Welcome to Alternative Assets.
We hope you enjoyed last week’s issue on Investing in Sneakers. Welcome to the 308 new subscribers who’ve joined since then. Today we dive into two new exciting alternative investment platforms: MoneyMade and AltoIRA.
But first… We’ve had a very exciting week here at Alternative Assets. There is TONS going on right now.
- After last week’s issue, we added Sneakers as the 10th asset class for Alternative Assets Insider — our private newsletter for those looking for a serious edge. We triangulate the inferred value to find Sneaker arbitrage opportunities across StockX and Otis. Read our first Sneakers issue here.
- We brought on a new contributor: Kiefer Zang, who is an expert NFT analyst. And with that, we’ve officially added NFTs as the 11th asset class we now cover. Our first issue covered a whopping 7 NFT opportunities, including drops from Deadmau5, 3LAU, Lucas Zanotto, and ZHC. Read our first NFT issue here.
- We brought on another awesome contributor: Adam Katz. Adam will be doing analysis on Video Games, Sports Memorabilia, and our newest asset category, Game Trading Cards (e.g. Pokémon cards.)
- Oh, right — that means we added Video Games and Game Trading Cards to Insider. So those are the 12th and 13th asset classes we cover. (I can’t even keep up)
- We passed 2,200 total newsletter subscribers (yippee!)
- Finally, we are pleased to announce that we now accept crypto. Pay with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more through Coinbase Commerce. Available for our Quarterly and Annual Insider plans.
Whew! So much happening, and so much to explore. Set your preferences to let us know what to update you on. We’ll only send updates for categories you follow.
Okay, now let’s dive in…!
What is MoneyMade?
Okay, so as we all know, there are a plethora of investment opportunities out there right now. With so many options across so many categories, making sense of this brave new world can be a challenge. Enter MoneyMade.
MoneyMade.io is a new management platform that helps you find, compare, and manage investment opportunities. Founded by Richard McBeath and Denys Kravchenko in 2020, MoneyMade began as a transparent, simple way to discover investments.
(Full Disclosure: MoneyMade is an Alternative Assets sponsor. However, this article was independently written & reviewed. We were not paid to write this article, all opinions are those of the author.)
I first discovered them last year, when they were the #1 Product of the Day on ProductHunt. To me, it felt like a gigantic investment database that didn’t feel like a database. With features like unbiased user reviews and some social conversation, MoneyMade was like a spreadsheet on steroids, with a user-friendly veneer, and without pushy affiliate links.
Last September, they launched a community, where members could ask questions and share their experiences using various platforms. (I remember I got some great feedback about the FarmTogether platform, which we later highlighted in our issue on Investing in Farmland). Through MoneyMade I’ve probably discovered at least a dozen new platforms that I’d never heard of before.
As MoneyMade has grown, they’ve added what seems like hundreds of companies to their database. In fact they are now at 159 companies and counting, across a wide variety of categories, including stocks, real estate, collectibles, artwork, farmland, loans, crypto, and much, much more.
Site Design & UX
Since last year, the team has been hard at work completely redesigning their website. And the new design looks awesome.
Upon hitting the site, you’re met with a delicious blue & white color scheme. Within seconds it’s apparent this is a serious investment website with a breadth of options.
Page loading was a bit clunky for me. The company logos on the homepage took nearly a full minute to fully load, and transitioning between pages was not as smooth as the sleek interface implies. But the overall design feels silky smooth, terminology is easy to understand, and 24/7 help is just a click away.
Profile & Investor Quiz
One cool feature that immediately sticks out to me is the investor quiz.
MoneyMade asks simple questions, such as whether you want a balanced portfolio, and what level of risk you’re willing to take. To receive your results, you’ll need to create an account, which is a small ask for what they give you in return — a personalized profile with tailored recommendations and platform investment suggestions.
Each suggestion has a well-written ‘details’ section which divulges what it is you’re investing in on this platform, outlines the risks, how you make money, and how the platform itself makes money — which is something I found particularly interesting, as not all business models are immediately obvious (take Robinhood, for example.)
If you want to take your due diligence a bit further than a basic summary, certain platforms (such as Public.com) have ‘deep-dive’ reviews, which go into pros and cons and attempts to paint an unbiased picture of who the platform will suit.
