TrendsVC PRO 0041 – Alternative Assets

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TrendsVC PRO 0041 – Alternative Assets

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Trends #0041 — Alternative Assets

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Mainstream assets (stocks, bonds, real estate) tend to trade in efficient markets. It’s hard to find an edge when others have the same access and information.


Alternative assets (tax deeds, sports cards, fine art) have access and information problems. They may be illiquid, volatile, hard to authenticate and value. But every problem presents an opportunity.


  1. Wine
  2. Watches
  3. Art
  4. Facebook Groups
  5. Music Royalties
  6. NFTs
  7. Instagram Accounts
  8. Domain Names
  9. Whisky
  10. Spotify Playlists


  • Alternative assets will become more accessible. Vinovest (wine), Otis (collectibles) and Masterworks (fine art) give us access to alternative assets.
  • Transaction costs will drop. Marketplaces, like Swapd, save time and sometimes broker fees by moving deals from DMs to public listings. Fractional ownership platforms sidestep 25% premiums from auction houses like Sotheby’s.
  • Influencers will exert more control over alt prices. See Logan Paul and Pokemon. Gary V and Sports Cards. Jack Dorsey and Bitcoin. Buffett, like Binance, also bumps prices.


  • Find your niche. Peter focuses on expired domain names. Mushfiq flips websites. Jeremiah buys themed Instagram accounts. Ace buys music royalties.
  • Sell picks and shovels by monetizing insights. See Traffic Advantage, Website Flipping Newsletter, Watch Newsletter, Atlan Insights and Artnet.
  • Build a Micro-SaaS to discover and value alternative assets. Tensor Social can be used to find Instagram accounts that your audience follows and discern genuine engagement.
  • Find arbitrage opportunities. If a watch sells for $3,000 on StockX and $3,500 on Chrono24, there’s a spread to be made.

 Key Lessons

  • Alternative assets, like everything else, are being democratized. See code vs no-code, newspapers vs newsletters and IPOs vs ICOs.
  • The value of most alts depends on culture, not cash flow.
  • “Alternative” is a relative term. Crypto is becoming less of an alternative asset. But vaults and synthetics are far from mainstream.


“You still haven’t defined an alternative asset.”
It’s easier to define what it’s not. An alt is not easily accessible (stocks), easily understandable (residential real estate) or mainstream (bonds). These tend to be hard to access (Birkin bags), understand (synthetics), illiquid (vintage cars) or new (NFTs).

All of these assets are liquid.”
Be careful with absolutes. Liquidity, to me, means that you can quickly buy and sell without taking a 30% haircut in fair market value. Sure, fire sales do happen.

“Non-cash-flowing assets can be a great store of value.”
This implies stability. If that holds true, sure.

“It’s against many terms and conditions to sell social media accounts.”
Big and small players wrap an account in an entity and sell the business. Not the account.

“Facebook, Instagram and Spotify? What about platform risk?”
Factor platform risk into your price.

Influencers affecting prices is immoral and illegal.”
Maybe. Maybe not. It’s also inevitable and hard to control. “Social investing” platforms like Public, Robinhood and Twitter put us in the age of shilling.

“Is this financial advice?”

“Alternative asset classes are missing.”
There are 50 more in Trends Pro.


  1. Who should I talk to about alternative assets? • The tweet behind this report.
  2. Micro Private Equity • A report on buying and selling some of these alternative assets.
  3. Drop Culture • A look at what drives the price of non-cash-flowing assets.
  4. Equity Crowdfunding • The force behind fractional ownership platforms.
  5. DeFi • Decentralized finance will disrupt auctions, marketplaces and governments.


Thanks to Stewart Townsend, Daniel Hunter (, Emmett Armstrong (OnRamp Data), Logan Johnson, A.J. Lawrence, Peter Askew ( + +, Russell Lieberman (Atlan Inisghts), Vajresh Balaji (Fintech Democracy), Mushfiq (The Website Flipping Newsletter), Jeremiah Boehner (Tensor Social), John Crain (SuperRare), Ethan Jones (Tools for MGMT), Ace Chapman, Stefan von Imhof ( and Anthony Zhang (Vinovest). We had a great time jamming on this report.

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What you’ll get:

  • 60 Alternative Asset Classes (500% More)
  • Predictions (133% More)
  • Opportunities (125% More)
  • Key Lessons (166% More)
  • 12 Summarized Links (140% More)

With Trends Pro you’ll learn:

  • ( ProHow to examine alternative assets?
  • ( ProWhy are alternative assets being collateralized?
  • ( ProHow to profit without access to capital?
  • ( ProWhat’s happening to liquidity premiums?
  • ( ProWhat are the benefits of running an alt fund?
  • ( ProHow does digital art compare to physical art?
  • ( ProHow to limit volatility?
  • ( ProHow are mainstream assets becoming alts?
  • and a lot more…

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