Travel firm Thomas Cook's shares have closed down at 75% today, due to what the firm has described as "deterioration of trading". Political unrest in Egypt and Tunisia and floods in Thailand are all said to be to blame...
Thomas Cook is now in negotiations with banks about its debt and future. This news marks a low point in the company's 145-year history - and has also raised questions regarding the firm's sponsorship of London's 2012 Olympics.
That a company of Thomas Cook's standing has found itself in such dire straits offers further evidence of the huge volatility of the stock markets...
Yet, at the same time, investment grade collectibles are continuing to increase in value.
Top auction houses like Christie's are regularly releasing news of their latest multi-million pound auctions (Christie's recent successes include the World Record sale of an LS Lowry work for £5.6m).
Elsewhere, one analyst described a recent Sotheby's art sale as "one of the best auctions I've ever seen in my life..."
So what's the secret behind Christie's and Sotheby's success?
In his recent interview with Paul Fraser Collectibles, the UK finance journalist Toby Walne perhaps put it best: "I think the recent collapse in the stock market has reminded people about the whole smoke-and-mirrors thing of stocks and shares.
"There is something refreshingly tangible about holding a collectable investment in your own hands," enthused Walne.
Around the world, wealthy buyers fed up with the topsy-turvy performances of mainstream assets like stock and shares are turning to tangible assets like investment grade collectibles.
Thanks to their liquidity - and evolving technologies like internet bidding - the markets for high-end collectibles are constantly growing.
In contrast to stolid shares and bonds, factors like diversification, pleasure of ownership and increasing demographics are making collectibles look increasingly like viable alternatives.
Meanwhile the historic returns of collectibles speak for themselves...
In comparison to the ½% interest you could expect to get from a bank savings account, increasingly popular 'alternative investment' indices like the PFC40 Autograph Index are showing that autographs are generating an average compound increase of 14.84% per annum.
And increasing confidence in the viability of collectibles isn't only felt by investors, but sellers too.
For instance, so confident are we of the long-term potential of collectibles here at Paul Fraser Collectibles that we offer a 120% guarantee with our investment grade stock items.
In other words, you can gain 20% on the value of your collectibles in five years. Such opportunities show the increasing strengths of collectibles as 'alternative assets.'
View our special investment pages to find out how you can today benefit by investing in the following investment areas...