When people think of investments, most probably conjure up images of stocks and shares, or classic passion asset investments like wine or cars. However, value can also be found in a number of oddball investment routes. Here are some of the most notable.
- Personalised number plates
One of the most unique forms of investments is personalised number plates. Popular with drivers wanting to add a little bit of personality to their cars, the sequences of letters and numbers can be arranged to display names, words, initials and short phrases.
Not only can they add a bit of je ne sais quoi to a vehicle, but some can turn out to be a seriously worthwhile investment with potentially lucrative returns. Because no two number personalised plates are the same, their value is likely to grow over time.
Common phrases and names are most popular, as well as initials, and some have been bought for astonishing figures. The number plate ‘F1’ was bought for a staggering £440,000 in 2008 by businessman Afzal Kahn, and the plate ‘1D’, was purchased for a whooping £352,411 in 2009.
More regular number plates can still make tens of thousands of pounds. Investing in a number plate with random initials could be a decent bet for a future windfall, although you would be relying on someone with those initials to come forward.
Another offbeat investment that could result in serious gains is comic book collecting. Worth little more than pennies in the 1930’s, rare editions can now be valued in the millions. In 2011, Nicolas Cage’s copy of Action Comics No. 1 that featured the first ever appearance of Superman sold for a record $2,161,000, eclipsing the previous record by almost double.
Whilst accruing this kind of money is unlikely, investing in comics can still pay significant dividends. Like personalised number plates, many comics will go up in price if popular, although their condition and rarity will also be major factors in what they are worth.
Original or vintage comics will always be in demand, and unlike other investments, you don’t have to rely on auctions as it is easy to sell your comics online on websites like eBay.
Fine wine is the alcohol perhaps best associated with investment, but it could be worth taking a shot at investing in whisky. According to analysts, investment in bottles of whisky is booming, with the value of collectable bottles of Scotch accruing a record £11.18 million in the first half of 2017, a 94% rise from the same period in 2016.
Japanese bottles are particularly in demand. Wine and spirits merchant BI revealed sales of Japanese whisky rose 232% between January and August 2017. However, like the fine wine market, the whisky market can also be volatile, meaning it pays to research thoroughly into the trends of what types are selling well.
- Vintage guitars
One for music aficionados, another potentially profitable offbeat investment is vintage guitars. American Gibson, Rickenbacker and Fender guitars from the 1950s and 1960s are some of the most valuable types, with Martin, Gibson and Guild examples of coveted acoustic guitar brands.
Those played by famous musicians are even more profitable and can be sold to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Elvis’ 1969 custom Gibson Ebony Dove sold for £185,000 last year, and a Sunburst Fender Stratocaster played by Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival sold for £669,000 in 2013.
You will need to have substantial music knowledge to know exactly what type of guitars to invest in, and most can take at least a decade to show significant growth in value.
In cities with thriving startup scenes, crowdfunding has become a go to choice for those treading investment waters for the first time. There are a number of online platforms such as Crowdcube that make investing in a startup an easy and highly accessible process.
Crowdfunding requires patiences as all of the profits will initially be ploughed straight back into growing the business. However, if the startup balloons or gets bought out by a larger corporation, you could multiply your investment many times over. Like most investments, such a venture is fraught with risks, especially as around 40% of start up businesses ultimately fail. It is therefore recommended that you invest carefully and don’t put all of your eggs into one basket.