Thanks for reading the Attic Update, a weekly look at the exciting world of collecting and investing in alternative assets.
The Attic Update is broken down into three sections – Past, Present, and Future.
- PAST – Interesting ideas about the history of collecting, investing, and markets.
- PRESENT – Ten of the most relevant stories in collecting and alternative asset investing over the past week.
- FUTURE – Where are we headed? We’ll look at what’s next for alternative assets and the people working hard to make visions into reality.
From Zero to 8 Million –
A Brazilian businessman owns the largest vinyl record collection in the world. His name is Zero Freitas, and he has no plans to stop collecting. At last count, he owned over 8 million records.
When he was growing up in San Paulo, Brazil, the kids at school gave him the nickname “Zero.” I’m not sure of the reason behind the name, but Zero has a story to tell.
During an interview with the BBC, Zero carefully places the record player needle on an old Rolling Stones record and says, “when a record starts to play, I always cry, it happens to me and lots of other people.”
As Zero reaches for a random album and slides it from the shelf, he reads the title, “Vangelis…” He inspects the cover more closely and concludes, “I’ve never seen this album before. I really want to listen to this.” As he holds his heart with a big smile to the camera, you can see the love of music pouring out of him.
In 1887, the first vinyl record player was patented by Emile Berliner called the Gramophone. As Berliner experimented with sound recording and reproduction, he realized sound could be recorded and replayed. Using a stylus rotating on a circular surface, tiny grooves could be detected and turned into sound.
Berliner’s Gramophone led to the very first cylinder records with audio recording engraved on the surface. A 7-inch disk could only play about 2 minutes of sound on each side, but it was the start of a new era in music.
“The relationship that people have with certain songs is subjective and personal.” Zero says.
He’s asked why he collects records. “For two reasons, first off because I love music, and second off because I’m obsessed about memory and history… so I think memory is like Earth, you know, palpable.”
It’s hard to imagine a time before we had the ability to record and share music. By the early 1900s, companies were busy developing record players for the masses. In 1930, RCA launched a ‘Program Transcription’ machine playing 12” disks made from flexible plastic.
CBS introduced the first 12” Long Play (LP) vinyl record capable of playing 21 minutes of sound per side, and the format began to catch on. By the 1960s, the vinyl LP record was the most popular way to enjoy recorded music.
In a separate interview, Feritas was asked why he continued to collect. “I’ve gone to therapy for 40 years to try to explain this to myself,” he says.
With a more serious answer to the question, you can see Zero is on an important mission. “The idea is, well, my obsession is for memory, history… history of the human race, and culture.”
What will happen to the record collection after Zero is gone? He’s already thought about that, “As my uncle used to say, after I die, it will be your problem!”
Inside Watches, Vintage Broncos, and a Banksy Confession –
Here’s the ‘Attic Top 10’ – The most relevant stories in collecting and investing in alternative assets over the past week. Not only to keep you informed but to provoke deeper thought, investigation, curiosity, and fun!
- Fractional Ownership – Otis @withotis rolls out a new in-app trade history feature. Rally rolls out a mystery offering, and its first car in over a year, a 1994 BMW 850. Collectable talks “Photomatching” with the game-used Peyton Manning helmet.
- Memorabilia & Collectibles – Record collection ready for a new home. After Bill Norman spent a lifetime building a collection of over 50,000 vinyl records, he’s ready to sell. The 85-year-old has decided to pass on his collection so others can enjoy it, valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Want to find great vinyl records online? Here’s where to start.
- Sports Cards – I always love checking the weekly Hot/Cold by Beckett. This week it’s Mac Jones, Josh Allen, and Salvador Perez heating up, with Cam Newton, Cody Bellinger, and Gavin Lux on the cold list.
- Rare Books – Amazing feature of the Brooklyn Bridge at The New York Public Library website. The digital collection features over 500 original photos of the bridge over the years, dating back to 1873, when construction began. The New York Public Library includes over 900,000 photos, maps, manuscripts, and books in its Digital Collections, adding new materials every day. I could spend all day browsing this collection.
- Crypto & NFTs – Shaquille O’Neal has a net worth of over $400 million; however, he still is not completely sold on Crypto. In a recent CNBC interview, Shaq says, “I always get these companies for potential partnerships and promotional work, ‘Hey, we’ll give you $900,000 in crypto to send out a tweet.’ So I have to say, ‘ok, if you’re going to give me a million dollars worth of crypto, then why do you need me?” It’s nice to have someone like Shaq remind us to be cautious of the sales pitch and the “pump.”
- Watches – If you’re a watch collector, this is an awesome report on the specs behind a luxury watch. Jack Forster from Hodinkee has a huge deep-dive into the nuts and bolts of a watch. Behind the covers and under the springs. Jack gets deep into the weeds on virtually every component that makes up a great watch.
- Wine & Whiskey – Is it spelled “Whiskey” or “Whisky?” The short answer is, nobody knows. For a full explanation of what the extra “E” in whiskey might signify, check out this post on Food and Drink. If you’ve ever wondered what the correct spelling is for ‘whiskey,’ you’re not alone. If you’re from Scotland, I apologize in advance.
- Markets & Investing – Do physical assets offer investors refuge from inflation? The Economist weighed in on the debate, discussing how “real” assets might perform in higher inflation environments. My only question will be if EVERYONE is anticipating higher inflation in the future, what happens in the slim chance that it doesn’t show up?
- Collector Cars – Incredible collection of 1970s and 80s Ford Broncos and Chevy Blazers coming to Barrett-Jackson auction. Some are perfectly preserved originals; others are professionally built resto-mods. Check out Classiccars preview with photos.
- Art – Banksy strikes again! A few weeks ago, we told you about a possible string of Banksy works along a few English coastal towns. We also told you to keep an eye on Instagram for clues. It’s now confirmed after the notoriously inconspicuous graffiti artist posted a video on Instagram of his recent impromptu street art gallery.
Featured Pod –
Greg Stanley from Sotheby’s hosts the Car Collector Podcast, where he covers a wide range of topics. With over 25 years of collector car experience, Greg covers autos from a historical perspective and includes great interviews with industry insiders.
In the latest episode, Greg breaks down the history of the legendary Mille Miglia race through Italy with car expert Eric Oberlander.
Check out this short Ferrari Tribute Video to Mille Miglia.
Looking for real estate investment ideas without the headaches of becoming a landlord? How about An Introduction to Real Estate Mortgage Note Investing
Property Partner Teams Up with Better.com –
The online mortgage company, Better.com, buys Property Partner for possible expansion into fractional ownership of U.S. real estate. Property Partner is a U.K.-based real estate crowdfunding and fractional ownership platform with over 9,000 active investors.
The partnership might enable Better.com to offer U.S. properties for investment along with the Property Partner’s U.K. offerings.
Property Partner offers fractional investment in individual properties and also two investment plans. The Income Plan includes 10 dividend-paying properties targeting a 3% yield. The Capital Discount Plan includes 20 properties trading at a discount to independent valuations.
Quote From the Legends –
“It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong” – George Soros
Tweet of the Week –
Anytime you can break down the history of the Porsche 911 in 15 seconds, you have a great tweet on your hands.
From the amazing models of the 1960s and 70s all the way through the sleek 2000s. Perhaps the most iconic car design in the history of the world will always catch my eye on the roads, as well as scrolling through Twitter.
A Question for You –
What new categories would you like to see more discussion about each week? Vintage skateboards? Collector stamps? How about defunct golf course redevelopment opportunities?? Let me know in the comments.