Mar 12, 2021 - Sports

Why trading cards are becoming the hot new investment asset

An example portfolio in Alt. Courtesy: Alt

Alt, a new platform where collectors can invest in trading cards as easily and transparently as stocks, went live on Thursday.

How it works: Alt aims to make trading cards a more manageable asset by giving customers a simple way to buy, sell, track and store them.

  • Portfolio management: Customers can easily upload their card collections and track their portfolio value in real-time.
  • Real-time valuation: Alt's proprietary "Alt Value" will allow collectors to get real-time data on how much their cards are worth.
  • Vault: Each customer's collection is securely stored in Alt's "vault," which is free for the first three months.
  • Low fees: Buying on Alt is free and transaction fees are just 1.5% of the total sale price, which is much lower than what eBay (12.5%) and some auction houses (12–25%) can charge.
An example portfolio in Alt (gallery view). Courtesy: Alt

What they're saying: "For decades, stocks, bonds, and foreign exchange have been the predominant investment vehicles, largely because they have been the most transparent and liquid," says founder Leore Avidar.

  • "Alternative assets such as real estate and venture capital can offer high yields uncorrelated with the stock market, but aren't as broadly accessible because they are more opaque and illiquid."
  • "Sports cards have been even less accepted as mainstream investment vehicles, despite the fact that they represent a great store of value and return uncorrelated with broader public markets."
  • "With Alt, we're turning sports cards — and eventually watches, sneakers, and art — into investable assets.

Funding: Alt has raised $31 million, and Alexis Ohanian's Seven Seven Six led the Series A. Other investors include Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Ventures, Larry Fitzgerald and Tobias Harris.

Screenshot: PWCC Market Indices

The big picture: The trading card market has vastly outperformed the stock market over the past 12 years.

By the numbers: Between January 2008 and December 2020, the PWCC 500 Index, which is basically the S&P 500 for trading cards, was up 270% compared to 160% for the S&P.

Go deeper: Read the full Axios Sports special report on the rise of sports fandom investing

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