Another week has passed chock-full of news.
Most of which will never touch your life in any way.
But everything you find in the Weekend Reads is different. These stories can actually directly lead to you making money… or seeing examples of how others are making money, hopefully sparking ideas about how you can follow their lead.
But enough talk. You know what the Weekend Reads are all about. So let’s get straight to them!
The Real Threat From AI
You’ve seen a few times now that limited-edition sneakers are a serious collectible category. One that’s quickly reaching the rarified air of the top tier.
Want proof? How about the bots people are building to get a leg up ordering them?
Quite simply, you don’t go to that sort of trouble without a lot of passion, a lot of profit potential or both.
Sneakers bring both.
Some people still think this is a fad… but it’s been going on for well over a decade. If collecting sneakers is a fad, it’s the longest-running one in history.
Some people think this is a bubble. But here’s the thing: The sneaker market is highly fragmented. Each sneaker is basically its own market.
So yes, there are almost certainly some bubbles that form and pop. The Yeezy sneakers that hit five-digit prices soon after release? Could be a bubble (though the prices haven’t dropped so far).
But the entire marketplace? With all different types of sneakers showing just about every market behavior under the sun? Unlikely.
Face it: Sneakers as a collectible are here to stay. They’ve got a long enough track record to deserve a bit of trust.
But they’ve got a short enough track record that most people don’t realize what’s really happening here.
We’re in the sweet spot when early movers can get in before valuations get zany. If you’ve ever thought about collecting sneakers — or have been looking for the collectible with the best medium-term profit potential — here it is.
It might sound silly to say. But I’m pretty sure it would have sounded silly to talk about collecting and loving little gummy pieces of paper 100 years ago. Yet stamps remain one of the best collectible categories in the world.
Collections obey different rules. Collectibles are driven more by passion than profit for the majority of owners.
And there’s no doubting the passion of sneakerheads. You can profit off that if you have the stomach to act now.
Blinding Big Brother
Surveillance is all around us. You can’t go shopping — online or off — without someone having the ability to spy on you. Heck, you can’t even go to the local park without getting caught on camera.
That may seem like a minor annoyance in the free world. But it’s a matter of life and death under authoritarian regimes.
And of course, lots of the free world is falling sway to authoritarian tendencies at the moment.
But privacy advocates are fighting back in all sorts of ways. One of my favorites is new technologies that can hide your identity when you’re out in public.
Yes, there are lots of nefarious uses for this technology. That’s true of all technology. Technology is amoral. Social media can be used to stay in touch with friends and family or it can be used to identify and jail dissidents. Or spread false propaganda.
I’m just excited that we’re starting to get a say in how, when and where we’re seen. That good is worth a little trade-off.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Twenty-three years after its theft and disappearance, a Klimt masterpiece has been found.
And oddly enough, it may never have left the museum it was stolen from.
A gardener found it tucked away in the walls of the Italian museum. There’s now some question as to whether it ever left the premises.
There’s a lesson in all this. Pieces of great value can be found absolutely anywhere. It pays to pay attention.
After all, people have found masterpieces hanging on unassuming kitchen walls. They’ve been found buried in the ground and stowed away in attics. Odds are good you’ve passed by at least one valuable masterpiece — whether it’s a work of art or an unrecognized collectible — at some point in your life and never realized it.
Question everything. Someday you might find something valuable hiding in plain sight. And you don’t need to live in a museum to find it.
A New Category of Collectible?
Don’t look now, but vintage video games are having quite a moment.
In fact, they are becoming one of the fastest-growing categories of collectibles in the world. And early movers are making handsome profits off the sealed game cartridges that are hitting the market these days.
Now, to be clear, we’re way too early in the process to know for sure whether this category will hold up in the long run. These aren’t sneakers — there just isn’t the history there to be sure of anything.
But video game cartridges certainly fit the profile of a collectible category. They may indeed prove to be valuable in the long run, with valuations that hold up and rise over time.
If you think vintage video game equipment will last as a collectible, now’s the time to jump in. Because if there’s one thing we know about collectibles, it’s that prices will reliably rise over time.
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...