How young investors are shaking up the collectibles market

Who is the "average collector"?

Collecting has long been thought of as a pastime for the more mature individual. Men and women with a life's worth of savings and the spare time to devote to the hobby.

Yet new research I've seen suggests this is changing - and financial gain is a big motivating factor.

Spectrem's Asset Allocation, Portfolios and Primary Providers paper finds that the 35 and under category is the age group most likely to own collectibles as an investment.

Which is fascinating news.

It suggests there is a growing realisation among this age group of the importance of diversifying their portfolios - and that top-end collectibles can play their part.

After all, many of these guys will have struggled through the financial crisis, perhaps losing money on the stock markets and seeing their savings devalue sat in the bank.

They want to gain and store their wealth in places that won't devalue overnight.

Tangible assets such as coins, rare autographs and memorabilia offer just such opportunities.

PIggy Bank
Kids these days... the under 35s are leading the way when it comes to investing in collectibles

Now, for a number of collectors - and you may be one of them - the investment potential of the market is irrelevant. It's all about owning, treasuring, and keeping safe. And passing on to future generations.

Yet in a Paul Fraser Collectibles poll a while back, we found around two thirds of collectors do buy with some thoughts of investment.

And I think this viewpoint is entirely natural. Yes, you can't ever imagine wanting to sell your collection. But if your feelings or circumstances change, isn't it comforting to know you have a nice nest egg that has quietly been gaining in value over the past years and decades?

And it now appears the youngest collectors are feeling the need to invest in collectibles more than most.

Price rises

I can see the entry of this important new demographic pushing prices for top items higher.


Because there will be more competition than ever before for the investment-grade pieces - which are the rarest, most wanted items.

Which suggests collectors, whether investment minded or not, would do well to enter this market sooner rather than later - before prices reach a new level.

Thanks for reading,


PS. The research also discovered a quarter of all people with $5m or more in the bank invest in collectibles - suggesting the ultra-rich value the sector highly as a way to maintain their wealth.

Coins are the most popular investment among non-millionaires, followed by art and cars, while for millionaires it is art then coins.

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