What Is It?
Generally speaking, a collectible is any physical asset that appreciates in value over time because it is rare or it is desired by many. Many people think of collectibles as things like stamps, coins, fine art or sports cards, but there really are no strict rules as to what is or is not a collectible.
Objectives and Risks
The objectives behind investing in collectibles vary depending on the person and the collectible. Collectibles can take very long to increase in value, and they offer no assurances as to their value in the future. Furthermore, unlike other investments, collectibles offer no income. The one advantage is that most collectibles increase in value along with inflation.
How to Buy or Sell It
Collectibles can be bought just about anywhere. More popular places are flea markets, antique stores, collectible retailers, auctions, garage sales, and more recently, online exchanges such as eBay. The value of the collectible can vary widely, but is dependent for the most part on supply and demand for the asset.
The maturity for a collectible can also widely vary. For fads such as Beanie Babies or Pokémon cards, the price of the collectible can reach its peak very quickly. Other items such as antiques can take several decades before appreciating in value. (To read more on collectible investments, see Contemplating Collectible Investments.)
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