Alternative Investments Explained: Stamps

Thursday, February 21, 2013. admin @themovechannel

This week, Alternative Marketplace puts its magnifying glass over the minute world of stamp investments.

Alternative Investments Explained: from eco investments to precious metals, explains the alternative products vying for your cash and assesses which assets are worth taking the risk.

This week, Alternative Marketplace puts its magnifying glass over the minute world of stamp investments.

What does "philatelic investment" mean? To put it simply, stamps. The most portable alternative investment product in the world, the size of stamps may make them appear insignificant but to the trained eye, they can yield impressive returns - but only if stored correctly.

The size of stamps makes them a delicate product to keep and their condition is directly proportional to their worth. Unlike precious metals, rare coins or other tangible commodities, a slight tear in paper can significantly reduce a stamp's value. Other vital factors include the demand from other collectors, the number available on the market, its thematic appeal as part of a set or year, and current perceptions of value. The latter is affected by current events, such as deaths or anniversaries.

Stamps have always been associated with older investors and hobbyists, with stamp collecting popular as pastime many decades ago. Over the years, though, certain stamps become rarer than others. Ironically, the knack to spot a rare stamp and know which to keep is a skill that is only developed with years of experience from stamp collecting. Once that knowledge has been acquired, it is possible to understand a sensible buying and selling price for a particular stamp, thus calculating the return on your investment.

Becoming involved with stamp clubs, attending auctions and shows and working with an experience dealer are the best ways to make sure your investment is sensible. Firms such as Bloomberg also publish lists of top rare British stamps on their website.

 Stamps can be purchased from collectors directly via the internet as well as through auctions, dealers and stamp investment firms. Like the products themselves, the stamp trading market appears small to untrained eyes, but the overall market has an approximate total of 48 million collectors and a combined worth of around £5 billion.

Size isn't all that matters.

For more information on how to invest in stamps, visit

Author - Dan Johnson
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