June 21 - This Week in Alternative Investments

Brought to you by Percent, offering private credit investments to individual investors


  • The young and the wealthy turn to alts

  • Another OpenAI competitor

  • The first champagne-only auction

  • Crypto values pulling back

Plus: The most expensive stamp ever, the SEC drops it’s Ethereum investigation, a sports card market report, and more.


$64,988 (-2.6% weekly)
Card Ladder 50
12,993 (-0.3% weekly)
18,075.20 (+3.1% weekly)
Zillow Home Value Index
$360,310 (+0.3% monthly)

*as of market close June 20


Survey Says: Investment Strategies Are Shifting Towards Private Credit

The stock market is burning red hot these days, which has many investors wondering: If a market correction happens, where can we ride out the storm? 

A Bloomberg survey1 reveals that many institutions now prefer private credit over bonds to hedge against economic downturns. 

Why? T. Rowe Price data2 suggests that allocating 10% to private credit historically reduces volatility and improves risk-adjusted returns

But this ‘safe haven’ asset class isn’t just for Blackstone, KKR, and Morgan Stanley–now, everyday investors can diversify with private credit using Percent. 

  • Low minimums: Start with $500

  • Shorter durations: Maturity in 6-36 months (average ~9 months)

  • Monthly cash flow: Most deals offer cash flow through monthly interest payments.

  • Return potential: Percent boasts a net return over 14% in the last 12 months as of Q1 2024

Market Updates

(Bank of America)

Alternative investments continue to grow in popularity among younger generations. The 2024 Bank of America Study of Wealthy Americans found that 53% of people between the ages of 21-43 with $3 million or more in assets invest in alts, compared to just 26% of those over age 44. The wealthier the person, the further they lean into alternatives, regardless of age. Additionally, 94% of Gen Z and Millennials expressed an interest in collectibles, while only 57% of Boomers did. For art, the trend was similar, with 83% of those under age 44 expressing interest and only 34% of those over age 44 showing interest. Alternative assets are unquestionably going more mainstream, and will continue to be an standard part of investment portfolios in the future.

OpenAI’s former chief scientist is founding a safety-focused AI startup. Ilya Sutskever, who left OpenAI as a result of a dispute with founder Sam Altman, announced the formation of Safe Superintelligence Inc. (SSI), which will develop a “safe” AI system. Sutskever has been vocal about Altman’s disregard for safety processes, and this new company is a pretty clear shot across the bow of the world’s biggest AI startup. Given the widespread security concerns many have with AI, a company that directly addresses those concerns could quickly grow into a powerful force within the industry.


Sotheby’s is continuing to sell the largest private wine collection ever auctioned. The collection of billionaire Pierre Chen, estimated to contain 25,000 bottles worth over $50 million, has been split into numerous lots going to auction this year. The first ever single-owner champagne-only auction was held yesterday in Paris, as demand for the bubbly beverage continues to grow. Sotheby’s reports that the value and volume of champagne sold tripled between 2022 and 2023. Next up from the Chen collection is a Burgundy-only sale to take place next month.

Bitcoin hit a one-month low and has fallen 10% in the past two weeks. This comes amid a broader sell-off in the market, as numerous altcoins have also seen declining values, including Solana (-12% in the past week), Dogecoin (-13%) and Shiba Inu (-16%). Some of this may be in response to recent inflation data and high interest rates, but this is a reminder that the crypto markets are highly volatile and short-term price movements like this are the norm.

Smart Humans Podcast

In this episode of Smart Humans, Slava Rubin talks with Propel(x)'s Swati Chaturvedi about investing into life sciences, and biotech, and her thoughts on bringing a community of investors into deep tech.


📝 Top Stories

(Robert A. Siegel Auctions)

  • A new stamp record: As expected, the rare 1868 Blue One-Cent Z-Grill stamp broke the record for the most expensive single U.S. stamp in history when it sold for $4.366 million.

  • CAIS cutting fees: The alternative investment platform that works with financial advisers is lowering its fees by as much as 75% in order to “truly democratize alternative investments.”

  • Steve Cohen targeting AI: The billionaire hedge fund giant is aiming to raise a $1 billion fund to invest into AI and AI-related hardware, in yet another sign of the current boom and the volatility that might lie ahead.


  • Sports card market report: Cllct released their look at the state of the market, which highlighted some NBA Finals participants and baseball rookie sensation Paul Skenes.

  • Whiskey auction struggles: The Noble & Co Whiskey Intelligence Report for Q2 found that auction volumes were down 30% year-over-year and the average price per bottle fell by 8%.

🪙 Crypto

  • SEC backing off ETH: The Ethereum developer Consensys said that the SEC is no longer going to investigate whether the cryptocurrency should be considered a security - a big win for crypto.

🏡 Real Estate

  • Zillow forecasts a price drop: While they expect prices to rise slightly through the end of 2024, Zillow predicts that an increase in new listings will push prices down 1.4% through the first half of 2025.

  • Pandemic highs, current lows: Markets like Austin, San Antonio and Tampa saw outsized price growth during the beginning of the pandemic when people were looking for more space, but now are seeing prices fall as more supply comes onto the market.

  • The industrial market is slowing down: The pace of leasing and sales are down, and the vacancy rate is up, as an industrial construction boom created new supply that is just coming onto the market.

🚀 Venture Capital

  • NATO Innovation Fund: The world’s first multi-sovereign VC fund announced investments into the AI, robotics, and space industries, as the €1 billion fund pursues its goal of addressing “challenges in defense, security, and resilience.”

  • A decentralized TikTok?: Billionaire Frank McCourt wants to buy TikTok and create a user-owned social media platform using blockchain technology. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has been ordered by the U.S. to sell the company, though it is challenging the law in court.

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Ad disclaimer: Alternative investments are speculative and possess a high level of risk. No assurance can be given that investors will receive a return of their capital. Those investors who cannot afford to lose their entire investment should not invest. Investments in private placements are highly illiquid and those investors who cannot hold an investment for an indefinite term should not invest. Private credit investments may be complex investments and they are subject to default risk.