When I talk about investing, I usually mean investing in the market. But you can invest in other things too, like art, gems, precious metals, wine, and any other collectibles.
Collectibles are fickle – there are no promises of profitability. They’re long-term investments, and while the market for collectibles can be stable (even showing high returns), their value can nose-dive in times of financial distress, like a recession (sound like something else?). However, depending on the impact of the economic downturn, loss – when it comes to collectibles – may be minimal.
Unless you’re a Kardashian (or North West), you might not have that extra coin to drop on something that may not show you any return for a few years. People who collect for the long run usually get more for their money by adapting the strategies of value investing. Forget what’s hot this moment and focus on what has inherent value. That means it’s still possible to collect without having to break the bank.
So how do you know if you’re making the right investment? As with most things in life, we can never be too sure – but we can be aware. Here are some tips to consider when you’re on the hunt for your next treasure:
1. Do your research: learn about the item and the dealer.
2. Look for quality: don’t buy anything in bad condition.
3. Don’t buy what’s trendy: it may be tempting to jump on the bandwagon, but don’t be fooled by that false sense of security – like fashion, tastes change and trends come and go.
4. Consider the unusual: some collecting categories remain surprisingly affordable because people don’t know they exist (did you know there’s a market for Happy Meal Toys? Some toys have gone at auction for $500).
5. Look for verification: fakes are always circulating, so make sure whatever it is you want to buy has been verified by a credible expert.
6. Diversity is still king: it doesn’t make sense to have all of your money in collectibles, or anything else for that matter (stocks, cash, real estate…etc).
7. Have patience: like a good investment, you have to have patience or you risk market timing.
Most importantly, make sure you’re collecting for the joy of collecting, and not on the notion that you’re going to get rich.