I am hosting a few panels today at the Spark Disruptors Conference. We already did Politics & Markets panel (with George Will and Elle Hawkins), so now I can relax and get ready for something really fun:
Are Cars a Good Investment or Just Plain Fun?
Ever since Jim Wiandt asked me to host this Q&A, with Rob Petrozzo of Rally Rd, I have been thinking about the idea behind it. Rally Rd came up with an intriguing business model of finding noteworthy items in private collections and turning them into “a company” via equity shares in an IPO. (Rob’s background creating brands and digital offerings for Kanye West, J&J, NFL, Roche, Ares, and Fortune 500 is pretty insane).
Here are my questions for Rob, starting with the title of this post:
1. “Cars for Driving, Sneakers are for Wearing” Explain why I would want to invest in “collectibles?”
2. How do you turn a collective car into an IPO? What is that process like?
3. Who are Rally road’s clients? Who backed the firm as an early stage investment.
4. How do you get past the issue of survivorship-bias – we see the successful auctions today, but those are the cars that have appreciated over the past 30 years. Do we have any idea what will be the cars that will appreciate over the next 30 years?
5. What about Art: Is it to make your walls pretty and to stimulate conversation during cocktail parties, or an investment class?
6. What are the regulatory hurdles you had to jump through for this? Was this like doing an IPO?
7. I am a fan of Horology, but some of the collectible one-off timepieces run $1/4 million dollars. Where is your focus with these?
8. What about authentication: Every time I see a signed baseball card or a pair of Michael Jordans I assume the signature is fake.
9. OK, lets talk cars: What is hot? Not? Undervalued?
10. if you could take home any car, what would it be ?
In prepping for this, I came to the conclusion I don’t see myself assembling a collection: Its intimidating, expensive, and time consuming. You would be constantly forced to consider the financial ramifications of appreciation anytime you want to drive. Still, I made a list of cars I could imagine having in my garage — not as investments, but as machines I would happily take out for a spin, depreciation be damned.