NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- People are always looking for ways to invest their money, and less often, looking for ways to invest their money that also happen to be fun or satisfy a nostalgic craving.
The consumer can't seem to help but collect everything from tea cups to porcelain figures, commemorative coins and baseball cards, making it all the more important to distinguish between collectibles that retain their value and those
Individual investment in collectibles entails knowing an original from a reproduction, what is most collectible in a series or with a type of item, and not overpaying for the investment. It also requires making the distinction between collectibles for the 1% of Wall Street titans -- think that Andy Warhol painting sold for $100 million or one of the original Gutenberg bibles that can go for $25,000 a page -- and collectibles that are within a Main Street budget.
With those caveats, here are 10 collectibles that have a decent track record of retaining value, in addition to providing owners with that unquantifiable "quality of life" satisfaction that can come from making a purchase that is about more than just utility.1. Hot Wheels
If you played with these cars anytime since 1968, when they first appeared on the toy scene, and you still have early models, you might have a good car trade-in.
The internet and e-readers may be making many print books go the way of the dodo, but classics in print are likely to become more collectible, and even lesser-known works often have legitimate economic value. Certain classics that are already worth money will increase in value, particularly if they are first editions and in excellent condition. Signed author copies also increase in value. A few people will buy decent-value books cheap from charity stores and book barns, and then sell them for a profit, says James Duval, a journalist and collector in Manchester, England. "This requires some knowledge of literature. Buying lesser-known authors in hardback who have nostalgia value will rarely set you back." 3. Maps
The world may be a finite place from a geographic perspective, but national borders have changed over centuries and continue to change today. Not even to mention the maps from the golden age of exploration that show sea monsters in the oceans as legitimate biological illustrations. Old maps showing former countries can be a collector's dream, particularly if they're in good shape. "Maps and prints will increase in value because they are even harder to keep safe, and they work well as decorations," says Duval. He adds that vintage maps can also be sold to companies to
If you've watched any episode of "American Pickers" on television, you will know they are always in the market for
Remember all of those old albums you couldn't wait to get rid of when cassettes first came on the scene and then CDs? Well, if you packed them and stored them so they are in good condition rather than selling them at a yard sale for 25 cents or throwing them away, you might be in luck. The new generation loves collecting and playing
If you don't have a turntable, then the album is pretty much worthless. That's what makes turntables in such high demand for music collectors. "Because vinyl is making a big comeback, record labels are pressing new music on vinyl again and it's very trendy to play vinyl," says McNellis. "These turntables are in demand by young people because it's a more interesting way to play the music." McNellis says a turntable could be worth thousands of dollars to a collector. 7. Vintage board games
In an era when families get together to play a game on Wii, board games from the 1950s to 1970s must seem like a very antiquated pastime, but that's a sentiment making these games worth some dough to collectors. Games should be in good condition, in the original box and include all of the pieces. "A lot of them were made for a limited amount of time and the
While the kids of the 1950s and 1960s didn't have anything but board games, the kids of that generation did have
Bob Brooks, a long time
"Limited edition art prints are economical, especially in comparison to the original, not just retaining their value but highly likely to go up in value, especially if the artist gains more recognition over time," says
How to find