Investing in collectibles

These’s an article in the Wall Street Journal that may intrigue people with substantial wealth or people who just have a hobby.  It’s about “investing”  in collectibles.

Some of the items mentioned are:

  • MOTORCYCLES
  • WATCHES
  • STAMPS
  • AUTOGRAPHS
  • ELECTRIC GUITARS
  • PHOTOGRAPHY

When I hear about collectibles I am reminded about the “Antiques Road Show,” a program that features people who bring old things to appraisers … and are told that grandma’s old clock is worth thousands of dollars.

The challenge with any investment is identifying something, whether it’s a financial security or a physical item like an antique motorcycle, and knowing enough to be able to make an informed judgement that it will appreciated in value.  Financial instruments like stocks have a ready market and you know from day to day what they are worth.  Collectibles are unique and their value depends very much on what someone who wants it is willing to pay, and that may vary widely over time and between potential buyers.

Unless you are wealthy I would suggest leaving collectibles alone as investment vehicles.  And if you are wealthy, hire an advisor who is an expert in that particular field.

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