Experts and investors talk collectibles - it's not just me!

I talk a lot - particularly about collecting.

Hey, this is my passion and I've been writing this weekly article for over three years now, promoting collectibles both as a fantastic hobby and a potentially lucrative investment.

I don't readily extol the virtues of something I don't believe in, and my views are backed by a huge, dedicated, global collector base.

Henry VIII signature
Henry VIII's signature: 'The rare and unique will hold their value better than the common or mundane,' says autograph dealer Jim Stinson

Yet it's always great to see when the industry's experts out there are in agreement with me.

So this week, I'm taking a back seat for "Paul Says", and letting others do the talking. You'll see that we're all singing the same tune, and the world's greatest investors and leading collectibles experts can't all be wrong.

No one claims that collectibles are the perfect investment - that simply doesn't exist. But as a hobby and diversification tool, your collection could be the finest and most enjoyable asset in your portfolio…

"While many alternatives have provided spectacular returns, there is more to investing in these assets than price appreciation. For many people, profit is furthest from their mind," head of strategic solutions at Coutts private bank, Mohammad Kamal Syed said, adding that the high-end collecting community gives investors an opportunity to "bond with like-minded people in an elite network, with assets offering escapism and a chance to re-enact history."

"Indeed, there is one thing that the Coutts Index, for all its robustness, can't measure - and that is happiness," he concluded following the release of Coutts' Passion Investments Index.

"None of my other investments give me the joy that autographs do, because they make me feel that I am holding a piece of history in my hands. In my view they are the most undervalued of all areas of collecting, especially when you consider what people are paying for even second rate paintings." - Media mogul Malcolm Forbes.

"Anyone buying contemporary art that they don't love is taking a big risk: some portion of it will be obscure within half a lifetime or less. What's undervalued today are old things: I maintain that if an artist has been famous for three or four hundred years, they're probably going to be famous in another fifty, and right now there's a lot of that going for a relative song." - James Salzmann, west coast managing director, Paddle8 auctions.

Jim Stinson has been an autograph dealer for over 35 years
: "I have never looked at autographs as "investments" but they certainly have become that, and have increased in value dramatically over time. Although there has been periods of values levelling off, these are usually short lived, and I have yet to see any dramatic downturn."

"From an investment point of view the advice I was always given as a young collector was to buy the best I could afford as the rare and unique will hold their value better than the common or mundane

"Coin collecting is a fabulous investment," said joint-buyer of the Liberty Head nickel Jeff Garrett. "If you look back and see what coins have done in the last 10 years, a lot of them have doubled and tripled in price."

"The rare coin market is alive and well. There is tremendous demand from individuals looking for alternative places to invest money. There is also great interest starting to build from international buyers."

"We estimate the overall coin market in the U.S. at about $5 billion in 2013. Smart investors and collectors see a good buying opportunity with some of their profits taken from the increase in stocks being reinvested in rare coins," said Professional Numismatists Guild president, Terry Hanlon.

"There can be a wrong time to buy and wrong time to sell - and we never lose sight that this is a hobby - but it is also true to say that motor cars (and motorcycles) have net let any down if kept with a long term view. Everyone is limited to a budget. The one tip is to acquire the best example you can find with your budget, as opposed to buying a car that requires professional restoration - James Knight, Bonhams group motoring director. 

Rachel Pownall, an associate professor of finance at Tilburg University in the Netherlands
, explains the appeal of collectibles as investments. "Their performance tends not to fluctuate with that of stocks and bonds and they can hold their value during periods of expected inflation," she says.

"They therefore offer an alternative form of portfolio diversification across assets and economic cycle."

"Four times profit, it's better than the stock market." - Bond investor Bill Gross after selling his stamp collection.

Thanks guys - until next week,

Paul Fraser

PS. Click here to see our investment-grade pieces for sale


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