They won’t break the bank – and might even make a profit

Mention the word “investment” and most think of real estate or shares – big money and maybe big risk. But investing doesn’t have to be large scale. It can be low-cost, low-risk – even a bit of fun.

As a get-rich-quick scheme, antiques are rarely a good investment. But for those who like to live with fine things and enjoy them over the years, antiques can often perform as well as stocks and bonds.

According to Britain’s Antique Guild, a study that compares investing in furniture with stocks and bonds noted that furniture performs as well as shares, but silver and gold will, at a minimum, hold their value.

Most people buy jewellery, but – for those with a real love of precious stones – taking the time to consider which items hold true intrinsic value can really pay off.

Good-quality wine that is cellared correctly will generally always rise in value, says Kane Munro, director of Accountancy Online. The temptation to drink the 1951 Grange Hermitage, one of the most expensive, would have been strong, he adds.

With Australia Post moving into the digital age, the humble postage stamp may soon be obsolete and collectors are always on the lookout for a rare one. So it might be worth digging out the old stamp collections you had when you were a kid.

Financial planner Peter Horsfield says coins are a popular investment choices for collectors. “The obvious risk with this investment is fraud and theft,” he warns.

Time Share
Time share purchases are more a lifestyle investment than financial, says Horsfield. Be mindful of annual costs, your frequency of use and costs of travel there. “Due diligence, as with any investment, is paramount here.”

Vinyl Records
Most weekends many people search garage sales and flea markets for vinyl. You need to know what you’re looking for, because a $10 vinyl can fetch 50 times that if you find a musical diamond in mint condition. For instance, a 1963 pressing of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is worth US$20,000 to US$30,000.

“Like beauty, art is in the eye of the beholder,” Munro says. “But when a shark suspended in formaldehyde sells for $8 million, there’s clearly money to be made with the abstract”

Classic Cars
There is a club out there for every conceivable make and type of car. If you love your cars and enjoy restoring old ones, then it’s a very lucrative market.

Says Munro: “When someone can sell a 1960 VW Kombi van for $202,000 [earlier this year in Melbourne], you know there’s money to be made for the astute fixer-upperer.”

Small Business
You read the stories every day: the collector who turns a passion into a fortune. “Like-minded people can make anything happen in business,” says finance author Elizabeth Horsley.

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