When it comes to spotting trends and making deals, Lucas Asher is what you could call a prodigy.
A self-made millionaire, Lucas made his first M, just shy of his 20th birthday coding for other people. Since then, he’s become a real-life skydiver, an indie-rock artist, verified Instagram influencer, and—of course—big-time venture capital investor.
As CEO of Tower Equity, Lucas has invested in a who’s who of tech unicorns, including Slack, Space X, Pinterest, Spotify and Ripple.
“I worked on building games, software, and ultimately I was able to provide a lot of value to other people that gave me a platform to form my own technology venture capital firm,” Lucas told Forbes in a recent feature.
We thought that was pretty interesting. So we decided to have a chat with Lucas about his deals, returning to a post-COVID “new normal,” what industries he’s bullish on and what’s next.
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Youth is an asset. When you are young you can take zero sum risks. . . In game theory, a zero sum risk is something that could wipe you out. . . As people get older they can’t play zero sum games. . The problem is that all of the best positions in life are occupied by people who: . ✅1: Were willing to play zero sum games . ✅2: Did play zero sum games for a long time . Leverage your youth to go zero sum on your crazy dreams. . If you get completely wiped out, it’s not the end. . You will have time to bounce back stronger than ever, (and you don’t have any dependents who rely on you) . When was the last time you really acted “zero sum” on your dreams? . Have you risked your entire life on what you really want? . Your professors, parents, preachers and friends will tell you it’s a bad idea. . . I think it’s the only way to live 💯
wealthlab: Hey, Lucas!
Lucas Asher: What’s up.
Let’s jump right into it. We’re in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. What trends are you bullish on?
After investing in over 39 notable technology companies like SpaceX, Pinterest, Spotify, Adaptive Biotechnology and many others, I tend to be bullish based on either a short term or long-term thesis.
In the short term, you will see SaaS software companies in the cloud dominate because of the “work remote” pandemic cycle our economy is in.
Most notably, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey recently announced that Facebook and Twitter employees can work remote forever. This is quite the reversal of the “open office” trend we witnessed during the last 10 years—and likely to continue, given the move toward the cloud and globalization.
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This generation 🦋💕 has literally nothing in common with the previous generation… ❌ . Not their rules . Not their vibes . Not their schools . Not their music Not their jobs . Not their clothes Not their wars . Not their lives . Them telling our generation how to live, is like an old operating system telling a new operating system how to work. . . Your mind is like a computer operating system … . Don’t let someone with a previous old version of software tell you your new software is wrong ( because they don’t understand it …) . . #omertacortex 🍄
What about on a more long-term basis?
In the long term, you will see general Artificial Intelligence and the advent of private space commercialization that eclipse the GDP of sovereign nation states. If you look at the potential for SpaceX’s Starlink,” specifically, it could spawn the next trillion-dollar communications conglomerate.
Also, you will see enormous companies come from things like asteroid mining that could easily pass the entire GDP of the USA, given the abundance of valuable resources in the new space economy.
Speaking of AI. Where do you see the major first disruption happening?
Although general artificial intelligence is still mainly relegated to academia, it’s likely to enter the medical field first, and rapidly take over financial services next.
What makes you say that?
There’s no way human computational ability has any chance of competing. And that will usher in the most significant era of efficiency for capital allocation and medical advancement in history. I feel strongly both my short and long-term thesis will materialize in our generation.
What are your thoughts on COVID? How do you feel about how it’s impacting business?
Pandemics will certainly become much more prevalent in our society. We must collectively, as a civilization, invest preemptively to combat viruses, instead of being reactionary, as we’ve seen.
From a business standpoint, pharmaceutical companies, in general, have occupied enormous margins with near monopoly power. Yet, they haven’t made commensurate investments into pandemic-related research.
Perhaps there will be some form of regulatory mandate that asks big pharma to put a certain amount of profits in a public trust to invest in R&D to better understand these novel virus’. And harnessing the private sector’s investment capability to do so.
