9 Completely Worthless Collectibles
WEST HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- If you stare at the Thomas Kinkade painting on your wall each day thinking "There's my retirement fund," prepare to pour skim lattes until you're 90.
Collecting as a hobby can be a fun, worthwhile and potentially lucrative way to pass time. Amassing collectibles as investments, however, can be a disappointing endeavor yielding nothing but piles of devalued tchotchkes for the next of kin to sort through.
The founder of comic book industry bible Wizard, Gareb Shamus, said a year ago that the best advice a collector could heed was to buy what they liked and do their homework. Then again, he's also a Spider-Man collector who paid $1,700 for an issue with a cover drawn by artist Todd MacFarlane featuring the villain Sandman. The book's value jumped to between $30,000 and $40,000 when the Sandman appeared in the latest Spider-Man film.
Collectors such as Shamus have entire industries helping them along, with the Certified Guaranty Co. determining comic book quality and grading criteria. Wine aficionados have such resources as Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Bordeaux market forecasts. Art collectors have the big houses such as Sotheby's (BID), Christie's and Freeman's and their sales trends."Collectibles" investors, however, are beholden to a very subjective, eBay (EBAY)-driven market in which their precious knick-knack can be worth $800 or less than $50. While sites such as Kovels.com offer some guidance, "collectibles" and the companies that make them are slaves to demand and market forces -- and the realization that their mass-produced product is only worth as much as a buyer will pay for it. "I tell people that keeping collectibles is like storing money under your mattress," says Lou Kahn, head of the Bakerstowne Collectibles appraisal and consignment service in West Hempstead, N.Y. "You're going to have the same amount of money next year, but it's going to be worth a lot less." We took a look at several collector niches and came across five where the products rarely appreciate in value and have questionable worth even when new:
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV