Head’s up - this is a fun, but slightly divergent, article. While our bread and butter is REI / the stock market / and some politics, the tech world impacts all of these sectors in huge ways. A lot is happening in tech news this week, so if this issue feels slightly tech-heavy, that’s why.
PS - Happy September. Final month of Q3 coming right up.
A little late reporting on this — but fascinating nonetheless...
MicroStrategy purchased another 3,907 bitcoins @ ~$45k per coin. But what’s taking the world by storm isn’t Bitcoin, it’s the NFT market. Secondary market is liquid as hell and purchasing activity is a frenzy. Here’s a brilliant thread on why and what it could look like in the future.
- Direct indexing (DI) - the hot “new” investing strategy. Typically reserved for the ultra-wealthy, DI may soon become more widely available to those with fewer assets. DI allows investors to buy the stocks of an index, instead of purchasing a mutual or exchange-traded fund, this strategy may appeal to those seeking portfolio customization, value-based investing, or tax-saving opportunities. At the end of the day, it still lacks as much control as REI offers (in our humble, yet accurate opinion). Read more here.
- Are starter homes dead? This chart shows half of new home sales are above $400k. Homebuilders aren’t really building in the <$200k range anymore (and investors are scooping up all the inventory in that range, too), which is slowly killing starter homes (and pushing the rental market). Higher-priced homes have better margins and attract buyers with higher credit scores. This means the “affordable new home” may have to come in the form of a rental built by an institutional investor. Read more here.
- Speaking of rentals...Rent prices in the big cities are surging. Some of the trends behind this are: young renters looking for their own place, skyrocketing housing prices (as we mentioned above), urgency to rent right now because of work, and the current housing shortage. New houses meant to be rented instead of sold account for about 12% of single-family construction in 2021. Not so great for the home buyer or renter, really great for the investor. Read more here.
- This Bloomberg article predicts that “Currency devaluation globally is going to be quite significant next year given the incredible amount of money supply that has been printed.” We warned you in this digest, the USD is crashing. Billionaire and hedge fund manager, John Paulson is positioning with energy and gold bets. As the US Dollar weakens, watch other currencies, like gold. Another strategy: invest in real estate. Read more here.
WHAT TO WATCH
- Square and Twitter plan to build a Decentralized Bitcoin Exchange, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, announced in a tweet on Friday 8/27. Mike Brock, the lead initiative, noted “gaps around cost and scalability,” and that TBD (Square’s new division focused on creating an open developer platform), needed “a solve for exchange infrastructure between digital assets, like stablecoins.” Read more here and here.
- 6G?! Wait, weren’t we all still talking about 5G? Well, there is a 6G inaugural symposium happening in September, run by ATIS, an org composed of mobile and tech companies. The goal for the symposium is to make sure 6G gets rolled out in the US successfully, and the topics up for discussion sound utterly fascinating (think quantum internet, the future of cloud and edge, and US govt. initiatives). And, seeing that the world runs on wireless, this is sure to greatly impact economic opportunity in the not-so-distant future (IF they get it right). Listen here for the full discussion (11:28).
- As you probably now know, we’re bullish on Tesla. So when Amazon and Ford pair up and jump on the EV bandwagon, we’re intrigued. EV company Rivian, just filed to go public at an $80-billion valuation, diversifying the US market with pickup trucks (Read more here). Their first-to-market vehicles come out next month and will immediately become a leading Tesla competitor. We’ll see how Tesla follows suit with the Cybertruck. Anyhow, Elon’s electricity company (we discussed in this digest) is likely to make even bigger waves, if we had to guess. Keep Watch: More carmakers are racing to roll out EVs as the emissions goals set by China, Europe, and the U.S. will squeeze out traditional gas-powered engines in the coming decades (will likely send classic/vintage car values way up).
- Whoop is now the most valuable standalone fitness monitoring start-up, recently tripling their company valuation to more than $3.5bn (Listen to the convo here (8:49)). Whoop is valuing higher than other fitness trackers owned by tech giants like Google and Apple. Quite impressive for a startup. A good majority of employees at our companies have a Whoop device to help with monitoring and improving their health and performance. After all, a healthy team is a producing team, and benefits overall company culture (remember when we talked “culture debt” in this digest?).
“When you’re blessed with intelligence, you’re cursed with the ability to use it to concoct intricate stories about why things happened -- especially stories justifying why you made a mistake or why you’ll eventually be right in an area you’re wrong.” (Morgan Housel, blog on CollaborativeFund.com)
The more intelligent you become, the greater depth you create in your thinking. Most often this depth is a good thing. However, it can create blind spots. The commitment must be to seeing things accurately at ALL times. You are never too smart to fail.
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