But the real “money feature” is their new dashboard.
New: Investment Tracking Dashboard
For months, the team has been working on a brand new product offering. They’ve been teasing users with promises of great things to come, and encouraging everyone to sign up for the beta.
Just last month, they announced the wait is over, and their investment tracking dashboard is now live and in beta!
The problem they’re trying to solve is simple: With so many investments spread across so many different platforms, the space beckons for a unified hub to manage them all. This problem is an obvious one, and it is definitely worth solving.
“But wait, aren’t there other investment management platforms that already do this?”
Yes, but there’s a key difference: While existing investment tracking platforms simply integrate with Plaid or other solutions that allow you to connect your bank/brokerage accounts, MoneyMade lets you connect to platforms directly.
This means that, in theory, you can track all of your investments across all platforms, apps, and asset classes, and see everything in one place. No more managing assets across a million different platforms. Just connect your existing accounts from dozens of investment platforms, and track them from a single dashboard.
Trading accounts, crypto, real estate, art, collectables, gold and more – the idea is that you can now track all of your investments through one single hub.
So, does it work?
Well, sort of.
Remember that APIs are a two-way street: Each platform first needs to provide an API, then MoneyMade needs permission to tap into it.
Users can connect many accounts, but there are still many others that need manual entry.
This is a frustrating but understandable blocker. With 150+ companies in the database, it will surely take some time for MoneyMade to work with each platform’s API — if one even exists yet. (In many cases they don’t). A fully automated dashboard is the dream, and MoneyMade has been hard at work to make this happen, but a little “nudge” from their users will push this process along much quicker.
The good news is that they have spent months creating a unified API that all platforms can easily plug into, which should make future integrations much easier for companies. MoneyMade is hyper-focused on onboarding new platforms, and plan on announcing new integrations weekly. (Customers will have their balances and transactions automatically synced with their MoneyMade portfolio.)
In the meantime, this is where the “poke” feature comes into play. Platforms will always listen to their users, so MoneyMade is encouraging people to encourage these platforms to work with MoneyMade and speed things up.
I must say, it’s a very clever approach, but only time will tell how effective it will be.
Performance and Projected Returns
MoneyMade’s goal is to not only be a place to discover and manage investments, but to track them as well. They’ve started down this path by giving insights on your investments and portfolio, including allocations, performance comparisons and more.
Furthermore, they have also launched a cool projected returns and fee calculator for each platform. This helpful feature allows users to get a good sense of how much they’ll invest over X amount of years, and, if the platform charges a fee, how much they’ll pay.
iOS & Android App
This app is hot off the presses. Launched just 2 weeks ago, MoneyMade got it into the App Store & Google Play early in order to get feedback.
However, it may have been just a tad early. Compared to the slick desktop site, I was a bit taken back by the iOS app. The design isn’t as nice, there are some exposed HTML tags, and it’s missing some of the well-established movement interactions, (such as swipe to go back, etc.)
Frustratingly, while the Dashboard menu option is shown in the app, it’s not actually ready yet. Users are shown a “Coming Soon” with a tease of how it will look. (Per a company spokesman, the dashboard feature will be available in about 2-3 weeks).
The app mostly does the job, and is definitely a helpful addition to the MoneyMade experience. But it could use some tightening up before it’s ready for prime-time.
I really love what MoneyMade is doing.
The idea is clearly a winner, their database is extensive, they have a solid community, and the site is professionally designed & easy to navigate. The founders have clearly put their heart and soul into building a killer investment management platform, and it shows.
Their flagship Investment Management Dashboard is still in beta, so I expect improvements to come. But while this dashboard is well ahead of its time, I think they have a big challenge here in turning this into the end-all-be-all investment hub we all want.
The “poking” feature is certainly smart and well-executed, but attempting to coax hundreds of independent platforms to build a connection to MoneyMade’s by creating a “mutiny” is a tall order. I’m rooting for them, but it will be tricky and take quite a bit of time!
In the meantime, the site offers tons of value for both casual and serious investors, and you can already connect to two dozen platforms without hassle, with more coming each week. They also let users connect to other investment accounts such 401k, retirement, bank accounts not listed on MoneyMade. So the true number of accounts is well over 1,000.
