The best investment I've ever seen

If you're a regular reader of this column, you'll know I'm a strong advocate of the investment potential of the collectibles market.

After all, collectibles is how I've made my livelihood for the last 35 years!

But at this time of year, when our focus turns to family, friends and the joy of the season, talk of money seems incongruous.

And that's why I want to tell you a brief story about a friend of mine, whose father's love of autograph collecting provided the best investment I've ever seen - and it didn't make him a penny.

A Father Christmas signed photo

My pal Jim's father was a keen autograph collector. Mostly of film stars from the 30s, 40s and 50s (female in the main!), but also musicians and even the occasional footballer.

It was a running joke in the family that each Christmas, Jim would buy his dad a new autograph. Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman - you get the idea.

Around 30 years ago, Jim (possibly running out of ideas) thought he would change things up a little, and gave his dad a signed black-and-white photo of a beaming Father Christmas, beautifully framed.

It was a big hit, and Jim's dad would get it out every December and place it next to the manger under the Christmas tree - much to the family's continual amusement.

Jim's two young sons grew to love this little festive tradition too, and would rush to look under the tree at Grandad's house to ensure Father Christmas' signed photo was there each year.

Jim's dad died a few years ago now.

Yet each Christmas, Jim and his family can still be found taking the dusty signed photo of Father Christmas down from the loft, and it brings smiles, laughter and lots of fond memories each season.

I'm sure it's a tradition that Jim's two boys, now fully grown, will look to continue for the generations to come.

And on that note, let me simply wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Thanks for reading,


P.S Jim has always maintained that he trekked for several days through the snows of Lapland to obtain Father Christmas' signature. To date, no-one has been able to prove otherwise!

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