Here are five unusual investments you may want to consider.
1. Coins and notes
In 2016 the pre-decimal Australian coin collection of George Fenton went to auction, fetching a combined sale price of $871,264 from some 379 individual coins. This collection was seen as one of the finest and most comprehensive in Australia. It helps to highlight that coins and notes can be investments worth far more than their face value.
However, you can’t just sell any old coin and make close to a million dollars. The Fenton collection was very deliberately built, and included a copy of every pre-decimalisation Australian coin, with many of them being the best-preserved examples in existence. Rarity, quality and age all play a factor in the value of a coin collection, so make sure you do your research before you buy a jar of old 1-cent pieces.
2. Comic books
A copy of Action Comics No. 1, the very first appearance of Superman, sold on Ebay in 2014 for more than 3.2 million USD. This is a tremendous return given that the comic originally sold for just 10 cents (USD) in 1938. Of course, not every issue at your local newsagents is going to be worth that much, even three quarters of a century later.
The big sellers are going to be comics that introduce popular characters, like Spider-man or the Flash, or represent important storylines. Getting your investments properly graded is also essential – the better condition a rare copy is in, the higher it will generally sell for.
Any stamp collector, or philatelist, would love to get their hands on the sole remaining British Guiana one-cent Magenta stamp, which sold at auction for 9.48 million USD in 2014. Stamps are purported to be a very stable investment option, and actually increased in value during the 2008 financial crisis.
Similarly to coins, provenance and scarcity are important factors in determining a stamps value. Storage is also an important consideration – stamps are quite delicate after all, and the condition a stamp is in can drastically affect its sale price.
No, not financial instruments, but the musical kind. And while there are only so many Stradivarius violins out there, you might be able to find a guitar played by a famous performer. Unlike other investments, instruments are often sold as much on their emotional connection as their quality. This can make it difficult to know when purchasing a particular guitar is a worthwhile investment, and whether it will hold value into the future.
Violins tend to be more stable than other instruments, with examples made by high profile Italian crafters performing particularly well. Acoustic guitars are another solid performer, while electric guitars tend to go through cycles of popularity that are hard to predict. In any case, ensuring the instrument is authentic and in close-to-original condition are important considerations.
It might seem like an odd choice, due to its consumable nature, but there is a sizeable market out there for perfumes, particularly for vintage scents that are no longer produced. However, even perfumes made before the 2000s are often worth more than their original price, due to the introduction of regulations that banned certain components being used. A type of lichen that grows on oak trees, for example, used to be quite commonly used in perfumes, but has since been heavily restricted.
The most important consideration when investing in perfume is that it hasn’t gone off. Exposure to heat and light will break down the perfume, leaving it smelling nothing like it was supposed to. Don’t be too disappointed if you find an off bottle in the back of your grandmothers closet, as there is also a market out there for the bottles themselves, especially those that are antique.
You can find out more about investing at Canstar’s Investor Hub.
Cover image: Leenvdb (Shutterstock)