| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth

Do you think investing is boring?

I did think that for a good part of my life. Things change and we change with them, the saying goes. In my case, this means that I may not be an ‘investing maverick’ yet but an ‘investing luddite’ I’m no more.

What I haven’t told you yet is that couple of months ago we bought 50% of a car testing and service garage.

Now, if you think that I’ve gone completely bonkers, you are not alone: most people think that as well. After all, it is not every day that a university professor (a sociologist at that) buys a car garage, right?

Right. My feeling is that I’d have the last laugh on this one when in couple of years this business starts paying off big time; and I mean huge.

Even my stocks and shares portfolio is a selection from the Motley Fool’s Rule Breakers portfolio.

What made me look at less standard ways of investing is not only and simply my pursuit of fun. Looking at what the stock market is doing, I suspect that democratising investing in stocks and shares is turning it into a ‘mass market’. In mass markets, you make money through volume and/or time. I don’t have volume and given my financial goals I don’t have much time either.

This is why I’ve been looking at ways of investing that are unusual. It only turned out to be fun.

I’ve been investing in businesses and am looking for other fun ways to invest.

Here are the five fun ways to invest. Apart from that, all these need fairly serious outlay and there is a high entry threshold.

Put differently, to invest like a maverick you have to be a very high level expert in these fields; or consult high level experts.

Investing for mavericks one: precious stones

I love stones. I always have and I always will.

Three years ago, after paying off all our consumer debt I promised myself that when I build £100,000 of new savings and investments, I’d buy myself a diamond of vulgar size. You could say that this is the gypsy in me: you see, the thing about investing in precious stones and jewels is that you can always take them with you. Sawn in the seams of your coat, for example.

I haven’t bought my diamond yet though we are up to approximately £140,000 new investments.

I just looked at some precious stones and decided to wait. When I’m rich enough, I may buy some Tanzanite (approximately £700 per carat) or even some Black Opal (£1,800 per carat).

I know that this is not for everyone but looking at some precious stoned is well worth it. And don’t look at this as jewellery which is prone to fashion; look at it as an investment that will keep and increase its value.

Investing in precious stones is an option in two cases: if you are very wealthy or if you have connections close to the mines.

For instance, I have a friend who is well connected in Tanzania and can buy uncut stones at very good prices; she is also learning to cut stones. For her, investing in precious stones makes good sense.

Investing for mavericks two: gold coins

Investing in gold coins is another possibility.

This is probably not my scene, really. But if I were to do this, I’d keep reminding myself that I’m buying gold coins not for the gold but for the coin. I’d also make sure that there is a reasonable chance that the value of this coin will increase in the future.

The value of coins keeps, or increases, because they are rare and interesting to particular group of people.

Gold coin Queen (680x680)

This coin for example, minted in honour of Queen Elizabeth II 90th birthday costs £7,500 to buy and there are only 150 coins cut. If investing in coins rocked my boat I’d get one; which doesn’t mean that you should go out there and start buying them, of course.

Investing in coins makes sense only if coin collecting is your passion anyway. Otherwise it may turn out to be too risky.

Investing for mavericks three: classic cars

1963_Jaguar_XK-E_Roadster (800x430)

Well, I may be the owner of half a car maintenance garage but I know very little about cars. I know next to nothing about classic cars.

Still, the other day I was walking down the main street of our village and the little beauty on the picture above took my breath away. Nothing compares to a Jaguar E Roadster 1963 – beauty, style, power and fun in one sleek design. And it will cost ‘only’ £200,000 (plus/minus £30,000).

It is muted that choosing the right classic car to invest in can return up to 500% over a decade.

In fact, the good people at Classic Trader – a website dedicated to trading in classic cars from around the world – have some classic car eye candy. I doubt that any of you, guys, would be able to invest in this cars but that is no reason not to look – I did.

Investing for mavericks four: wine

I normally think of wine as a drink that is quite nice with dinner.

I also like good wine – can’t help it since it is in my ‘genetic memory’.

There is a very vibrant wine investing market. Apparently, top quality wines withstood two recessions and beat the return from index funds in the new millennium.

Now, are you sitting down?

A bottle of Chateau Margaux 1787 was valued at $500,000 by its owner. He took the bottle with him to dinner and the waiter broke it. The insurance company paid $225,000.

Gosh, and I thought that I overdid it when I paid £56 for a bottle of Cabernet in Chile.

Investing for mavericks five: art

Investing in art is a specialised area of investing but potentially very lucrative one.

It has an advantage compared to some of the investing areas mentioned above: it requires a good eye for art and connections in the art world but it can be done with relatively limited capital outlay.

Investing in art works best when you buy the art of artists that show promise of making it big but are not there yet.

Finally…

These are five fun investments that can make you see investing as fun. After all, if investing is not your passion, you can turn your passion into investment.

Just remember that these fun investments fall under the three general rules of investing: 1) invest in what you know well; 2) invest only what you can lose; and 3) be prepared to wait and sit out the bad times.

This is all.

Do you have experience with any of these investments?