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As kids, we were told many things, by well intentioned people, that turned out to be wrong… . . These well intentioned people, are parents, teachers, spiritual leaders, and various authority figures. . . . . It’s completely possible to be well intentioned, and wrong at the same time . . That is exactly what happened…. . . Your parents, teachers, and everyone who gave you advice, ( about how to live a great life) were wrong, but they meant well. . . . . The simulation has changed since your parents generation… . . Their ideas and ways are outdated software being inserted into our modern operating system . . . Software gets updated all the time, it’s not their fault that they adhere to their older version… . . For example: . . . The software version of having a “secure job” was outdated a long time ago. (It doesn’t even exist anymore) . . The software version of having one condensed religious doctrine, (curated by old men) and irreproachable by science is outdated. . . The software version of not extending equal human rights to the LGBT 🏳️🌈 community for all regions international is LONG GONE! ✊🏾 . . The software version of scarcity and lack of resources for our species is outdated. . . The software version of ‘knowledge gods,’ holding the keys to wisdom, through institutional debt education is outdated… . . The main problem with society, is, well intentioned people, who mean well, but are advocating wrong information . . Sometimes a bridge is good to cross… . . Sometimes a bridge is good to burn… . Sometimes a bridge is good to build… . . #omertacortex 🍄👽💨🎮
What industries and/or technologies are you bullish on now and what do you see emerging on the other side of this pandemic?
Fintech appears to be the most disruptive. There is an API revolution happening right now that will far surpass the application revolution that happened in the early era of the Internet.
I believe the trillions in wealth that we have seen go toward the application sector of the internet will gradually go to APIs and protocols. One of my favorite thinkers I have been reading a lot from is Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson at Union Square Ventures.
Switching gears a bit. You’ve done a ton of deals. What’s your best and worst investment?
My best investment up to this point has been SpaceX. My worst investment remains to be seen since I primarily fund private companies as an accredited VC, which takes years to realize.
That said, I’m not incredibly happy with SoFi right now and would like to see them pivot.
Investment you never made that you wish you did?
UiPath and Boston Dynamics [UiPath is valued at $7B while Boston Dynamics was acquired by SoftBank]. I am very interested in robotic process automation and the potential it has to alleviate a lot of suffering in the manufacturing economies.
The Top 10 Investment Opportunities To Capitalize On During A Recession
A recession can be a challenging time, but it can also present opportunities for investors to make smart investment decisions.
During a recession, certain industries tend to perform better than others, and identifying these opportunities can be the key to success.
Here are the top 10 investment opportunities to capitalize on during a recession:
1. Defensive Stocks
Defensive stocks are those that tend to perform well EVEN during economic downturns.
These include companies that provide essential goods and services, such as healthcare, utilities, and consumer staples.
Defensive stocks may not offer the highest returns, but they can provide stability and protection during a recession.
Gold is often seen as a safe haven during times of economic uncertainty.
As a tangible asset, it can provide a hedge against inflation and currency fluctuations. During a recession, the price of gold may rise as investors seek a safe haven for their money.
READ: 3 Ways To Invest In Gold (In 3 Minutes Or Less)
3. Real Estate
Real estate can be a good investment opportunity during a recession. Especially if you are looking for a long-term investment. (Hence why NYCE exists.)
While property values may dip during a recession, they tend to recover over time. In addition, rental properties can provide a steady stream of income, even during a recession.
After all: Real estate has created more millionaires than any other asset class.
4. High-Quality Bonds
High-quality bonds, such as U.S. Treasury bonds, can be a safe investment during a recession.
These bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, which makes them less risky than other types of bonds. (Though this has become less safe today than in the past.)
They may not offer the highest returns, but they can provide stability and protection during a recession.
5. Consumer Discretionary Stocks
Consumer discretionary stocks are those that are tied to consumer spending, such as retail, travel, and entertainment companies.
During a recession, these stocks may suffer as consumers cut back on non-essential spending.
However, if you believe that the economy will recover, investing in consumer discretionary stocks can be a good bet.
6. Healthcare Stocks
Healthcare stocks tend to perform well even during economic downturns, as people still need healthcare services regardless of the state of the economy.
In addition, the aging population in many countries is driving demand for healthcare services, which can provide long-term growth opportunities for investors.
