before the tariffs hit! You should see a near-immediate return on your investment.
Not Just a Trunk — a Cadillac Trunk
At some point, this story will warrant a full article. But in the meantime, I wanted to give you a look at the newest part of the shared economy — renting out space for junk.
Using a site called Neighbor, you can rent out any sort of space you want for others to use. Neighbor, predictably, bills itself as the Airbnb of storage.
And you can get creative… One profiled user is renting out the side of a chain-link fence (for locking up bikes) and the trunk of a Caddy (not just any trunk, as the ad emphasizes).
As long as Americans love their stuff, this will be a growth industry (the storage sector is already worth $40 billion a year).
Even if there’s some silliness among the first steps.
Bonds: The Bearer of Bad News
We’ve mentioned bond yield inversions — moments when short-term bonds pay out higher interest rates than long-term ones — in these pages before.
Simply because they are the most reliable indicator of coming recession out there.
Well, bond rates are in the news again…
We’ve now been living in a bond inversion world for a full quarter.
Why should you care? Easy — bond inversions almost always herald a recession. But not always — sometimes they’re temporary blips owing to other factors.
When a bond inversion has this sort of longevity, though, look out. It’s been a perfect predictor of recession over the last 50 years — the last seven times it signaled.
In other words — right now you either have to believe a recession is coming or something fundamental has changed about the U.S. economy that is causing this inversion.
My money is on the recession.
Goliath May Have Met His Rock
A few years back, when Breaking Bad was still on and having its cultural moment, I wanted to be Walter White for Halloween. So I logged into Amazon and ordered his iconic pork pie hat — the cornerstone of the costume.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d actually ordered through a third-party seller. And that seller sent me a fedora instead.
That’s when I found out Amazon doesn’t vouch for or stand behind items from third parties that sell over their site. Amazon told me I’d have to take it up with the seller — who ignored my entreaties for an exchange or a refund. I was out of luck.
Well, a federal court just decided that’s not kosher. Amazon is responsible for anything sold through its site. Like exploding hoverboards (which are admittedly a much bigger problem than getting the wrong hat).
Cases like these have been decided in Amazon’s favor for years… and this one might get reversed on appeal too.
But if this case stands, it will upend the entire online retail ecosystem — especially dropshipping, which Amazon dominates.
Dropshipping can be an extremely lucrative, extremely easy business to start up. That could be even truer if this case holds up — and Amazon winds up having to take some of the risks out of vendor hands.
Editor-in-chief, Unconventional Wealth
P.S. What are you doing to prepare for the next recession? Interested in renting out an unused closet for some extra spending cash? How’s your whiskey collection coming along? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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...