February 16th - This Week in Alternative Investments

This issue is brought to you by EnergyShares, a pioneer in clean energy investing.


Bite-sized market updates

  • A Superman comic could set a new record

  • Bitcoin zoomed past $50,000

  • Family offices are allocating even more to alts

  • Private credit is outperforming private equity

Plus: The country’s hottest housing market, Bolt’s valuation drop, crypto venture is surging, and more.


$51,730 (+13.8% weekly)
Liv-Ex Fine Wine 1000
405 (-2.4% monthly)
Thomson-Reuters VC Index
18,159.08 (+1.1% weekly)
Green Street CPPI
121.8 (+0.3% monthly)


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Smart Humans Podcast

In this episode, Slava Rubin talks with VaynerX's Gary Vaynerchuk about trendspotting and “doing the work.”

Market Updates

(Heritage Auctions)

A pristine copy of Action Comics #1, the 1938 debut of Superman, could set the all-time sales record for a comic book. The current record of $5.3 million was set in 2022 when a copy of Superman #1 changed hands in a private sale, and the current auction record came in 2021 when a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 - Spiderman’s debut - was sold for $3.6 million. This copy comes from the Kansas City Pedigree Collection and has been graded 8.5 by the grading service CGC, making it the highest-graded pedigreed copy in the world. Given that a lower-graded 6.0 sold for $3.18 million in 2022, expectations for the April sale are sky-high. While the comic book market has receded in the last two years, this is an extremely rare item, and what it ultimately sells for will be a bellwether for the high-end collectibles market as a whole.

Bitcoin rose past $50,000 for the first time in over two years. The cryptocurrency is up over 10% since this time last week and currently sits just under $52,000 per coin, nearly double what it was in September 2023. The price dropped in the aftermath of the recently launched Bitcoin ETFs, but steadily growing inflows into those has helped the price recover. Another big factor is the anticipation for the upcoming “halving,” when Bitcoin mining rewards are cut in half, restricting supply. Historically, the price has risen dramatically after previous “halvings” - the last one in 2020 led to a 700% gain. The halving is expected to happen again sometime in April, and whether it leads to another surge in price remains to be seen.

Family offices are expecting to allocate half their portfolios to alternative assets this year. This is according to a report from leading investment firm KKR, who surveyed over 75 family office CIOs who manage an average of $3 billion in assets each. They expect to invest 52% of their portfolios into alts in 2024, up from 42% in 2023, signaling increasing optimism about the space. The offices are most interested in private credit and venture capital, as the high interest rate environment could lead to distressed assets being available at discounted prices. This shift is part of the growing trend away from traditional asset classes and towards alternative assets, and KKR believes it will continue in that direction over the upcoming few years.

Private credit funds beat private equity funds for the second straight quarter. According to the State Street Private Equity Index, private credit funds returned 1.8%, while private equity buyout funds returned 0.35%. Higher interest rates have benefited private credit while slow M&A and IPO markets have caused buyout funds to struggle. However, private equity fundraising is still outpacing that of private credit, signaling that investors are still more bullish on PE in the long-run, despite its current performance and its riskier return profile.


Research and insights from the Vincent team


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