Before we dive into this edition of weekend reads, I want to let you know a bit of exciting news…
Starting Monday, Unconventional Wealth is bringing you a full week of market analysis, predictions, guidance and recommendations… all about collectibles.
That’s right — we’re launching Collectibles Week.
Whether you’re an investor who’s interested in the solid returns certain collectibles offer… or a collector at heart with a unique and burning passion… you’re going to want to tune in.
We’ve partnered with some of the most respected names in this space — Mike Hall, founder and CEO of JustCollecting… Rich Checkan, president of Asset Strategies International… and Geoff Anandappa, director of Rare Tangible Assets in the U.K. — to show you how to find items for the best value.
And realize the best profits.
So get ready. Next week is going to be fun.
But for now, I’ve put together the usual roundup of unusual stories to cool your heels.
The Gig Law That’s Killing Gig Musicians
California’s expansive “gig law,” which requires employers to treat all sorts of independent contractors as full-time employees, has snared a new class of worker.
Musicians are threatening to flee the state and start recording in New York and Nashville to avoid the headaches that surround figuring out benefits for studio musicians who might only be employed for a night.
There’s a lot of hysteria on both sides of this debate. And it’s a common trope for Big Business to suggest they’ll all go bankrupt if Expensive Legislation X gets passed (Big Business always seems fine in the end, by the way).
But there are reasons to think this one might be the exception.
First off, Nashville, New York and plenty of other locations have all the technical space and know-how needed to accommodate recording.
Second off — aside from onsite technicians — you only need a few people to record music, so relocation and housing expenses aren’t too onerous.
And finally, musicians are moving around constantly on tour anyway. Extending a stay in NYC instead of LA is a pretty simple change.
So this may be the rare time a piece of legislation dramatically impacts an economic sector. We’ll have to wait to see how this turns out — and what sort of effect there is outside this small sliver — but we all know California has gone a little wild with this bill.
The only question is are they just a little off the mark or way off?
Finally, the Gold We’ve Been Waiting For!
If you’ve long thought to yourself, Gold’s OK but it sure could use some improvement, then congratulations, Einstein, you saw this coming before everyone.
Scientists have now invented a new type of gold. Or more specifically, a new type of gold alloy.
Eighteen-karat gold is traditionally made of three-fourths gold and one-fourth copper. But this new type of 18-karat gold uses plastic polymers in place of copper. And inserts a number of microscopic, invisible air bubbles and spaces into the gold… which itself is in the form of nanoparticles, in this case.
The net result? Eighteen-karat gold that weighs about 10 times less than ordinary gold. And, in theory at least, is much easier to work with.
Depending on what type of plastic it’s mixed with, you can get gold that melts exactly the same as traditional gold… but at a much lower temperature.
You can get gold jewelry that is so lightweight you could forget you’re wearing it.
And because you need less gold to create this alloy, it should be significantly cheaper as well.
No one yet knows how this will affect the overall gold market. Most likely, it will create two types of gold — the old-school investible stuff and the shiny, cheap, glitzy-yet-real stuff that gets used to give a little pizzazz to mass-produced items.
Of course, how this new gold could be used in industrial processes might be the real test of its staying power.
Regardless, we’ll be keeping an eye on this new gold… and watching what it does going forward.
The Player Empowerment Era Hits a New Milestone
What would you do if you got your entire year’s salary all at once?
Would you be smart with your money? Invest it? Find a business to purchase and live off the daily profits?
What if your salary were $34 million and you wanted to take $13.5 million as a business loan?
I’m not sure what I’d do with that money. I’m not even sure I’d want to take it as a loan and thus have to pay interest on it.
But while I might not have a plan (yet), it certainly appears Spencer Dinwiddie does. He not only has a plan for what to do with his money (I’m assuming) but also has a plan for how to get it.
Dinwiddie is the first athlete to get his salary early by selling blockchain shares — using the same technology that underpins bitcoin.
Basically, he’s selling off part of his salary. Buyers get their initial investment plus interest. Not a bad deal for them, as the interest is relatively generous for a retail investor, and you can be fairly sure the Brooklyn Nets are good for Dinwiddie’s salary.
Dinwiddie benefits by getting a business loan at a lower rate than the banks can offer. Everyone wins!
Well, except for the banks. This initial attempt demonstrates how a blockchain economy can cut out traditional middlemen and democratize much of the power they hold. Everyone will be watching Dinwiddie to see how this works out.
If it goes smoothly, expect to see plenty more blockchain transactions in the wild, in more and more areas. And if it doesn’t, we’ll just have to wait a bit longer for the blockchain revolution.
The Coolest Car in the World
As I mentioned, next week we’re doing something a little special around here. We’re doing one of our occasional themed weeks — when we focus in on one area of unconventional investing that’s near and dear to us (and helpful for the wallet as well).
Starting Monday, it will be Collectibles Week here at UCW, and you’ll get a chance to learn about every type of collectible investment we’ve got. From some of the best experts in the business.
Most people think of collectibles as hobbies. Only a few wise folk (like us) realize they are at least as valuable as investments.
And nowhere is that more obvious than in this little item to wet your beak ahead of Collectibles Week.
Even those of us who weren’t around at the time know that Steve McQueen was one of the coolest movie stars of his day.
And most of us associate McQueen with an iconic car. Like the Mustang he drove in Bullitt.
That exact Mustang just was sold… for over $3.7 million. Making it the most expensive Mustang ever purchased and giving it a place of honor amongst the most expensive cars in the world.
When you combine the collectible value of a classic ’70s car… with the glam of Hollywood… you tend to set records.
Of course, you don’t need a unique piece of movie memorabilia to see great returns on your own collectibles. As you’ll see for yourself, starting Monday.
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...