Are items of craftsmanship worth investing in? Here are some comparisons:
Antiques and Collectables: Over the last so many years, these are reckoned to have done twice as well as stocks. But there are several other huge advantages. You can start a collection with virtually nothing; you can learn about a special subject and this can lend it a lot more interest; you can use the items; you can fill in some of your time, at the week-end, by browsing around markets.
|Few great violinists would not sacrifice a lot for an instrument by Stradivarius or Guenarius. The quality of sound has never been matched. Hard to say what they would have cost 300 years ago. Now, they are worth $2m at least.|
And you can use the items while, you hope, they are slowly going up in value. Most homes have several incomplete sets of plates, for example. When some are broken, you will find that the line has been discontinued. Why not splash out on a set that should last a century or more? It will cost you more at he beginning but each breakage can be replaced at far less cost than a dozen or more new items. The same applies to cutlery, chairs furniture and all the other necessities around the house.
Stocks and Shares: These are the first choice for most people. Whole forests are dedicated to information, lists are produced almost hourly and huge fortunes have been made - mostly by a few very knowledgable experts. But a share certificate has little visual presence and is best kept in a bank, anyway.
Houses: The less said the best said, at the moment. Only, you have to live somewhere and, if you take what you would otherwise have to pay in rent into consideration, even the present "down" becomes more bearable.
Gold and Coins: These have done better than almost anything else. But they have to be kept hidden away safely and they do not pay dividends.
Hint: Don't go to retail shops. The owners cannot sell more than a few items each week and so the mark-up needs to be enormous. Trust to you own judgment; it can be a lot more rewarding financially and considerably more fun.