Find out more about alternative investing
Alternative investments tempt investors with relatively little competition compared to the stock market or funds. Alternatives have a rare touch of rarity about them, as they focus on uniqueness: unique diamonds, comic books, works of art or even… LEGO blocks.
What is alternative investing
Alternative investing is any form of investment that does not fall into one of the so-called conventional investment categories.This may be related to an asset in which you invest, but also to the very nature of the process, a very narrow investment niche, etc. Alternative investors like opportunities of making profit that are ignored by others and where there’s no fierce competition.
Alternative investments attract mainly collectors of works of art, old games, comics or books. In such a case, the asset seems to be very obvious, and the investor himself has niche information at the very outset, which allows him to tell apart for instance a unique, expensive game from a low-value mass-produced one.
And a yet another thing worth noting is that valuable items are sometimes sold by laymen – while no one sells a diamond for a fraction of its price, postage stamps or toys can be put up for sale at a bargain price, even though they may be worth a fortune in the alternative market.
Something unique – what can you invest in?
Basically, in everything you can buy, to resell it at a profit later on. But, you need to know what actually is worth investing in.
Alternative investors like the privacy of their own home the most, as this type of investment most often involves purchasing physical objects. Of course, there are non-physical forms of alternative investments – such as social loans, alternative funds or financial pyramids. The lion’s share of this type of investments are in physical objects.
Investment diamonds are immensely popular, as they quickly gain in value, are associated with luxury and have an individual touch. Each diamond is unique and different, has a set of individual features, a certificate and marking. Rich investors are therefore willing to spend even millions of dollars on coloured diamonds of unique cut or size.
But, alternative investing is not only about investing in raw materials. The products of human hands, such as comic books, are very much in demand as well. First unique Superman comic books have been valued at $2.2 million. Every year, rare comic books increase in price, sometimes doubling in value within a few months.
Just as great a treat are limited figures or even sets of Lego blocks. Those are a little bit cheaper – a small investor who bought a limited edition of the “Millennium Falcon” Lego for a thousand zlotys can get a tenfold return on his investment after some time. Rare Amiga, Atari or Nintendo Entertainment System games are also in demand – the rarest ones cost several hundred thousand dollars each and will only increase in value.
However, if pop culture is not within the range of interests of a given investor, they can make similar profit on wine, beer and works of art. Whisky is doing very well in the alternative investment market – for some reason it’s been preferred by investors in recent years. Rare coins, postage stamps or watches as well as furniture are also getting more and more expensive.
Examples of alternative investments
In addition to the examples mentioned above, you can invest… basically in everything that has historical value. Thus, manuscripts or old maps, unique books or collections are really valuable. At the other end of the scale there are… rare game items, like for instance Counter Strike weapon skins. It may seem absurd, but virtual game items, such as colourful weapon designs or Team Fortress II hats are worth several hundred thousand dollars each, their value goes up and they keep finding new buyers. However, unlike in the case of physical objects, when the popularity of a given game wanes, such digital signs of wealth and commitment quickly become completely worthless.
There is no clear answer to a question what is worth investing in – because you can invest in a multitude of interesting, niche objects or industries. When making alternative investments, it is sometimes worthwhile to be guided not only by a desire for profit, but also by a passion for specific areas and items. The best niche investors are almost always enthusiasts, who have extensive knowledge about their niche and a very personal attitude towards it.