We should all be squirrelling something away for a rainy day, perhaps topping up a pension pot or saving money in an ISA for a child’s university fund. Savvy savers will be investing their money, making it work for them, so they get back more than they put in – but what kinds of investment are there?
The simplest investment is in a bank with an interest rate or alternatively the classic “investment portfolio” is stocks and shares and maybe even gold and other precious metals and gems. But what some people might not realise, there is a whole range of luxury items or collectables that can be a sound financial investment, offering huge returns to those who know what they’re doing.
So, what kind of items are we talking about?
Collecting art has long been seen as a great way to invest money, after all not only is it (hopefully) providing a return on your money, but it’s providing you with something beautiful to look at. Assuming you keep it at home. But is it worth it? Like all investments, the value of your piece can go up and down.
If you’re an expert and know what you’re looking for and where to find it, then you’ll be able to pick out an up-and-coming artist at the start of their career. If they hit the big time, you’re on to a winner. If you’ve got deep pockets, then you could find someone who is already established and buy some of their work in the hope their stock continues to rise.
It is of course a risk – and it’s a long-term investment. Experts recommend at least 10 years before selling. We’ve hold plenty of auctions selling art, from limited edition prints to large oil paintings, so we’re sure you’ll be able to find something of interest.
For this author, investing in alcohol would not be a wise move. I’d drink it before it ever had chance to make any money. But for those with space to store (or the money to pay someone else to look after it) there has been a huge increase in the value of rare and collectable bottles of alcohol.
According to Knight Frank’s latest luxury investment index, over the past 12 months, wine has enjoyed the biggest growth of all luxury investments, rising by 13% since the end of 2020. That follows a similar trend over the past decade which has seen investments in wine increase in value by 119%. But that’s nothing compared to rare whisky. While it may have dropped in value by 4% over the last 12 months, the previous 10 years has seen solid growth of 483%.
Designer handbags – particularly those by Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton for instance - can be a sound financial investment, especially if you know what you’re looking for. In fact, in 2020 Art Market Research in the US found that handbags were outperforming art as an investment. Which is good news for you as we have regular luxury handbag auctions. Similarly, jewellery, which might not have enjoyed the same increase in value as handbags or rare wine and whisky, but is generally considered a safe bet – I mean, when have diamonds ever been unfashionable?
So far, we’ve touched on what might be considered rather obvious investment choices. But what of the less usual? You might have seen in the press recently, but Lego apparently outstrips them all for investment potential. Experts at the Higher School of Economics in Russia found that the market in second-hand Lego rises by about 11% every year. The study looked at set made between 1987 and 2015 and found that limited production runs, special editions and the fact that most people keep hold of their Lego, helped boost the second-hand market. But there’s a catch – they only considered the sale of unopened sets. So don’t raid your children’s cupboards just yet!
So, it just goes to show there’s a world of goods just waiting for you to snap them up as an investment. Take a look around our live auctions now and see if anything catches your eye.