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LABJ Insider: August 8

Liquid Investments?

This has long been a world in which investors can take their chances on all manner of non-financial assets. Base metals, wheat futures, even pork bellies in the past.
Now, a Los Angeles company is offering to sell a different kind of liquid investment: barrels of whiskey.

Called CaskX, the Beverly Hills company allows investors – and they must be accredited investors, or those certified to meet net worth and income thresholds – to buy casks from any of a dozen distilleries in the South. The distilleries get operating cash and buyers can see the value of their whiskey increase as it ages. CaskX claims whiskey has appreciated an average of nearly 14% a year since 2010. Investors can sell when the product is ready for market.

Jeremy Kassler recently brought cask investing to the U.S. market after doing so in Sydney, Australia, and Hong Kong. The company said an announcement will be made soon about the firm’s newest distillery partner and the use of cryptocurrency to purchase the barrels.

• • •

The recent death of legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully has brought an outpouring of affection from every corner of Los Angeles – across all ethnicities and ages and political beliefs. Even from those who aren’t baseball fans. The avuncular Scully managed to bring us together, night after night, with smart but soothing talk and tales of human achievement. He was a reliable refuge from a madding crowd and cable opinion shows.
Which brings up a question: Putting aside celebrities in the entertainment world, is Scully the most beloved Angeleno ever?

• • •

It’s not at all surprising that a rental van company named Roadsurfer – complete with a surfer-vibe motif – opened recently near the Los Angeles International airport and very near the heart of California surf culture. What is surprising: the company is based in Munich, Germany.

Roadsurfer van.

The company is not shy about appropriating California surf culture. Roadsurfer’s press materials point out that its recreational vehicles – which do look great – have “a colorful wave-design, alluding a surfer lifestyle vibe.” And the company’s co-founder and managing partner, Susanne Dickhardt, is quoted as saying: “For many, California is a place of longing, and it is strongly associated with the image of independent, individual travel. Just like Roadsurfer, the American West stands for freedom and adventure.”

The 5-year-old German company already has 50 stations in 12 countries in Europe and started planning expansion in the states last year. Los Angeles is its first stateside location. Dickhardt said L.A. “is the perfect addition to our Roadsurfer map and a consistent next step in our company development.”

The Insider column is compiled by Editor- in-Chief Charles Crumpley. Submit items to ccrumpley@sfvbj.com.

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