All investment strategies come down to one thing: Picking the right investments that will hopefully grow in value over time and provide big returns. While most turn to the stock market in this endeavor, some turn to more creative, geeky options.
A geeky collecting pastime — if managed correctly — can really pay off. It’s a matter of knowing what’s out there, how much it’s worth (or could be worth) and keeping it in mint condition for years. It may seem like hard work, but if you do it right, an investment in collectibles could pay off big time.
Below are nine geeky collectibles that are already worth a lot.
1. Board Games
Old board games have always been considered collectibles, especially special edition versions like the Monopoly game set that was created by jeweler Sidney Mobell. It was crafted with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and 23k gold and is now worth $2 million.
Just remember that games won’t increase in value if you play them!
2. Baseball Cards
Baseball cards are another popular collector’s item and for good reason. While they start of really cheap (even today a pack of baseball cards averages $2.99) they can really increase in value. If you’re lucky enough to snag rookie cards, or have your card signed by the player, the value of the card could increase exponentially.
It may not seem that cards you acquire now will be worth anything, but keep this in mind before you throw away your card collection: the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner card, which is the card of a star shortstop who played from 1897 to 1917, is so scarce (only about 60 in existence today) that the one once owned by Wayne Gretzky just sold for $2.1 million in 2013.
3. Comic Books
A lot of kids read comic books, but who knew that some, if kept in mint condition, could fall into the category of vintage memorabilia? Geeks all it, which is why many of them make it a practice of picking up comic books and never touching them again.
Some comic books that have already made some serious imprints in the collectible world include the Action Comics #1 printed in June 1938 and Superman #1 printed in 1939. With cover prices of 10 cents each, mint copies have sold for $2.16 million and $250k, respectively. Not a bad return! If you’re looking for more comic books to collect, consider those from the 1930s to 1960s with first appearances of major characters.
Stamps, like baseball cards, fall into the category of items that many people know to collect. But do you know just how valuable a stamp could be? Currently, the most valuable stamp out there is the “Tre Skilling Banco yellow” Swedish stamp which sold for $2.3 million in 1996.
Most stamps won’t bring in anything near this type of return; however, if you’re looking for a good investment, you might consider Old Victoria stamps from the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Also, Israeli stamps from the years 1948 to 1952 are predicted to be worth a lot in the future.
5. Movie Collectibles
Over the years, items from movies have become major collectible items. A good example of this is Tom Cruise and his Mission Impossible franchise. It became so big after the release of the movie that the merchandising and property rights to the movie were worth more than the wage he earned for his performance.
Now, vintage figures from popular movies are falling into the category of vintage memorabilia. There’s plenty out there to take advantage of, but the items that have a chance of being worth more down the line are the ones that are considered limited edition and come with very few pieces and special certificates.
6. Star Wars Collectibles
Star Wars would normally fall into the movie collectibles category, but let’s be honest: It deserves its own category. As a major space epic that crossed over to the big time, just about anything you can find from the movies is worth something.
One item that is noted for its value is the Darth Vader fighting helmet from 1980′s The Empire Strikes Back that was used throughout various fight scenes in the movie. Because it was designed specifically for that movie, it holds a lot of value – $115,000 in 2003.
7. Dolls, Action Figures and Other Playthings
Dolls and action figures can be found in the homes of collectors all over the world. There’s something about not playing with something you’re supposed to play with that makes it incredibly valuable. For example, the original 1959 Barbie doll, in mint condition, could be worth $8,000. And the original G.I. Joe 12-inch figure is valued at $200,000.
But who could forget the popularity of Beanie Babies, one of which, Peanut the royal blue elephant, was worth as much as $5,000 at one point due to a defect that made him darker than originally intended.
Coins have always been known as collectibles that hold their weight in value if they’re well-maintained and rare. A perfect example of an extremely valuable coin is the American “Double Gold Eagle” coin made in 1933. Only three were ever circulated — two went to museums and one ended up in a private collection. Because of its extreme rarity, it was last auctioned in New York for $7.6 million!
Of course, you shouldn’t expect to make this much money from your personal coin collection. However, if you keep your hands on rare gold, silver and even copper pieces, you could bring in thousands. Just remember to never clean your coins because this disturbs the original surface and affects their value.
Books are not just for reading anymore. They’re very much for collecting and can be a major investment source if you play your cards right. In particular, photography, art and history books, as well as collectible first editions from classic authors like Dickens — and even a few contemporary authors — are worth a good amount. In fact, a first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses in excellent condition can sell for as much as $60,000.
Valuable collectibles and vintage memorabilia don’t end here. You could collect Beatles, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson albums, as well as and other items to invest now and have the promise of big returns in the future. The key, however, is to really do your research on the appreciation value of an item before you buy it. Then take great care of it after you’ve obtained it to really watch it make your money grow.