Welcome to the debut edition of Alts & Ends! Each week, we'll break down the need-to-know happenings in the world of alternative asset investing. In this edition, we've got an investment outcome that would make AAPL blush, a spectacularly failed Brady rookie card flip, the most expensive sports card in history, and much more.
The year is 2007. You've spent hours in line at the Apple store, waiting for a product that Steve Jobs assured you is transformational. After happily paying the retail price of $499, you bring your treasured iPhone home and....do nothing with it.
It remains sealed until 2022, when you sell it at auction for over $35k. Your treasure appreciated in value at a rate of 32% annually. For reference, the 15 year trailing return for AAPL is a pedestrian 28%.
Okay, so that's not exactly how the chain of ownership worked for the sealed first gen iPhone that sold at RR Auction last week, but that scenario could have played out. It got us thinking: which Apple products, if kept from the launch date, would've delivered the best results? Find the full context here.
Good luck: Now all you have to do is 1) identify the next product that you'll spend 50% of your day staring at, and 2) ensure you're one of few who keeps it in mint condition...
Tom Brady's most valuable rookie card is the 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket, of which only 100 were printed. With such a limited print run, you wouldn't expect them to turnover very frequently.
#91/100, though, has sold twice in 2022 alone. In February, it was purchased at a PWCC Premier Auction for $2,040,000. Last week, it sold again at the same venue for just $1,200,000, a loss of 41% in just six months...before netting out any fees or buyer's premium.
While an extreme example, this is becoming relatively commonplace in 2022. Why sell a freshly-bought and expensive asset into such clear market softness?
Altan's Insight: Some high-end card buyers are living far too dangerously in terms of liquidity. Alternatively, an optimist might suggest that market conditions are ripe for some tax loss harvesting.
See how the results measured up against fractional comps here.
The dust has settled from the corporate land grab in NFTs, and revenue data went viral this week. Aside from Nike, which acquired RTFKT and $185 million worth of NFT revenue, no other corporate brand has crossed $26 million. It's interesting, though, to see luxury brands Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany, and Gucci in the #2, 3, and 4 spots for revenue generated respectively. However, in many cases, those NFTs were linked directly to physical products or experiences. For instance, all of Tiffany's NFT revenue is sourced from the sale of NFTs that allowed CryptoPunk owners to commission the production of a physical pendant featuring their beloved Punk.
Having a presence in NFTs at such an early stage was likely much more an exercise in branding and marketing than it was about the revenue itself. Good thing too, because transaction activity has nearly ground to a halt.
As if things weren't already bad enough for NFTs this year, the Altan Insights Fractional NFT Index plunged another 18% last week. Key projects saw floor prices retreat in ETH terms, and ETH itself dipped as well. But this is also still the story of assets that IPO'd near peaks becoming available for trading.
For example, investors in CryptoPunk #2981 on Rally at an IPO valuation of $310,000 in February were treated to a 76% loss on the first day of trading.
Hold on for dear life, indeed.
Check out the Trends tool in our app for more key data.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle (SGC 9.5)
One of the top 4 examples in existence
An early example estimated at $2mm+
1979 Topps Wayne Gretzky (PSA 10)
One of two PSA 10s
There are countless grails on offer at Heritage this weekend, including a likely seven-figure Babe Ruth bat, but it simply gets no bigger than this. When the hammer falls on Saturday night, it will close the sale of the most expensive sports card ever sold, and in the process, it might deliver the first ever eight-figure sports card. That would also make it the first ever eight-figure sports collectible.
The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card is as iconic as there is in the Hobby, and one of the four best examples in existence is available for purchase. With no telling when one of the other three (graded PSA 10) might become available, this is an exceedingly rare opportunity to own one of the finest sports collectibles imaginable. That opportunity just might push the value into the realm of the finest art. Move over Warhol and Basquiat, make room for Mantle.
At the time of writing, the card has been bid over $8mm with buyer's premium. Given we're just in the stage of establishing eligibility for Saturday night's extended bidding, an eight-figure outcome looks very achievable.
So what? The last time we saw a landmark sale of a 1952 Mantle, rising values followed for Mantle cards and the broader market. Check out what we can learn from that history here.
Can the Mick be the rising tide that lifts all boats once more?
As many readers know, fractional investing platform Otis was acquired by Public earlier this year. Many Otis assets will not make the transition to Public, however, and are in the process of being sold at auction.
Last week saw 13 such assets come to the block, and the results demonstrated the perils of forced liquidation in a moment of market weakness. On average, the winning bid (before buyer's premium), represented by the red bars, was 48% lower than the most recent market capitalization on Otis, represented by the navy bars.
It's safe to say that last week's Goldin auction (every asset listed except for the iPhone and iPod) was one of the most bitter in history for fractional investors. The winning bid at that event was 57% lower than prevailing market caps on average.
Worth knowing: The record for a Warhol polaroid inspiring the "Athletes" series is £30,000 paid for a polaroid of Muhammad Ali in 2017 at Phillips (approximately $38k at the time).
Fun fact: The photo was taken with an SX70, which Polaroid kept in production just for Warhol. The artist's personally-used SX70 sold for $13,750 at Heritage back in 2020.
Worth knowing: Another CGC 9.4 graded copy sold for $4,920 at Heritage in May, BUT that was a subscription edition, considered less desirable to collectors than newsstand editions. The Collectable copy is the second highest graded of the newsstand edition.
Enjoyed Alts & Ends? CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE!
Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.