So get cracking! Sign up today, connect your accounts, and most importantly keep your eyes peeled for great things in the future.
(What might the future hold? Who knows. But if a unified dashboard for management is the dream, a unified dashboard for active management is like, the dream within the dream.)
What is AltoIRA?
The landing page for AltoIRA looks exactly as I would expect a contemporary start-up’s website to look — an easily-digestible source of helpful information and a ‘flow’-like aesthetic that is a joy to scroll through. It becomes pretty obvious within seconds what this company is all about — taking your retirement fund by the horns and investing (gleefully) tax-free in assets you otherwise wouldn’t have access to through a plan like 401k.
The sign-up process is relatively simple, though no opportunity for one-click access via Google, Facebook etc. is available. Upon validating my email I have to select which account I want — AltoIRA or CryptoIRA. While what each entails is fundamentally straightforward, there’s no way to navigate backwards to do a little more research on each without opening a new tab, re-loading the homepage and going to the site’s ‘products section’. Once you do make it to the product section, the explanations of each option lacks a little detail. While an experienced investor might not need their hands held through this process, I imagine newcomers may be a little underwhelmed by the data available.
That said, there’s a fairly comprehensive FAQ available at the bottom of each page which helps assuage any concerns — I would recommend this being easily accessible when choosing between the two accounts to help users make an informed decision. In addition, a follow-up welcome email is sent which provides further information and a useful YouTube video that should probably be available on or immediately after the sign-up page.
To complete the next stage you need to include your birth date, home address, mobile number and social security before you can actually see what the user dashboard comprises — a bit of a commitment for those looking to simply get a feel for what AltoIRA can offer them. You cannot access the regular website ‘signed in’ without completing this stage and verifying your identity.
There’s actually a wealth of information available on the website, but it’s not immediately apparent. Hidden away at the appendix of each page, where most websites simply place their contact details and maybe an about us page, lies a glossary, podcast and blog section. These are all fantastic brand-builders and the blogs are particularly engrossing, but their positioning in the website makes it easy for a new user to miss, or to feel like an after-thought.
One thing I noticed was that when clicking through a blog or a podcast it has text proclaiming ‘no comments’, yet as far as I can tell there’s no option for users to comment, which is a little confusing.
The pricing page layout is easy to understand and lets users know exactly what they’re getting into — there’s no hidden fees or clauses ready to say ‘surprise’ and siphon money from your investments. The Deal Sponsors and Investment Partners tabs are similarly accessible though lack the detail provided on MoneyMade.
Overall, the AltoIRA web design is pleasing. Frankly, it’s a joyous experience moving through each page. The site’s positive color-scheme, helpful graphics and bubbly manner of section-breaking all give the company the appearance of being trustworthy and modern. It’s clear exactly what AltoIRA provides — however I believe giving greater credence to the blog and podcast visibility and allowing interaction without total commitment will help drive traffic and retain customers who may only be in the ‘consideration’ stage of their investment lives.
Collectable exits so far:
75.0% ROI in 3 months for 139 investors…
2009 Signed Steph Curry Rookie Cards Basket
- IPO Date: 09/24/20 ($40,000 market capitalization)
- Exit Date: 12/22/20 ($70,000 buyout accepted)
104.5% ROI in 3.5 months for 152 investors…
1980 Magic Johnson, Larry Bird & Dr. J Scoring Leader PSA 10
- IPO Date: 10/12/20 ($352,000 market capitalization)
- Exit Date: 1/28/21 ($720,000 buyout accepted)
35.2% ROI in 1.5 months for 196 investors…
2017 Patrick Mahomes Panini Flawless Emerald Rookie Patch Auto –
- IPO Date: 10/15/20 ($135,000 market capitalization)
- Exit Date: 11/30/20 ($182,500 buyout accepted)
Since January 2008, high value sports cards have outperformed the S&P 500 by 81% (source: PWCC). Join over 20,000 investors and invest from just $1 per share in some of the most rare and exciting sports collectibles in the world!
Please review risks and disclosures in our offering circular, and at collectable.com.
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