The Daily Valet. - 4/3/24, Wednesday

Wednesday, April 3rd Edition
Cory Ohlendorf  
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
We're talking about bees and billionaires today.

Presented by

Today’s Big Story

The Bees Are Buzzing


Wait, does America suddenly have a record number of bees?


This was unexpected. After almost two decades of relentless colony collapse coverage and years of grieving suspiciously clean windshields, Andrew Van Dam (who writes the Washington Post’s Department of Data column) was stunned to run the numbers on the new Census of Agriculture (otherwise known as that wonderful time every five years where the government counts all the llamas) and discovered that America’s honeybee population has rocketed to an all-time high.

Just last summer, the Associated Press reported that beekeepers were trying to stabilize populations because America’s honeybee hives had just staggered through the second highest death rate on record.

But according to the Post, we’ve added almost a million bee colonies in the past five years. We now have 3.8 million, the census shows. “Since 2007, the first census after alarming bee die-offs began in 2006, the honeybee has been the fastest-growing livestock segment in the country!” And that doesn’t count feral honeybees, which may outnumber their captive cousins several times over.

Interestingly, Van Dam found that Texas has become a hotbed of honey bees over the last few years. The Lone Star State has gone from having the sixth-most bee operations in the country to being so far ahead of anyone else that it out-bees the bottom 21 states combined. And it comes down to agricultural tax breaks and incentives if you keep bees on your property for at least five years. That’s one surefire way to encourage people to foster hives.

It turns out, pollination—not honey prices—has been the true rocket booster strapped to the back of the modern beekeeping industry. And almond pollination is responsible for $4 of every $5 spent on bee fertility assistance in the United States, according to NASS. Every year, the bloom of thousands of almond trees in California spurs one of the world’s largest, albeit artificial, migrations of animals; as billions of honeybees are loaded onto trucks and sent to deliver lucrative pollination fees for their human keepers. In fact, they’re so valuable that it’s given rise to bee thefts, which are now being taken very seriously.

Who Knew?
Scientists were recently stunned to learn that bees can also pass on their knowledge to peers just like humans.

The Risk of a Regional War Just Increased


Tehran vows response after strike blamed on Israel destroyed Iran’s Consulate in Syria

Iran on Tuesday vowed to respond to an airstrike widely attributed to Israel that destroyed Iran’s Consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus the previous day and killed 12 people, including two Iranian generals and a member of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group. Current and former U.S. officials are now fearing that it could escalate hostilities in the region and prompt retaliatory strikes against Israel and its American ally.

The U.S. told Iran that it "had no involvement" or advance knowledge of of the strike. The rare message shows the Biden administration is deeply concerned that the Israeli strike could lead to a regional escalation and the resumption of attacks by pro-Iranian militias against U.S. forces. Iran currently provides money and weapons to Hezbollah, as well as Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups fighting Israel in Gaza.

Nearly six months after the October 7 attack, the questions and fears about a larger conflict remain hanging in the air. But, Vox says, this marked a major step up the escalation ladder. Iran’s response may not be immediate, but the strike will nonetheless contribute to regional tensions that were already at the boiling point—and there’s a good chance American troops in the Middle East may be in the firing line.


Which platform delivered millions to investors in 2023?

Masterworks is unlocking an asset class that was once only available to billionaires.

There Are More Billionaires Than Ever Before


Forbes has released its list of the world’s richest people

It’s time to meet the latest entrants to the three-comma club. The world’s billionaires are riding high, with Forbes finding a record 2,781 of them around the globe this year, worth a record $14.2 trillion altogether. According to The Guardian, the combined assets are more than the GDP of every country except China and the United States.

With many markets up, the surge in wealth has minted 265 new billionaires over the past year, up from 150 newcomers in 2023. The freshman class includes French fashion designer Christian Louboutin, Magic Johnson and Taylor Swift, whose record-breaking, five-continent Eras Tour is the first to surpass $1 billion in revenue. Swift reached billionaire status in October 2023, and became the first musician to do so solely on earnings from her music and performances.

CBS News reports that two-thirds of the people on Forbes' list are now worth more than they were a year ago, while only one-fourth were worth less. The fortunes of the top 20 richest people on Earth grew by a combined $700 billion over the last year. Topping the list are familiar names: LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and his family are at number one, with a net worth of $233 billion. Elon Musk, once the richest person in the world, is now in second position, with Jeff Bezos claiming the No. 3 spot.

The U.S. has a record 813 billionaires, the most of any country, followed by China with 473 billionaires and India with 200.

IKEA Shrinks to Grow


The plan is to provide smaller, more easily accessible store locations

IKEA is a lot of things, but small ain’t one of them, right? Massive stores, seemingly endless aisles filled with a wide ranging variety of everything from furniture and housewares to plants and plates of meatballs. But in order to grow, the brand isn’t planning more of its giant stores—instead, the key appears to be in small-format outlets.

Both in the United States and United Kingdom, IKEA has announced plans to open more of its “plan and order points”, following a store expansion strategy that focused on providing smaller, more easily accessible store locations to its customers. First launched in early 2023, this new store format is dedicated to kitchen, bedroom, and living room planning and allows more access to free home planning, while also enabling customers to pick-up online purchases and place orders. According to Forbes, the company will open four more of these locations in the U.S. with stores in Austin, Atlanta and two more in Los Angeles.

Axios toured one and really liked it, saying it’s everything you like about IKEA without being overwhelming. It carries about 500 "really popular takeaway" products, compared to about 10,000 in traditional large-format stores, market manager Tony Giacona told the site. However, the small stores do lack cafes and even frozen meatball options, as that would require additional grocery and food sale licenses—but it's “definitely on the table [and] is frequently requested from customers,” Giacona said.

IKEA is cutting prices across all of its markets globally, aiming to dial back increases that were introduced in 2022.


Picasso’s $139 Million Sale Reveals Unexpected Investment Opportunity


One investing secret that billionaires like Jay-Z know that you don’t


Just last month, an iconic Picasso painting shattered expectations when it sold for a whopping $139 million at auction. Impressive, considering it was purchased for around $1 million in the late 1960’s.

But there’s a surprising group of investors also celebrating this sale: 61,000 everyday users of one investment platform.

Why? Because that platform, called Masterworks, enables anyone to invest in blue-chip paintings by artists like Picasso and Banksy for just a fraction of the cost. When Masterworks sells a painting, investors can get a return.

This way, not only the billionaires of the world can benefit from the art market.

As a special partner, The Daily Valet. readers can skip the waitlist to join here.

Get Started:
Use our special link to get access today.

Past performance is not indicative of future returns, investing involves risk. See disclosures


What We’re Buying


Kiehl's at 35% off


Kiehl’s is currently offering 35% off your online order with the code REFRESH. Which means it’s a great time to invest in some quality skincare, like this highly-effective eye cream.

Get It:
Age Defender eye repair, $40 / $26 (w/code REFRESH) by Kiehl’s

Morning Motto

Take your shot.


You are alive!




Share today’s