By Rick Kahler
NEW YORK ( AdviceIQ) -- Collectibles -- from furniture to coins to stamps -- carry the promise of great riches. That's a false promise. Buy these items because you like to own them, not as investments.
Almost everyone has a story about a cousin or an aunt who bought a box of junk at an auction and found in it a diamond ring worth several hundred dollars. Every once in a while a valuable painting by a famous artist turns up in someone's attic. The TV program Antiques Roadshow sometimes features odd items that were sitting around in someone's house for years and now are appraised for thousands of dollars.
Those stories, if true, are exceptions. They don't mean buying and selling art or other collectibles is a good way to make money.
Buying art, antiques or collectibles is extremely speculative, in part because values are so subjective. What a given item is worth depends entirely on what a collector is willing to pay at any given time. A piece of pottery or jewelry fluctuates considerably in value as trends come and go. Yesterday's hot collectible (think Beanie Babies or Jim Beam bottles) is tomorrow's overpriced embarrassment.