The top five collectible investments
Collectible investments - such as stamps and clothes worn by film starts - can make you decent profits. Paul Fraser, founder of Paul Fraser Collectibles, tells us about some of the top investments in this area.
The pleasure of owning collectibles – whether historical artefacts, film memorabilia or stamps – is immeasurable.
Yet if you’re serious about making money from the sector, you must be prepared to make a significant investment. That’s thousands of pounds rather than hundreds.
Because it’s at the very top of the market where the bona fide investments can be made. These are the items that are rare and in great demand, and which steadily achieve better and better results at auction.
The outlay is worth it. With stock markets around the world in a state of flux, and continuing concerns over the future of the globe’s finances, a growing number of investors are diversifying into the sector, and finding that collectibles can play a significant role in a well-rounded portfolio.
True, collectibles don’t pay dividends. But invest correctly and you can own items that offer the very real potential of strong returns and excellent security. What’s more the prices of these assets aren’t greatly affected by what is going on global stock markets.
Here are five of the best performing collectibles areas you can invest in today.
The 40 most regularly traded autographs have grown in value by 13.93% per annum between 2000 and 2012, according to the PFC40 Autograph Index.
James Dean is leading the way. His signature is currently valued at £14,000 - up 12% since 2011, and 19.81% pa since 2000. He is typical of the type of figure whose autograph performs well. He’s iconic, he’s signed a limited number of autographs, and he won’t be signing any more.
John Lennon, whose signature is up 20.48% pa since 2000 and is currently valued at £6,500, is another excellent option.
Three to watch out for: It’s heresy to talk about it in some quarters, but a famous figure’s passing often prompts a huge rise in value for their autograph - Princess Diana’s signature is up by 17.83% pa since 2000, Michael Jackson’s has doubled in value since 2010. Investing in Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro or Muhammad Ali today could reap significant rewards.
Apollo 11 collectibles
If you need further evidence of what can happen when a famous figure dies, look no further than Neil Armstrong. His passing earlier this year has sparked a huge surge in demand for his autograph (up 26.05% in value since 2011) and Apollo 11 memorabilia as a whole.
A drop in value following this spike is unlikely. Demand so massively outstrips supply for the first Moon mission that there is every chance the historic gains seen in the sector (Apollo 11 signed photographs up 14.31% pa since 2000, for example) will continue.
Aside from autographs of the astronauts, other strong performing Apollo 11 investment options include mission flown mail, medals, equipment, and even an occasional training suit - the space flown suits used on the mission reside in museums.
Individual pages from the flight plan used by the Apollo 11 crew have sold for up to £94,000 in the past.
They have a stuffy reputation, but many investors have looked beyond this false perception and are realising some considerable per annum returns, by buying at the very top end of the sector.
The 30 rarest UK stamps are up 9.5% pa in value over the last 50 years, according to the GB30 Rarities Index.
Furthermore, stamps enjoy low volatility and strong liquidity, underpinned by a worldwide base of 50m serious collectors, including an influx of wealthy Chinese buyers, as seen elsewhere across the collectibles markets.
Many of the world’s shrewdest business brains are investing. In 2006 Pimco founder Bill Gross bought a block of four Inverted Jenny 1918 US airmail stamps for £1.8m - the highest price ever paid for a US stamp lot. The block had last sold in 1989 for £700,000, representing a 6% pa rise.
Rapidly becoming a playboy’s paradise, it is a sector to aspire to!
Marilyn Monroe’s “Subway” dress from The Seven Year Itch sold for £3.5m in 2011, setting a new world record for film memorabilia. Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from My Fair Lady achieved £2.8m at the same sale, up 41.5% pa since it last changed hands for just £62,000 in 2002.
What makes these costumes so attractive to buyers?
- The enduring popularity of these Hollywood stars
- The iconic nature of the costumes
- The memorable moments in the films in which they were worn
Not everyone has millions to spend on a dress, but opportunities still exist further down the scale. Just ensure any costumes you buy meet those three parameters too.
The leading 200 British rare coins saw a price increase of 13.38% pa between 2002 and 2012, according to the GB200 Coin Index.
The gold coins sector is particularly attractive to buyers in the current financial climate due to the strong performance of gold over the past decade.
Yet such is the demand for the leading examples, that even if the price of gold plummeted, you would still be the owner of an item in great demand, capable of achieving a strong price at auction.
Paul Fraser is founder of Paul Fraser Collectibles, a UK-based company that specialises in investment-grade collectibles.