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An Innovative Way to Save for Your Grandchildren’s Future
By Mike Hall
At a Christmas function I attended last year, I met a nice chap called Bob.
Bob had done pretty well for himself…
He had been a partner in a legal firm and is now enjoying his retirement.
Law might pay well, but it’s not much fun as a conversation topic.
Bob was much more interested in hearing about what I do for a living — rare collectibles.
During our chat, he asked me an interesting question: What collectibles would you recommend as a nest egg for my grandchildren?
Now, I don’t have grandchildren of my own yet, but I have two grown-up daughters, ages 23 and 20. And it was rare collectibles that paid for their education. Many of my other investments crashed and burned in recent years.
It hasn’t helped either that — for over 10 years now — banks have given me next to nothing for letting them hold my money.
But rare collectibles have proved to be a safe investment for me over the years — they’ve never let me down.
It turns out Bob has three grandchildren (9, 8 and 6 years old). He wanted to put aside some money for each of them. And he hoped to watch that money grow, so he could cash in the investment for them when they are 18 to help with university bills... as a deposit for a home... or to buy their first car.
I think this is a great idea. And I believe rare collectibles provide an innovative way to set aside a little nest egg for grandchildren.
Bob wanted to know what I would recommend based on initial investments of $1,000, $10,000 and $100,000.
Today, I’m going to tell you what I told him.
And I am confident that whatever you decide to invest, your rare collectibles investment portfolio will do well over the next 10 years or more. My confidence is supported by recent reporting in The Economist: “High-net-worth individual wealth will surpass $100 trillion by 2025, with about 10% invested in collectibles.”
With that kind of money flowing into the collectibles market, there is a very strong tailwind ahead to cause price inflation.
How to Build the Perfect Collectibles Portfolio
When someone you’ve gotten to know asks you to help them build a collectibles investment portfolio for them, you feel the pressure.
I didn’t want to let Bob down.
After all, his grandchildren’s future nest egg depended on me getting it right.
The recommendations I made were focused on areas of the collectibles market in which my team has 100-plus years of combined experience buying and selling at a profit.
The portfolios were split into the following four areas:
- Rare postage stamps and postal history.
- Rare coins.
- Historical documents, rare autographs and memorabilia.
- Limited-edition art.
I also made sure everything we selected for Bob:
- Had a long-term history of rising in value.
- Were items I consider likely to rise in value in the future, based on my insider market knowledge.
- Were of the right quality and of sufficient rarity.
- Included different areas of collecting, providing sound diversification.
Now let me share with you exactly what I presented to Bob after the fruits of our labor…
The Nest Egg Portfolios Revealed
The tables below show the constituents of each portfolio with their current value back-tested against their value 10 years ago.
$1,000 Portfolio — 25% stamps; 30% coins; 30% art; 15% autographs
The portfolio shows that even with a small investment, it is possible to acquire some fine quality rare collectibles.
And this portfolio has risen in value by 80% over the past 10 years.
If the historical growth rate continued for the next 10 years, the $1,000 investment would be worth $1,800 by 2030.
The best performers in the portfolio were the Salvador Dali print and the Penny Black, both of which doubled in value. The Penny Black will always be the world’s first postage stamp and is the most collected stamp in the world, providing constant demand against an inherent diminishing supply.
The poorest performer was the Louis Armstrong signed photograph, which was up by 50%. This is, however, a bit of an anomaly, as our sales price of $150 is much lower than recent average auction realizations, which are $250.
The “rarity factor” is much higher in this portfolio because of the higher values of the collectibles I was able to select for an investment of this size
The portfolio has risen in value by 112% over the past 10 years
If the historical growth rate continued for the next 10 years, the $10,000 investment would be worth $21,200 by 2030.
The best performer in the portfolio were the Chinese Empire stamps, showing growth of 329%. The Chinese collectibles market has been one of the strongest in recent years. There are now a reported 20 million stamp collectors in China, representing a third of the total number of stamp collectors in the world.
The poorest performer was the Muhammad Ali signed photo, up by 67% and still a decent growth rate.
This is an iconic photograph and — regardless of investment potential —a fantastic piece to own and hang up at home. I consider it undervalued and it should command a higher price in the future.
$100,000 Portfolio — 25% stamps; 35% coins; 10% art; 30% autographs
The $100,000 Portfolio
With a $100,000 investment, I was able to put together an investment portfolio comprising some exceptional and very rare pieces.
The portfolio has risen in value by 149% over the past 10 years. The higher growth rate reflects the expectation that rarer items will prove a stronger investment.
If the historical growth rate continued for the next 10 years, the $100,000 investment would be worth $249,000 by 2030.
The best performer in the portfolio was, again, the Chinese stamp, up 445%. The 1980 “Year of the Monkey” stamp is desirable because it is red and features the number 8, both of which are considered lucky in Chinese culture. The portfolio includes a much rarer mint block of four of this most famous stamp from China.
The poorest performer was the British “Seahorse” stamp from 1915, which was up only 40%. This stamp is considered a masterpiece in design and print quality and was effectively a piece of propaganda to present Britain’s strength during World War I. The 20-year growth rate for this stamp is much higher at 267%, so I think it is overdue a price increase in the market.
Worthy of special mention is the rare unpublished and illustrated work by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling priced at $17,500. This is a very personal piece of memorabilia and truly exceptional.
t is comforting to know that the worst performer in all three portfolios still delivered 40% growth, which is a much better rate than any bank savings accounts offer.
Obviously, historical growth rates do not necessarily mean future growth rates will be the same. They could be higher or lower in the next 10 years.
P.S. One of these options pique your interest? Head on over to our partners at JustCollecting and talk to the experts about setting up your own rare collectible portfolio today.
Personally, I’ve made a small fortune buying/selling antiquarian, first edition books which I have collected for years; another area which has been lucrative are antique guns and high end knives.
Yours for a Socialist-Free America!
Bruce ‘the Poor Man’
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Free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom!
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Sounds like you guys have been watching a lot of Antiques Roadshow:)
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