Unless you truly find stocks and bonds fascinating and their mechanics a thing of beauty, it’s really hard to get excited about traditional forms of investment. It’s 90% numbers and theories with a little bit of tangible dynamic thrown in – corporate drama, buy-outs, product announcements, et cetera. Brokers and investment firms love this because it gives them a reason to exist – who wouldn’t rather hand over the reins to professionals for a small fee?
Luckily for those of us less than eager to dive into the stock market there are more interesting ways to use our money to make money than traditional forms of investment. Truth be told investing doesn’t have to be boring. Here are several investment options which highlight this fact:
Far from the abstract math of Wall Street, real estate markets are tangible and understandable from a layperson’s point-of-view. Everyone is familiar with buildings, neighborhoods, and so forth. Property values are on the up, which means if real estate is something you’d want to get into as an investment option now is the time to get started. With that in mind it’s worth noting that the real estate market will almost always be a fast and wild ride in this way. Even long-term commitment to a single property or series of properties will present a wide array of repair surprises, tenant issues, and a changing environment. However if exciting is what you’re after, real estate investment is a perfect option.
In an age when every communication and data point is being transferred and tracked through the digital realm there is an increasing amount of value being placed on historical documents. This presents a great opportunity for history buffs to invest in something they find fascinating rather than dull. Letters and forms featuring the signatures of historically significant personalities, such as those bought and sold through the Raab Collection, are of particular interest to document investors. Valued often in the tens of thousands of dollars and upwards, these centuries-old pieces of paper require utmost care to preserve their condition. With that said, a high quantity of valuable historical documents can be amassed without much demand for storage space. In this way they are similar to holding bearer bonds or cash. However, unlike cash and bearer bonds, historical documents are not easy to transfer in the event they are stolen.
Similar to historical documents, antiques are an investment option suited perfectly for fans of history. Whether only decades old or a thousand years and counting, vetted antique items typically provide a secure investment for the purchaser. Value inherently increases as time goes on – so long as the condition of the item stays constant. Again, similar to keeping old documents, antique investing requires the ability to ensure climate control and storage security. Unlike historical documents, old objects tend to demand more storage space. However if items are being bought and sold on a regular basis for incremental gains then storage issues can become less of an issue.
Sculpture and paintings are fast and away becoming popular vehicles of alternative investment. Historically a market almost exclusively controlled and operated by the upper crust, art dealing for profit is becoming an exciting opportunity for average-income investors thanks to the Internet. Once separated, the art world is unified on a global scale which has expanded demand and opened an array of art forms worthy of resale. The downside to art dealing is that forgery is rampant to the point of being a cost of doing business for most investors. Additionally, unlike historical documents and antiques, art value is not always enshrined by age and condition. Certain styles and artists become popular, then they become yesterday’s news. It’s fun to chase the next big art craze, but be prepared for an exhaustive learning process and letdowns before striking success.
Precious metals and stones seem to never stop dazzling people. Add in their industrial uses and it’s easy to see why they’ve been considered a secure investment by cultures around the world for thousands of years. Perhaps no other alternative investment option is as synonymous with the “high life” as gold and diamonds but it’s important to keep the glamour associated with these materials from clouding your vision. Similar to the art world, jewelry markets are havens for shady business activity. Documenting jewelry is important to insure against theft, but keep in mind thieves will usually destroy jewelry to melt down the metal and sell the diamonds individually, which essentially make the metal and stones untraceable. This is why storage at home, even in seemingly secure safes, should be avoided in favor of off-site storage in heavily protected bank vaults.
Not everybody wants to master the oftentimes dull and dense stock and bonds market, but everybody wants to see returns on their money if given the chance. Interesting investment options exist to fill the void, but each one comes with their own set of pros and cons. Just like any investment there’s going to be a certain level of risk involved. Learn everything you can, pay close attention, and never take someone for their word when money is involved. Do this and alternative investments can provide an exciting source of profit.