The oldest phrase in the world of business and investments is that you have to speculate to accumulate. It’s not always true – it’s actually possible to grow your net worth by being extremely cautious – but it generally holds true that people who make money quickly do so by making wise investment decisions. For most people, that means playing the stock market and keeping an eye on what’s hot or what’s not. Unless you have the necessary experience and qualifications, that usually means paying someone to keep track of all that for you and providing you with regular advice. We always strongly recommend speaking to a professional whenever you’re considering dabbling in the investment market.
We appreciate that investing in stocks and shares isn’t for everybody, though. The markets are often similar to a well-disguised version of an online slots website, where money is frequently won or lost without any rhyme or reason and in a manner that’s impossible to predict. Ironically, investing in a franchise for an online slots website is actually an increasingly popular way to make money because it’s a market that’s growing rapidly, but we’ll leave that story for another day! Gambling with your money as freely and easily as you would if you were playing Fluffy Favourites is too big a risk and too abstract a concept for some types of investors. They prefer to deal with tangible assets.
If you prefer to spend your money on physical assets, you might be wondering what types of assets provide the best opportunity for growth. We’ve identified a few of the safest bets for you.
Great paintings and works of art make for strong investment choices – or, as we’ve seen it put elsewhere – fine art makes for a fine investment. Art is one of the very few types of assets that consistently rises in value no matter what’s happening with the markets in general. If you have a piece of art that someone wants and there’s a demand for it in the market, you can generally make a good return on it so long as you hold on to it for long enough. Ignore prints. Go for original works that are signed by the artist and have a certificate of provenance. Always keep your proof of purchase, and invest in a quality frame if you’re buying a painting or a picture. Established names always attract higher prices, but spotting an emerging artist and acquiring their work before their reputation grows is especially rewarding. As a rule of thumb, anything that could be deemed ‘iconic’ is a money-earner. Look for art that makes social or political statements.
You’ll see the word ‘booming’ to describe almost every type of promising investment opportunity, but it’s often an exaggeration of the situation. That’s not the case with the classic car market, which has genuinely been booming for the past five years. The emphasis, however, is on the word ‘classic.’ The majority of cars lose a decent chunk of their value the moment you drive them off the dealer’s forecourt. There are four main factors that determine the value of a classic car – condition, age, rarity, and brand. Unsurprisingly the most popular and desirable classic cars are made by Porsche, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz. At the time of writing, the hot spot for the market is cars made by those manufacturers between 1950 and 1970. Limited edition cars made in later years can generally be considered classic as well. There are plenty of guides online regarding what is and isn’t deemed a desirable classic car, so make sure you check references and price guides before you buy.
There’s a reason that thieves periodically strip this most humble of materials out of telephone wires and overhead cables – it has an inherent value that makes it worth their while. Its value lies in the fact that it’s a multi-purpose metal that finds a variety of uses in the construction industry and also in the technology industry. That’s because it has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. Every heating and cooling system in every new-build home and office in the world uses copper, and it’s also used to build components in computers. Copper makes the world go round. Buying raw copper is an option, so long as you have a contact who you can sell it on to at a profit, but from a long-term investment point of view, it sometimes makes more sense to invest either in copper coins or even copper bullion bars. Your adviser should be familiar with a few options on this front if it interests you.
There are two universal truths about the human race. One is that everybody will die one day, so undertakers will never be out of work. The other is that everybody needs to eat, so farmers will never be out of work either. That makes farmland a good investment choice in many countries around the world. Buying ‘new’ farmland that isn’t already being worked on isn’t an opportunity that comes along often (and should usually be jumped on when it does), but farmers and co-operative farming groups often seek investment. You can buy shares in the land, entitling you to a return on any produce sold from that land. With some exceptions, farmland is an appreciable asset that holds onto its value even when times are hard, and yet it’s an option that very few people ever consider.
Gemstones look pretty. People like to spend money on pretty things. That creates demand, and the demand creates profit. It really is as simple as that when it comes to investing in gemstones. As is the case with any tangible asset, scarcity and desirability are the driving factors of gemstone investments. Rubies are especially likely to appreciate in value, but so are emeralds, blue sapphires, and jadeite. Any kind of gemstone that’s used to make expensive jewelry generally makes money over time because the price of jewelry almost always goes up. The key to success here is to buy the gemstones, hold on to them for as long as possible, and then sell them in the future when their value has increased. A potential positive here is that you can start relatively cheaply with a few gemstones and add to your collection slowly over time, building value as you go.
The five physical asset investment options we’ve listed here are time-tested and have been proven to succeed in all market conditions. That doesn’t make them guaranteed moneymakers – because there’s no such thing – but as part of a sensible investment plan (by which we mean one that’s been agreed with your adviser), they can make a significant difference to your net worth. Thanks for stopping by and reading our article today. If you’re considering putting your money somewhere in the near future, we hope it’s given you something to think about!