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Best investment of 2012

What is the best investment of 2012? Paul Fraser Collectibles reveals some of the best performers...



What is the best investment of 2012? Some financial advisors would recommend gold. Others maybe property, or perhaps even shares in a supposedly viable company.

Yet increasing numbers of investors from different worldwide backgrounds are choosing new places for their 'best investments of 2012'. These include some of the world's greatest investors like Warren Buffett, Bill Gross and others.

By 'new places', we mean alternative assets like collectibles - anything from art and fine wine to classic cars and rare books. There are a number of 'best investments' in collectibles, and they could be a great ways to diversity your portfolio.

Collectibles indices are rising

The price histories say it all. For instance, did you know that autograph values have increased by 14.85% pa on average in the last 11 years? And rare signatures aren't the only collectibles alternative assets you should look out for in the next 12 months.

Below are are some of Paul Fraser Collectibles' own 'best investments of 2012'.

'Best investments of 2012' #1: Americana

Christie's Americana Week auctions netted $24.8m, its highest total since 2007, in January 2012. And rival Sotheby's Americana Week sales saw a $1.14m firearms World Record for an 1849 Colt pocket revolver.


Among the big sales of 2012, this genuine carousel demonstrates the
sheer variety of Americana

In other words, there is plenty of buzz surrounding Americana collectibles - any artefacts related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the US. And it seems to appeal to collectors all over the world...

"Private buying was strong and included bidders from Europe, Asia and Latin America," said Christie's specialist Becky MacGuire after the firm's Americana Week success. "Enthusiastic participation... [and] competitive bidding in the sale rooms reflected the vibrancy and appeal of these collecting categories."

'Best investments of 2012' #2: Muhammad Ali 'The Greatest'

Did you know that Muhammad Ali's collectibles rose in value by an average of 8.25% in 2011? And that, in doing so, Ali's memorabilia outperformed the stock markets?

Ali remains a big draw for collectors at the world's top auctions. Not only because of his sporting achievements, but also because he is a rare example of a sportsmen whose renown transcended his sport. Muhammad Ali is among 'the greatest' world icons.

This has resulted in some big successes at auction. Including the auctioning of his 'Fight of the Century' trunks for a $173,102 World Record price last year.

Ali is also one of our favourite 'best investments of 2012', here at Paul Fraser Collectibles. You can own two legacies for the price of one with this rare photograph of Muhammad Ali with The Beatles, signed by Ali. We have it for sale priced at just £1,950


We have this Muhammad Ali signed photograph with The Beatles for sale priced at £1,950.00

 

'Best investments of 2012' #3: Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC) wines

Values of DRC wines are expected to remain high this year. Why? Because DRC wines are produced in such small quantities. Supply and demand takes care of the rest, leading to successes like the recent $46,360 sale of a Romanée-Conti assortment at Acker, Merrall & Condit.

Evidence of the growing wine markets was reported by Bonhams, among other firms, in January 2012. The company reported highly impressive sale increases of 50% across 2010 and 2011.

1985 DRC Burgundy Echezeaux Romanee-Conti La Tache DRC assortment
Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC) wines: coming to a top auction near you

This, we reported, is thanks to the company's "strategy of appealing across the market with a range of fine wines of all different kinds, allowing it to ride the various trends in the market."

Also look out for Bordeaux second growths and the top 10 names in Burgundy.

'Best investments of 2012' #4: Apollo 11 memorabilia

What is more impressive than flying to the Moon...? Neil Armstrong's status as the 'first man on the Moon' is one reason why he is the world's most valuable living signature, up in value by 981.8% over the last 11 years. Another reason is that he stopped signing autographs in 1994.

The success of space memorabilia isn't limited to Armstrong. Take, for instance, this gorgeous NASA photo of 'Earth above Moon' signed by all 12 Moonwalkers.

Photograph signed by all 12 moonwalkers including Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Alan Shepard
A photograph signed by all 12 Moonwalkers including Neil Armstrong

Billed as the "holy grail" of autograph collecting, the exceptional signed sheet brought $27,000 (approximately £16,860) in a 2011 US sale. This sale certainly surpassed our expectations.

Its final value eclipsed the PFC40 Autograph Index listing of £12,950 by 30.19%.


A photograph signed by all 12 Moonwalkers brought $27,000. But what could you expect to pay for a photo signed by just one? We have this Alan Bean (Apollo 12) autograph for sale priced at just £895

 

'Best investments of 2012' #5: Middle Eastern art

Western relations with the United Arab Emirates have never been better in the art markets. Recent auction successes include February 2012's World Record sale of Cezanne's painting Card Players. The work was bought for $250m by the Qatari Royal Family.

And this appreciation goes both ways. Past sale examples include the sale of Iraqi artist Jewad Salim's 'Mother and Child' sculpture which brought $384,000 (Dh 1.4m) which set a new World Record price for an Iraqi artwork.

Pink Sari - Irma Stern410.jpg
Irma Stern's artworks are big hitters in the uncharted Arabian art markets

Previous sales in Dubai saw Arab artists outsell Western 'blue chips'. Ahmed Mustapha's Qu'ranic Polyptych of Nine Panels sold for $657,000 in 2007 - outperforming Damien Hirst's artwork, Atorvastatina, which brought a relatively low $481,000, in the same sale.

Because the Arabian art markets are still fairly new and buyers are still 'catching on', rare artworks by Jewad Salim and other artists have yet to reach their full potential as assets. Growing interaction between Western and Arabian collectors will help realise this potential in coming


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Last updated: 22 February 2012