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This is an article written by the Collective Works Engagement Team to share our knowledge of the Singapore Market.
August 29, 2017

Sexy Alternatives to Burying Your Money

Imagine buying your dream retirement home. It’s a little run down and needs a lot of time and love, but one day it will be your perfect oasis in the beautiful Portuguese countryside. In 2014, a couple did just that - they bought an old farmhouse in the hills. The only mystery was a barn on the edge of the land, its doors welded closed. Several months after taking over the barn, they bought a grinder and swung open the doors. Under layers of dust and webs sat scores of vintage Aston Martins, Mercedes, various Lotus models, the list goes on and on. Said to be worth millions, this reported story comes with doubts about its authenticity. However, one learning that we can choose to take from it is that investments, although a gamble, can often pay off.

Established companies such as Darcmatter have been a platform for individuals looking to alternative investments for many years. They specialise in opportunities such as hedge, venture capital and private equity funds tailoring the process while ensuring that the transaction runs smoothly.

These conventional investments, while still being a financial gamble can be risk tailored and project-managed for you by the masses of traditional experts available.

In the hunt for a sexier place to make their fortune, increasingly popular avenues are the arts, time pieces and P2P’s – Peer to Peer platforms. These kinds of investments generally require a much deeper understanding of the product market as Investopedia explains: “There is less opportunity to publish verifiable performance data and advertise to potential investors. Most alternative assets have low liquidity compared to conventional assets. For example, investors are likely to find it considerably more difficult to sell an 80-year old bottle of wine compared to 1,000 shares of Apple, due to a limited number of buyers”.

In order to benefit from these investments, knowing the market and understanding its limitations is essential. There are however emerging platforms enabling the more novice individual to take their piece of the pie.

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BECOME PART OF SOMEONE'S GROWTH

LendingClub

P2P platforms such as Lending Club work by taking money from savers and lending it to vetted borrowers – Peer to Peer. “We're not a bank. Instead, we connect borrowers with investors through our online marketplace. Loans offered through LendingClub are made possible by investors, who invest in exchange for solid returns.”

Kickstarter

After launching in 2009, Kickstarter has been the catalyst for many successful growth stories in the creative world. Helping artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality.

The website provides individuals with the space to advertise and pitch their product to the masses. Depending on the level of your investment you are rewarded with a sliding scale of ‘investment’ from a t-shirt to an equity stake in the business.

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ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD

Speaking to the World Gold Council, Suki Cooper, Precious Metals Analyst gives her thoughts on the future of gold: “In recent years, the gold price has been driven primarily by events in China, India and the US. But this year could be different. Rising political uncertainty across Europe could prompt renewed interest in gold”.

Selling gold bars produced in countries such as Singapore, Switzerland and Belgium are Bullion Star. A 9999 Proof Singapore Gold Bar featuring iconic designs such as Marina Bay Sands is currently priced at $5,758.17 for 100grams.

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WATCHES

Horology, the art of watch making has seen a mainstream revival in recent years. With the release of the Apple Watch in 2015, it divided people like marmite, pulling many back to the romance of a hand crafted mechanical time piece.   

Talking to Money Online, Ariel Adams, the founder of ABlogtoWatch.com explained how “A single collector alone has the power to influence the tastes, trends, and values of the entire market. Pop culture plays a role too: there’s no doubt that James Bond propelled Rolex even higher when it debuted on Sean Connery’s wrist”.

Across the board, the so called “working man’s watch” such as vintage Rolex or vintage Tudor are noted as investment-grade pieces that don’t have to be kept in a safe and usually sit in the $4,000 - $9,000 range.

Higher grade time pieces from Patek Philippe are another example of investments that are said to maintain their resale value.

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ART

Hidden across the world deep inside city vaults are an estimated 3 trillion dollars worth of fine art. Each year, $65 billion of this are traded through auction houses and art dealers, leaving the remaining art locked away from the public eye. Companies such as Maecenas are connecting individuals and enabling your average Joe to have access to this underworld.

“A new online marketplace promises to give art lovers the chance
to buy shares in famous paintings.” - The Telegraph

As their website states, it is the ethos of Maecenas to keep art safe but not hidden. Once you have made your investment, you are able to enjoy the art along with your guests at facilities known as Freeports. These facilities are available in most tier-1 art trading hubs such as Le Freeport in Singapore where Christie's operates their Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS).

Becoming an art investor can also mean getting ahead of the game by sourcing fresh off the market talent. According to Maecenas, investment in art related startups quadrupled in the last two years reaching over $500m a year. Degree Award Shows such as New Blood in the UK provide a platform for budding design talent. Look for those individuals who have applied for residencies or awards and those willing to put in the long hours at the studio to develop a unique style and passion.

FINAL WORD

To highlight the obvious, some investment carries more risk than others and unfortunately, we’re not all going to find a Barn of vintage cars in Portugal. When entering into a niche market, you have to be aware that the pool of buyers is often limited and the comparable sales even more so. Do your research and most importantly enjoy your investment, make it something that you are enthusiastic about and don’t mind hanging on to for the long haul.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen is the Community Engagement Consultant for Collective Works where she is responsible for the attraction engine of the business. She works across marketing and membership teams to create a full and engaging work environment for our members. Helen strongly believes that the success of our clients is the best indicator of our success as a host space.

Having arrived in Singapore in July 2017, Helen is a new face to Singapore and is excited to travel and explore the surrounding cultures. With a background in multimedia and graphic design as well as firefighting, she is enthusiastic about working in such a dynamic community.

Visit her author bio page to find out more about Helen and connect with her social profiles.

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