• Howie Town
  • Posts
  • The FOUR Asset Classes - Stocks, Bonds, Commodities and Attention and...Blockchains 'What Seems Late Is Actually Early'

The FOUR Asset Classes - Stocks, Bonds, Commodities and Attention and...Blockchains 'What Seems Late Is Actually Early'

Good morning and happy Easter.

I took a couple days off from the newsletter and am spending the long weekend on Coronado with Max watching basketball and also catching up on work. Luckily some of my work is now the business of golf and Max and his friends (in the PGA program or trying to go pro) are dialed into all of it.

Max and his friends follow every aspect of golf from equipment to courses to players on all the different tours as well as amateurs.

Social Leverage has been making investments in the golf/tech space, so to have so much knowledge around me to ask questions is fantastic.

Onward…The big topic for me today is ‘attention’.

I brought up something on last weeks Trends With Friends that caught some people’s attention though we only briefly covered which is a new asset class to go along with ‘stocks’, ‘bonds’ and ‘commodities’.. called ‘attention’ (I put the video below):

There is only so much time in everyone’s day and since time is money and every human with money to spend or invest is holding a smartphone, attention is now an asset class that - at least for me - is as important as bonds or commodities.

My friend Cole Wilcox (fund manager) texted me after listening to the show with the following:

Anyone who does not have a personal media property/identity in the new digital economic empire will not exist or survive - every micro vertical or job will be owned and or taxed by people who built media properties - if you don’t own your own media asset you will be relegated to the attention less bottom percentiles of the wealth distribution - this applies to everyone in the 99% - it also applies to the 1% as to how their assets are invested will determine if they stay in the 1%. Being great at media is a requirement not an option and it applies to everyone on earth.

I wont argue these points with anyone, I am just acting ‘as if’ more than ever.

The biggest bet on attention was that of Elon Musk and his purchase of Twitter. Elon does not care about ‘free speech’, (he does care that he overpaid for Twitter). Elon cares about owning the attention firehose of Twitter (the most native product to his media voice/skill). He controls his own New York Times and Facebook which he continues to invest in with his time and attention. He uses Twitter more than anyone else on the platform.

Whether I like Elon, or the how and why of Elon does is not for this discussion. Elon values attention second to his own personal investments. Attention is his diversification and leverage to his main assets…his companies. Why futz around with stocks, bonds and commodities if you can invest in attention to grow your best assets.

Fat Nixon/Trumpf backed into his own attention firehose by luckily/smartly moving to ‘Truth Social’. He can’t be blocked by Musk, New York Times or the government. How lucky/genius is it that the rest of Truth Social (few use it nor does management care) does not matter because his posts now show up everywhere from the platform he controls himself. Trumpf has no need to ever go back to Twitter and post for the benefit of Elon. I did not see this outcome in my 2024 attention forecast.

The rest of the 99.9999 percent of us do not have this optionality on any one network which have all been centralized. Our best bet for now and the forseeable future is a newsletter/email list.

I also count all of crypto/blockchains in my attention bucket. People call it a hedge against inflation, government, a diversifier against physical money and assets…but for now it is such a small asset class that it really is all about attention.

Even though I do not directly invest in crypto it has a lot of my attention. Back in 2017 when $BTC.X messages surpassed $SPY messages on Stocktwits, I knew it was here to stay. I made more of a plunge into investing in this part of the attention economy.

I did not do it so much directly as I had major indirect exposure to crypto through Stocktwits growth, my Robinhood investment and Etoro investment. I made an investment in the Multicoin fund when it launched back in 2017 (now many other funds as well) and without doing anything smart myself, I caught massive returns. I had Kyle and Tushar on my ‘Panic’ podcast many times. The fund is up approximately 9,200% (I have sold down some of my position along the way) since 2017. With those gains has come breathtaking volatility including a 90 percent drawdown in 2022. That is one reason I do not call this an asset class…yet…and lump it in the attention asset class.

The learning curve of crypto/blockchains keeps dropping even though the depth of the ecosystem increases. It is easier and easier to be onboarded but of course still very early in the adoption curve.

For those that have paid attention to crypto/blockchains and invested well, generational profits have been earned/created.

With all this in mind, I urge every trader, investor and entreprenuer to read Chris Dixon’s new book titled ‘Read, Write, Own - Building The Next Era Of The Internet’. I loved it.

I will share the last page which is not a cheat sheet for reading the whole book but hopefully something that peaks your curiosity/attention. Chris has already made fortunes so he has little to gain by making further bold predictions. He has been right so often that you are silly to ignore him. Here is the last page of his book:

What seems late is actually early.

Your attention does matter.

Have a great Sunday.

Join the conversation

or to participate.