Alternatives Look Good to Investors

Options for investing outside the stock market

By Greg Bledsoe
|  Thursday, Oct 16, 2008  |  Updated 9:24 AM PDT
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Alternatives Look Good to Investors

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NAPA, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Barrells of wine sit in a barrell room at Artesa Winery Spetember 17, 2008 in Napa, California. Wineries in the Napa Valley are in the midst of harvesting their 2008 crop of grapes. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If another bad day on Wall Street drives investors to the bottle, that may not be the worst thing.  Collectible commodities like wine, stamps, and fine art are fairing much better than stocks these days.

"There's a high demand for expensive wine, and it continues and will continue.  It's somewhat recession proof," said Russell Kindom, owner of 57 Degrees.  His San Diego company stores wine for private collectors.

Kindom says he's been getting a lot of new clients lately, only about half of which plan to ever drink the wine.

"It is a good investment, obviously a long term investment, not a day trading item," said Kindom.

A London firm tracking sales of fine wines showed a slight decrease in value last month, compared to much sharper slide in stocks.  Overall, fine wines have increased 5.5 percent in value, so far this year.

As for stamps, the firm tracking those collectibles showed no decline over the past month, and a 6 percent increase in 2008.  Art is another option. 

"It's something that's accepted everywhere, and it doesn't ever really feel the market, because it's not based off the market," said Douglas Kohl of Peter Lik Galleries in La Jolla.  Other neighboring galleries are also using the stock market's recent slide as a way to lure new investors into one of the oldest investments.  "Art as a commodity has outproduced pretty much any stock on the S&P 500 over the past 50 years," said Kohl.

Everyone warned it takes time to see a return on investment with collectibles commodities.  They also recommend investors be more savvy and have done their research before making any decisions.

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