Low interest rates are forcing Brits to switch traditional savings for more quirky investments – including books, vinyl records and toys. First editions by famous authors top the alternative investment chart, followed by collectable coins, toys, antiques and classic vinyl. Stamps, designer clothes, works of art and classic cars also appear on the list, which emerged from a survey of 2,000 investors by comparethemarket.com.
Smart savings included:
- A "tatty" old watch bought for £6 at a car boot sale – later sold to a collector for an eye-watering £1,800
- A "ridiculous plaster bust of a woman's head" snapped up at a car boot sale for just £1 and sold for £300 to an American buyer on eBay
- A book called Sled Driver by Brian Shul which was bought as a present when the saver was a child. He later discovered it was a scarce title and sold it for £120.
- A comparethemarket.com first issue meerkat toy bought for £15 and sold for £95
First edition books from famous authors are among the top alternative investments
The poll revealed that almost a quarter of investors (24%) are turning to alternative methods to earn extra cash or invest for their financial future. Classic books trump the list with nearly a third of savvy sellers raiding their libraries to boost their funds. Ironically, one in four (25%) dabble in the coin market, with certain collectable commemorative Royal Mint coins currently fetching hundreds of pounds. Elsewhere, more than one in five splash out on vintage toys, followed by antiques (16%), and vinyl (13%).
Following the General Election and Brexit, most Brits are preparing themselves for tough financial times, with less than 10% expecting to save more than before, while nearly two in five (39%) also expect household bills to rise.
Almost a quarter of investors are turning to alternative methods to earn extra cash
To lessen their financial burden, 18% say they will no longer enjoy going out for food and drink and nearly one in 20 – over two million - claim they'd be reluctant to start or extend their family right now. To help combat these financial pressures, comparethemarket.com has launched an Uncertainty Calculator, accessible via its website.
The calculator is aimed to help people better prepare for how their financial situation could look over the next 12 months and offer guidance on how to save money. Using UK average figures and based on expected scenarios, the calculator has revealed consumers could lose £818 over the next year.
Simon McCulloch, Director of Insurance at comparethemarket.com said: "Understandably, people are concerned about the implications of Brexit negotiations, as well as current political shifts, on their personal finances. The Uncertainty Calculator is designed to reflect fluctuations in interest rates and insurance premiums, to give our customers as good an idea as possible of their financial situation, and help them prepare appropriately."
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