7. Technology Stocks
Technology stocks can be a good investment opportunity during a recession, as many companies in this sector have strong balance sheets and cash reserves.
In addition, the shift towards remote work and online shopping during the pandemic has increased demand for technology products and services.
8. Emerging Markets
Emerging markets can be a good investment opportunity during a recession, as these countries may be less affected by the economic downturn than developed countries.
In addition, emerging markets often have higher growth rates than developed countries, which can provide long-term growth opportunities for investors.
9. Dividend Stocks
Dividend stocks can be a good investment opportunity during a recession, as they provide a steady stream of income even during tough economic times.
Look for companies with a history of paying dividends and a strong balance sheet.
Finally, cash can be a good investment during a recession, as it provides flexibility and liquidity. Having cash on hand can allow you to take advantage of investment opportunities as they arise.
In conclusion, while a recession can be a challenging time for investors, it can also present opportunities for smart investment decisions.
By identifying the top investment opportunities during a recession, you can position yourself for long-term success.
From Zero to Millionaire: How 9-5 Marketing Guy Made A Fortune Selling Pet Rocks As A Joke (1)
No BS—this is actually a real story.
The pet rock—a seemingly ridiculous idea—became a sensation and made its creator, Gary Dahl, a millionaire in the 1970s.
Dahl, a marketing executive, came up with the idea as a joke during a conversation with friends.
He packaged rocks in a cardboard box with holes and called them “pet rocks,” complete with an instruction manual on how to care for them.
There was virtually no upfront investment, as the rocks themselves were free, and the packaging was inexpensive.
“It was a joke,” Dahl told ABC News years later. “It was a satire. It was fun. And it became an overnight success.”
The pet rocks became an instant hit, with Dahl selling over a million of them in six months.
He appeared on popular TV shows and even wrote a book about his success. The pet rock craze died down after a year, but Dahl had already made his fortune.
After the pet rock craze died down, Gary Dahl continued to work in marketing and advertising.
He also tried to launch other novelty products, such as “sand-breeding kits” and “mood rings,” but none of them achieved the same level of success as the pet rock.
“I think that’s one of the things that is wrong with business today. People are so serious, they forget to have fun,” Gary Dahl said.
The success of the pet rock shows that sometimes the most unconventional ideas can lead to great success.
Why Gary’s story matters to you…
The story of Gary Dahl and his pet rock is a testament to the power of thinking outside the box. Sometimes, it’s the seemingly ridiculous ideas that can lead to the biggest successes.
Dahl’s story is not only inspiring, but it’s also a reminder to keep a sense of humor and not take ourselves too seriously.
In business, it’s easy to get bogged down in strategy and analysis, but we should never forget the importance of creativity and fun.
The success of the pet rock is also a lesson in the power of marketing.
Dahl’s packaging and instruction manual turned a simple rock into a desirable product. It’s a reminder that sometimes it’s not the product itself that’s important, but how it’s presented to the world.
So if you’re feeling stuck in your business or just need a little inspiration, take a cue from Gary Dahl and his pet rock.
Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to take risks, and don’t forget to have a little fun along the way.
Who knows…you might just come up with the next big thing.
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How Big Real Estate Moguls Avoid Taxes (And How You Can, Too) 👀
I was looking around Google for an old article on tax strategies and this five-year old video of myself happened to pop up.
I’m interviewing a tax expert about how real estate investors avoid paying taxes in perpetuity—AND how everyday citizens can do the same thing.
There’s the 1031 exchange, of course, which I’ve shared with you guys before.
Just to refresh your memory, the 1031 Exchange allows you to roll over gains from your last project into a new property TAX FREE—as long as said property is worth the same or more.
But there’s ANOTHER TAX LOOPHOLE that can take your portfolio to an entirely new level by splitting your capital gains into MULTIPLE properties.
So I thought I’d share it with you guys. 💎
You can check it out here.
Let me know what you think. 😎
PS: In our next update, I’m going to break down how real estate moguls get paid from their properties…tax free. 👀
PPS: If you want to learn how to implement generational wealth strategies like this one, you can join our NYCE wealth academy (TRIBE U) here.