Global economies seem to become less predictable with each passing year, and you never know when a major company collapse or a run on the banks could devalue your entire portfolio in one fell swoop.
So, what are the alternatives, and what stores of value are the most reliable over the long term? Here are just a couple of ideas for ways to not only protect what you’ve got, but also to grow it for the future.
Jewellery is a popular favourite way to store some money in a different form. Gold and silver have both risen in value significantly over the past decade or so, yet they continue to climb at an inflation-busting rate.
There are plenty of ways to buy precious metals – from gold bars to commemorative coins – but jewellery has its own special appeal, as there’s real workmanship in the design and creation of an intricate item that adds value beyond the metal content itself.
Websites such as My Family Silver can help you to buy items that are not only a good store of value, but will also be treasured heirlooms for your family, if you choose to leave them to your descendants rather than sell them yourself.
Let’s be honest, alcohol never goes out of fashion, and wine is a particularly good option if you want to invest in alcoholic drinks.
Duty charged on wine is based on the size of the bottle, and the strength of the wine – so in a bottle of fine wine, more of your money is paying for the quality of the drink than in a cheap bottle where most of the price is just to cover the tax.
On top of that short-term benefit to buying good-quality wine, there’s also a long-term investment advantage if you are able to buy in bulk during a particularly good growing season, and then sell those vintage bottles on individually at a premium later on.
There are plenty of professional dealers out there, such as the specialist wine website WineInvestment.org, so you can make use of such resources to find the wines in the first place, and to sell them on when you need to recoup your investment.
Invest in Yourself
If you’re in business, consider some professional coaching to help you maximise your income, whether you’re in a sales or management role, or simply coming up to negotiating your next pay rise.
Companies like negotiation specialists The Gap Partnership can help you to learn the basics of putting your best case forwards, and holding out for maximum returns, so you might find the cost of a training session soon recoups itself in increased earnings.
This is a slightly different kind of investment – in essence, you’re improving yourself as a potential investment, so other people will put more money into you as a person – but it’s still sticking to the old rules of identifying an opportunity, adding value to it, and achieving positive return on expenditure.