Alternative investments - making your money work for you
PUBLISHED: 16:51 05 April 2012 | UPDATED: 20:54 20 February 2013
Making your money grow can be about pleasure as well as a financial return. Personal investment expert Adam Aiken shares some wealth management ideas that everyone can think about, without getting tangled up in stocks, shares and low interest rates
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2012
Making your money grow can be about pleasure as well as a financial return. Here, Adam Aiken, our personal investment expert, shares some wealth management ideas that everyone can think about, without getting tangled up in stocks, shares and low interest rates...
A first edition of Charles Darwins On the Origin of Species bought for a few shillings in the early 1970s fetched 103,000 at auction in 2009. According to Christies, the auctioneers, it had been kept on a bookcase in a bathroom for years, and it was only recently that the owners realised its worth. Although that was an extreme example, the beauty of buying first editions is that you can stumble across them by accident in charity shops and at car boot sales.
Over the past two years, investing in wine has given better returns than just about any other investment, but you do need to invest in the very best, says Richard Harvey, the international head of wine at Bonhams. In other words, dont think that just picking up a 100 case at your local wine shop is what it is all about!
Most people know about the burgeoning price of gold but precious gemstones, diamonds in particular, are also increasing in price dramatically, making jewellery an attractive investment, says Nutfield-based designer goldsmith Roger Elliott. But there is one major caveat quality. While gold or platinum will always be worth its weight in scrap value, the real value of a piece is only realised if its saleable. Mass produced jewellery is never much interest to the resale market, so its essential to buy high quality design and workmanship.
Taxidermy is fashionable at the moment, and Tomasz and Emma-Lily Pendleton made some easy money when they found a wild boars head during their recent honeymoon in the south of France. We bought Franchard for 35 euros and sold him for 160 when we got back, says 24-year-old Emma-Lily. But rare specimens or certain pieces done by famous names are worth a lot more.
Over the past century, rare stamps have proved to be a stable investment. This stability can largely be attributed to the obsessive passion from collectors pushing the prices up not the fear, greed and speculation that generally drive investment markets, says Keith Heddle, investment director at Stanley Gibbons. The GB30 Rare Stamps Index has risen 85 per cent over the past five years.
The fine art photographic market is heavily undervalued when compared to more traditional forms of art, says Matthew Snowden, director at the new Treacle Gallery in Shere. Over the past few years, however, this has begun to change, as shown by recent auction room headlines. For example, in November, a photograph by Andreas Gursky sold for $4,338,500 at Christies in New York!
This is always a safe haven in times of strife, and the price of gold has soared accordingly over the past few years. If you had bought 1,000-worth five years ago, it would be worth something like 2,800 today. With the world economy still looking shaky, gold is likely to retain its value for some time yet, but many experts think it is too late for new investors to jump on board now.
If you do not have the time or inclination to research one of the more exotic ways of investing, but you want something different from run-of-the-mill savings accounts, you could always plump for premium bonds. The minimum investment is just 100 and you can get your money back at any time (although inflation will reduce its purchasing power). You are not guaranteed to win anything but you could strike it lucky and scoop the 1m jackpot.
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