How is saving similar to an investment

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You are certainly familiar with the common investment products such as gold, silver, ETFs or securities. But there are still many alternative investment options that you can use to increase your money. In fact, you can make some money with investments in wine, forest or trainers and other special forms of investment and increase your wealth under good conditions. (As with all other forms of investment, it can of course also generate losses.)

We'll show you a few alternative options to the classic call money account, gold and co:

Wine as an investment

Wine is not only tasty, it is also a good investment. Wine is also considered a safe investment, although prices are currently not rising as much as they once did. The best thing about wine as an investment is its stable value. The wine prices are based on the quality of the wine and not on the available quantity.

Conversely, this means that you could buy a case of expensive wine and rest on it. If an entire hall with bottles of this wine should be discovered somewhere, the price will either only drop marginally or not at all. Wine is a good that cannot be reproduced. Every vintage is different. It is not possible to reproduce a certain wine, at least not in such a way that it tastes exactly the same.

Of course, in order to invest meaningfully in wine, you have to be familiar with the subject. You can teach yourself the necessary expertise or invest in wine funds. In this case, experts take over the buying and selling of quality wines for you. The same applies to storage. Although the possible profits from investing in funds are lower than from direct investments, the risk of loss is not as great in return.



Forest as an investment

Forest is a very long-term investment. Similar to wine, the forest cannot be increased; there is only the land that exists. The forest is being displaced more and more, causing the price to rise in many areas.

However, you should carefully weigh up beforehand whether the business is really worth it, because you can't just lock your piece of forest away like a gold coin. There are numerous fees and taxes, such as property tax. If you do forestry and sell wood, you also have to pay tax on the profits. It is easier if you buy a piece of forest and lease it to a company. Or you can invest in a timber company right away.

Sneaker

You can also get your money moving with sneakers or sneakers. People collect the craziest things and good sneakers in particular are very popular with collectors. This is mainly about limited versions. The so-called "sneakerheads" are out for rare sneakers. Sometimes there is even camping before the opening of a new shop in which limited sneaker editions are sold.

These sneakers are rapidly increasing in value. Many people wear them on a daily basis and are happy to have one on their feet. Others are passionate about collectors. Collectors who have not received a copy of a limited edition are willing to pay a multiple of the retail price if the shoes are for sale unworn in their original packaging.

It is quite possible that you buy a pair of trainers for 200 euros and sell them for over 1,000 euros just a few days later. Of course, such an increase in value is never guaranteed and is quite speculative. But the investment amount is relatively small and if you buy the sneakers in your size, you will have at least a pair of rare and cool sneakers if the increase in value does not materialize.

Watches as an investment

Another alternative investment is to invest in watches. Classic wristwatches are meant here. As you probably know, a watch can be expensive. A wristwatch from Rolex, Breitling, Tag Heuer or Patek Philippe can cost a few thousand euros. Such watches are not just bought to show off or to use them in everyday life. Many people purposefully buy watches as an investment with the hope of being able to sell the expensive piece at a higher price later on.

Buying watches as an investment can be worthwhile if you know what to look out for. The watch market is very volatile. There is no guarantee that any particular watch will increase in value significantly. The prices for wristwatches should always be viewed as snapshots and are based on supply and demand. Aesthetics play a subordinate role. The watch trade is primarily about the rarity and condition of the watches.

In general, only watches from premium manufacturers are suitable as investments. Not only companies as mentioned above are considered to be premium manufacturers, but also smaller watchmakers who only produce watches in small numbers. This is comparable to tobacco pipes, for example. The prices for industrially manufactured pipes are relatively stable. But there are also numerous pipe makers who produce high quality pipes by hand. If the pipe maker is a good pipe maker, well-preserved specimens often later achieve a multiple of the original selling price.

In order to earn money with watches as an investment, you should be familiar with the subject. You should deal with manufacturers and models so that you can discover good investments. You should also keep an eye on the market in order to find the right time for a cheap purchase or an expensive sale. Wristwatches that were produced in limited numbers are particularly suitable. Here it is quite likely that prices will pick up later when the watches are no longer available in normal stores.

Make sure the watch is in as good a condition as possible. Especially with limited numbers, there are gradually fewer and fewer copies in their original condition. If the watch needs to be repaired, you will get higher prices when selling if you use original spare parts and no replicas. The color of visible components is also important. The closer a watch is to its original condition, the sooner you can get a good price for it.

