We live in a world where consumer products that were meant to be enjoyed become investment products. They stop being consumed and used to be stored with security measures in order to revalue and sell them. Investing in tangibles is becoming more frequent and common.
In October 2020 Credit Swisse dedicated a special to investing in collectibles by millionaires. Credit Swisse focuses on fine arts, classic cars, specialty wines, jewelry and watches, bags, and musical instruments. But the truth is that there are many other products designed for consumption and enjoyment in the beginning and that have become investment goods.
Vintage video games
In July 2021, 1.56 million dollars were paid for a pristine and unopened copy of Super Mario 64, for the Nintendo 64 video game console, breaking the record for the most expensive second-hand video game ever auctioned. The record had been set a few days earlier with a rare 1987 edition of “The Legend of Zelda,” for $ 870,000.
We have already talked about the subject, as some Rolex watches are obtaining a greater profitability than the same bag. Daytona models similar to Paul Newman’s have been highly sought after, but steel models are being auctioned for twice what they were bought, as the waiting list can exceed two years. Rolex is not the only watch manufacturer whose models are appreciated, but it is surely the best known and where we are seeing the craziest appreciations.
Star Wars Toys
Some toys, especially Star Wars figures, sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars if they are in good condition in their original packaging. The financial website Bloomberg has dedicated a special to it, collecting the most expensive and the cheapest. Other toys are the micromachines, some of these produced in the 80s and 90s can be sold for up to a couple of hundred euros.
Normally we are used to a car depreciating as soon as we take it out of the dealership, it is worth less and less until we almost have to pay a scrap dealer to take it out of the way. But some vehicles keep going up in price, especially if they are almost new. In 2018 the sales price record was broken, a Ferrari GTO sold for more than 48 million dollars, breaking the record as the most expensive car ever sold. A 1994 McLaren F1 touched twenty million dollars at auction, although in 2018 there were voices saying that the market is not what it was.
We surely haven’t thought about it, but some sneakers are no longer bought to be used, but to be resold at a higher price. The rarest models are even auctioned at Shotebys. The price of some that could be bought for only a few hundred dollars, they sell for a few thousand and there are applications dedicated exclusively to the collection of sneakers. Some say that sneakers are the cars of the 20th century.
Pokemon cards, Magic the Gathering and other games
In April 2021 a Pokemon card was purchased for $ 138,812. Its new owner? Rapper Logic (allow me a second to appreciate the irony) that you couldn’t buy them as a kid. Also the cards from the Magic The Gathering game that I spent time and money on in my teens have gone up in price in some cases (I’ll have to see if I find them). Although it shouldn’t surprise us, baseball cards also have a very loyal following in the US.
Lego toy sets
Yes, the plastic brick toy. According to a 2019 study by the Russian Higher School of Economics, Lego sets have become better investments than gold, with some sets selling for over $ 10,000 if they are in good condition. It is not difficult to find videos on YouTube that recommend which sets will be appreciated in the future, nor is it difficult to find news about people who have stolen Legos of considerable value in the market.
Investing in art is nothing new, but I think we cannot leave it behind. Whether it’s a large Jeff Koons sculpture or something more modest, art is a classic investment that can pay off. Of course, the NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) and the crypto art, have given a push that adds a new dimension to the art.
Stradivari’s violins are still unbeatable today, but also that of other luthiers such as Amati, Rugeri and Gagliano. The price of these products is outside the young performers, so they are loaned and provided to the young by the wealthy owners.
Rock and pop memorabilia (things)
An electric guitar used by Kurt Cobain on his first tour with Nirvana has been able to exceed $ 100,000, a set list of this same group (a role in which the songs are put and the order in which they will sound) does not go below $ 5,000 when auctioned. Surely it is something that surely they threw dozens of times in the trash after the performance. An album signed by the Beatles sold for $ 36,250 at auction. In general this can be extended to anything a celebrity has ever worn, a suit worn by Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat has been sold for more than $ 3,000.
Furniture and household items
The original furniture of the 50s and 60s begins to be seen with greedy eyes after the Mad Men series. But be careful, it is not worth anything, the best example would be an Eames chair. Interest in Japanese pottery from the Meiji period (late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) is also beginning to emerge following a shortage of ancient Chinese pottery on the market.
Like furniture, they share decades. The 60s and 70s, but also the American fashion of the 40s, not so affected by the war. The garments of Mary Quant, creator of the miniskirt, stand out. But there are exceptions, in 2015, a fuchsia Hermés bag made of crocodile skin and with diamonds was auctioned in Hong Kong and fetched the price of more than $ 200,000. There has also been an increase in prices on Chanel and Loius Vuiton bags, kept in good condition.
Wines and spirits
I don’t know if you think the wine is to be stored (and probably spoiled) or to drink, but in 2017 five bottles of French Burgundy wine were auctioned at Shotebys for $ 1.98 million. I am sure that whoever decided to save them never imagined that 70 years later one could buy an entire vineyard for the value of five bottles. I also wonder do you expect to sell or drink them? Not so high prices, but several times their initial price, have also been reached for bottles of Whiskey.
The collector’s item par excellence, perhaps a bit of the doldrums in recent years with the rise of electronic communications and after scandals such as the Philatelic Forum or Afinsa in Spain (which should serve as a warning to anyone who tells us to invest in tangible and consumer products).
Ask readers, do you think you can predict what consumer product is going to become a profitable investment in the future?
By the way, to be a publication on economics, business and finance, we have not mentioned the most typical: coins and bills.
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