Alternative investment opportunities

Posted: 30th July 2018 09:36

Many of us have concerns about our pensions or savings and whether they will be sufficient to enable us to retire when we wish. That’s why so many people choose to put their spare cash into investments with the aim of improving their financial status.
New share dealing technology and the wide range of financial investment vehicles that have been created this century mean that investing in stocks and shares has never been as popular, and there is a plethora of share dealing advice available online, from the latest financial charts to brilliant share tip articles.
Potential investors are also increasingly looking to alternative forms of investment other than stocks and shares, and there are plenty of opportunities out there. Here are three alternative investment areas that are increasingly popular.
Crowdfunding is not a new concept, but the idea has blossomed in recent years and is now a viable investment option. Thanks to the efforts of pioneering companies such as Kickstarter, there is a remarkable range of investment opportunities available, ranging from local projects to major international startups. It is this growth of diversity in the crowdfunding market that has made it more accessible to investors, along with improvements to the crowdfunding model.
For example, most crowdfunding sites offer regular feedback and contact between the investor and the organisation or business receiving the investment, which can help investors to feel more involved in the process and offer additional reassurance.
The investment return on crowdfunding projects can vary widely, of course, but crowdfunding sites will usually offer a variety of arrangements such as fixed interest rate returns or equity in the chosen business. The additional risks involved in crowdfunding mean that it is important to do your research before you go for this option, but it can be a potentially rewarding channel.
Stamp collecting is a well-known hobby, but it may surprise you to learn that stamps can also be a viable investment vehicle. And for those who make the best investments, the rewards can be considerable. For example, an extremely rare British Guiana one-cent magenta stamp was sold for an incredible $9.48 million back in 2014.
One of the advantages of investing in stamps is that they are not affected by the state of the economy in the same way that shares and property can be. Even when other investments struggle, stamps can keep their value, making them a reliable investment outlet.
Stamps are also an increasingly popular form of investment. The value of investment-grade stamps has risen consistently in recent years, according to the GB250 Index run by Stanley Gibbons. During the financial crash back in 2008, while most other investment options suffered loss, the value of stamps actually rose by 17.7%. The other big advantage of stamp investments is that you will only have to pay capital gains tax on any profits that you gain, rather than the income tax you would have to pay with share investments.
You might think of art as an investment opportunity that is only suitable for the super rich, but this is not the case. While the most high-profile art auctions and deals will grab the headlines, there are still plenty of opportunities for smaller investments. One place to start is to go along to the graduation shows produced by art colleges and scope out any rising talent. These shows are a good opportunity to pick up pieces of art that may increase in value if the artist develops into a star of the art world.
Art fairs are also booming. According to research carried out by Art Basel and UBS, there has been a dramatic increase in sales revenue from art fairs, which hit $13.3 billion in 2016, representing a rise of 57% in just six years. Art fairs are held all over the world, and they offer the opportunity for new art collectors to dip their toes in the art world and to pick up potentially lucrative investments. However, the risks involved in buying art can be considerable, and if you are new to art investment, it is important to be cautious and to do your research, but this can be a rewarding and pleasurable alternative form of investment.
Investing can be an important supplement to your income and has the potential to enable you to boost your savings and long-term wealth. The above investment opportunities are a good place to start if you are looking for an alternative way to grow your money.