Savers turn to collectibles as Bank of England 'downplays' rate hike

The UK's current lack of financial stability is prompting many savvy investors to turn to collectibles and other forms of alternative investments.

Inflation is expected to rise significantly during the first half of 2011, according to the governor of the Bank of England.

Speaking on Wednesday Mervyn King said that external pressures, such as rising energy and food prices, are the main contributors to the growing cost of living in the UK.

King also attempted to dampen expectations that the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would attempt to bring down inflation by raising interest rates, which are currently at a record low of 0.5%.

Will the Bank of England raise interest rates in March?

Figures released by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) last week indicated inflation had risen to 4% in January, up from its 3% December mark, leading many commentators to speculate that we could see an interest rate rise in March.

"That decision has not been taken and won't be taken until we get to the next meeting or the following meeting, or it may be many quarters," said King.

In a recent letter to the chancellor George Osborne, King had said there were "real differences of view" among members of the MPC about inflation's medium term path.

While a rate rise would be good news for those with strong savings accounts, people with tracker mortgages or overdrafts could quickly feel the pinch.

With such uncertainty surrounding the state of the world's economy, many people are turning to alternative investments to round out their portfolio in an effort to produce long-term financial gains.

Whether your passion is autographs, stamps, wine or classic cars, excellent returns can be made. For example, the PFC40 autograph index of the world's leading 40 autographs showed an average appreciation of 335.9% between 2000 and 2010.


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