Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

Market Insanity

Weird Investments that Might Pay Off

The recent spike in bitcoin prices undoubtedly has many people wondering what other weird investments that might pay off are out there.

Such interest is not as off the wall as many people have thought, after all a person who bought a bitcoin on January 9, 2016, and sold it a year later would have made a profit of $467.80, according to data provided by Coinbase. Naturally many others are now wondering what other strange investments that might pay off are out there. Here are few, all of which are risky but many of which are a lot of fun.

Off the Wall Investments that Might Pay Off Big in 2017 Include:

  • Ethereum – the only other major cryptocurrency tracked by websites like Coinbase. This Linux based decentralized product is potentially more advanced than is potentially more advanced technology because it comes with smart contracts. Ethereum has also attracted high-powered interest from companies like JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) America’s largest bank. News reports indicate that Chase wants to create an ethereum based trading platform. One reason for interest in ethereum is its price it was trading at just $9.44 apiece on January 13, 2017. That price has been increasing in recent weeks, back on December 27, 2016, it was trading at $1.17 apiece. For a good overview of this cryptocurrency check out the Ethereum Project.

  • Dash – The cryptocurrency formerly known as Dark Coin has some striking similarities to bitcoin. Like bitcoin it has been widely used in shady transactions on the so-called Dark Net. The internet’s shadowy underground where the bad guys and girls go to play. Recently it’s been going mainstream. The real attraction here is the low price, a unit of Dash was trading at just $11.96 on January 13, 2017, so there’s a lot of room for growth. If Dash goes mainstream it might be become a poor man’s bitcoin with a lot of upside potential.

  • Empty Sears and Kmart stores. That’s the business Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE: SRG) is in. SRG is the real estate investment trust (REIT) that Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) CEO Eddie Lampert set up to dispose of the properties of the dying discount and department store giant. Seritage paid a 25¢ last year but its return on equity is terrible (-7.33% on September 30, 2016) despite growing revenues. The real upside here is future potential Sears announced plans to close 196 stores in December 2016 and January 2017. The disposal of that real estate might lead to some profits for SRG.

  • Sprint (NYSE: S) – This wireless giant’s stock was trading at just $8.61 a share on January 13, 2017, yet it reported revenues of $32.44 billion on September 30, 2016. Meaning there’s a lot of upside here if it can turn around. Such a turnaround might be tough because Sprint reported a net income of -$1.834 billion and a negative profit margin of -1.172% on September 30, 2016. Despite that Sprint has a lot of float, it reported cash and short-term investments of $5.656 billion and generating $4.35 billion in cash from operations during third quarter 2016.

  • Sirius XM Holdings (NASDAQ: SIRI) – This stock has been a real money loser lately, its’ investors were punished with a return on equity of -172.4% on September 30, 2016. Yet this is a company that reported a 15.18% profit margin and a net income of $672.89 million for third quarter 2016. It also generated $1.559 billion in cash from operations and reported $572.38 million in cash and short-term investments for the same period. The real attraction here is the low price it was trading at $4.60 a share on January 13, 2017.

  • Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG) – This fuel cell maker is dangerously close to the junk pile yet its hydrogen technology has attracted interest from the likes of Walmart (NYSE: WMT). The attraction here is the price PLUG was trading at $1.24 a share on January 13, 2017. If you think fuel cells are the power source of the future this company might be the way to go. The industry it services fulfillment centers is certainly growing. Be prepared to lose some money though, Plug Power reported a return on equity of -53.99% on September 30, 2016.


All of these investments are real risky and you’ll probably lose money but you never know. As Benjamin Graham liked to point out Mr. Market is completely insane and he often rewards off the wall investors while punishing conventional thinkers severely.

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