When we compare some of the best investments, we come across an opportunity that is not normally considered: antique investing. As with any type of investment, whether it is alternative or via the typical vehicles, education is the key to success. One must spend the time necessary to understand what is valuable, what will likely increase in value and what price to pay for such an item.
One thing we will not usually tell you when comparing other best investments: look through your attic, garage and any place where a valuable antique may be hidden. Unlike other investments, people often have hidden antiques that they do not recognise until they are educated.
If you are a casual or an investment antique collector, you will do best when you stick with items that you enjoy. Let’s face it. While your investment increases in value, you will likely display it in your own home. Antiques, therefore, are tangible items that can be enjoyed even before you are ready to sell them.
In addition, antiques are extremely risky and highly speculative investments; the value of your items can fluctuate wildly based on the market. When comparing the best investments, this type of opportunity may be the best deal of your life or the worst. You need to be able to accept the loss and be able to just enjoy your antique if your investment does not pan out. In other words, using antiques as a retirement fund is not a good idea. Look at antiques as a long term investment. If you bought items intelligently, over time (maybe 10-30 years) you will make money.
The best investments in antiques are often lucky investments. Buying the right thing at the right time either requires a magic crystal ball or an innate sense of what people will value down the road. Investment grade antiques only make up about 0.1% of the antiques available and are often determined by demand (as opposed to condition and age of the piece). If you are a collector in investment grade antiques, you aim to keep the antique for a long period of time before trying to sell it. But, if you are a dealer in investment grade antiques, you have to have a great deal of knowledge in the field because the turnover rate for a dealer is usually 10-30 weeks. Smart dealers usually give each customer only one opportunity to purchase a valuable antique. Showing the valuable item to each customer only once, even if the antique is not sold, gives the impression that the dealer can sell rare items quickly. The customer will be more inclined to buy the next time.
In general, investing in antiques is a fun alternative to the stock and bond market. Make sure you have a good relationship with a good dealer and you may be pleasantly surprised at your finds and at your gains. Understand how antiques are trending and what will sell well. Most importantly, buy the absolute best you can. Never skimp when antiquing for profit.
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