An an investment, collectibles are a crapshoot

Thursday, November 15th, 2012 By

Comic books

There are some alternative investements, such as investment collectibles like comic books, but one had better know what they’re doing before taking the plunge. Photo Credit: Sam Howzit/Flickr.com/CC-BY

There are a number of alternative investment vehicles besides the usual stuff like stocks and bonds, which some people put money and effort into collecting. As an investment, collectibles or at least some of them, can be valuable but it varies incredibly widely.

Comic books as investment collectibles

Comic books are one such type of investment collectibles. The holy grail of comics is Action Comics Number 1, according to Daily Finance, the first appearance of Superman. A copy went for $1.5 million in 2010. Amazing Fantasy Number 15 and Detective Comics Number 27, the first appearances of Spider Man and Batman, respectively, are also, both of which have sold for $1m or more.

Coins and stamps

Coins and postage stamps are other investment collectibles. Some rare coins go for big money. Some American examples from CNBC and The Telegraph include the 1838 Half Eagle, a gold piece worth $100,000, a “Flowing Hair” Liberty Dollar, one of which sold in 2005 for $7.85 million, an 1849 Double Eagle, valued at $7.59 million, a $150,000 1795 gold Five Dollar coin, a 1933 $10 gold coin worth $330,000 and the $2.99 million Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, a $20 gold coin made between 1907 and 1933.

As far as stamps, the most expensive stamp is the “Treskilling Yellow,” a Swedish three-skilling, or shilling, stamp, misprinted in yellow, only one of which is known to exist. It sold in 2010, according to the Daily Mail, for 1.6 million pounds (about $2.535 million). Earlier this year, a German retiree, Reinhold Hoffmann, may have found a rare one-cent 1868 “Z-grill” stamp, an American stamp from around the Civil War era. There is only one known example, in a museum. He found it in a $25 book of old stamps at a flea market, but if it’s authenticated, could fetch $7 million or more.

In cars

Cars are another form of investment collectibles. The classics can be insanely valuable. For instance, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, according to AutoBlog, goes for about $800,000. According to MSNBC, a 1966 Shelby Cobra Super Snake, one of two ever made, sold for $5.5 million in 2007 and later that year, a 1971 Plymouth HemiCuda convertible went for $2.5 million, according to CNN.

A catch

There is, of course, a catch. All the above named investment collectibles are rare, desirable and in good shape. Comic books, according to Daily Finance, are valued by grading, or condition and quality and by rarity. A special one-off issue, issues where something big like a popular character’s debut or death happens or misprint are rarer and more desirable. Pre-World War II comics are where the money usually is. Generally, anything older than 1960 isn’t that valuable.

Same goes for the coins and the stamps; they are incredibly rare and thus valuable. Same goes for cars. Only the already rare and already desirable go for big bucks. The Gullwing is basically the first supercar and less than two dozen HemiCuda convertibles were ever made. A mint Dodge Dart? BMW prices, and low-end 3 series at that. If you’re lucky.

Investment collectibles available to most people won’t fetch quite these prices, but that doesn’t mean only peanuts, just not lottery money. Some mint-condition, non-super rare comics can go for upward of $10,000, and some classic cars can fetch $50,000 or more in show condition. One has to do some research before taking the plunge.

Sources

Daily Finance

CNBC

Daily Finance

The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/8655250/The-10-most-expensive-coins-in-the-world-in-pictures.html

Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2223020/German-pensioner-finds-rare-U-S-stamp-worth-3m-flea-market–afford-fly-U-S-authenticate-it.html

AutoBlog: http://www.autoblog.com/2012/05/30/why-the-mercedes-300sl-gullwing-is-so-damn-special-as-described/

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16745031/ns/business-autos/t/shelby-cobra-sells-million/#.UKQGbaBVPcs

CNN: http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/20/autos/scottsdale_saturday_roundup/index.htm

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