It is also important that you compare the different marketplaces with one another. Outside of normal trade, premium watches are often offered in auction houses. Since there are no set guidelines for evaluating the value of a watch, you can occasionally find a bargain there. The other way around, however, you can also pay way too much if you are not familiar with the watch on offer. One and the same watch can achieve completely different prices in two auctions.

Nobody can guarantee that a watch that you bought at an auction can be sold again for at least your purchase price. Ultimately, it always depends on luck and the right time. It is unlikely that a premium watch will completely lose its value at some point, but it is still possible. But it is just as possible that you buy such a watch in the store and a few years later get significantly more for it than you paid for.

Granting loans to private individuals

Not only banks can grant credits or loans to private individuals. You as a private person can do this too. Granting a loan to a private person is always associated with a certain amount of risk. If you lend money to friends or family members, you can be relatively good at assessing the risk of loss. If you give a loan to total strangers, you cannot. Nevertheless, lending to private individuals is an interesting alternative investment.

You have probably heard of online loan platforms such as auxmoney, Smava, Giromatch or Mintos. There, private individuals who cannot get a loan from a bank or who do not want to take out a bank loan can take out loans that are financed by private individuals - so-called P2P loans (peer to peer loans). As a private person, you can participate in such loans and get your money back with interest. In most cases, returns of several percent above normal overnight money are attractive.

Online credit platforms are credit brokers who each work with at least one partner bank, which ultimately grants the credit. For you this means a certain security, because if the borrower should fall behind with the installments, the bank initiates a dunning procedure, at the end of which a debt collection company can also collect the claims. The bank treats these loans like any other personal loan. You don't have to worry about anything yourself.

Many lending platforms also have some form of security pool. A small proportion of every loan amount goes into this pool. If the repayments are not made, you will receive at least part of the installments from the pool. Even a complete repayment freeze would not mean a total loss for you.

Another form of security is that with most providers you don't have to take on a loan on your own. You can usually choose how much you want to invest in a loan project. At auxmoney, for example, loan seekers can present their loan project. So you find out what the money should be used for. You will also find out anonymized information about the loan seeker. These are data such as place of residence, age, occupation and a credit rating.

Borrowers have to prove their creditworthiness before they can apply for a loan. Of course, you will also find out the interest rate and the amount of the expected return in advance. Borrower and lender are only personally identifiable to the bank or the loan portal. Direct contact between borrower and lender is not possible. So you do not find out who you are lending the money to or where the person lives. The same applies the other way around. The borrower does not know who financed his loan project.

If you split your money and support several requests with smaller amounts each, you can spread the risk. For example, if you support 10 loans with 250 euros each, the risk of loss is manageable. If a borrower does not repay, you lose a maximum of 250 euros minus a partial repayment from the security pool, while the other loans continue to yield returns.

It is also good that you get your money back in installments. As soon as the bank has received a repayment installment, you will receive your share including interest. You don't have to wait for your money to fully repay the loan. This is another benefit for you. You can invest the money you get back immediately. This also further reduces the risk of loss. If you lend someone 250 euros and the repayment period is 24 months, you will have got back 125 euros plus interest after one year.

If the borrower then stops repaying, you can lose a maximum of the remaining 125 euros minus the interest already earned and money from the security pool. If the dunning procedure is unsuccessful, the remaining debts are sold to a debt collection company. You will receive a portion of the proceeds based on your participation in the loan amount.

You can of course always find out the exact current conditions on the websites of the providers.

Bonsai trees

Bonsai trees are a very special form of alternative investment. The small trees can be really valuable, especially beautiful specimens like to change hands for many thousands of euros.The bonsai is a special form of investment because it cannot be stored in a bank, safe or in the basement.

Bonsais need special care, you can't just put ten bonsai from the hardware store on a windowsill and watch them get more expensive. Growing a bonsai is an art in itself. Not only do they need light and water, they also need regular maintenance with special tools.

The value of a bonsai depends largely on its age and condition. Investing in bonsai as an investment is very risky, because in the end you only get as much money for your bonsai as someone is willing to pay for it. There is no such thing as a price table.

Please don't forget that growing bonsai takes a long time. Having a little green thumb can't hurt either. If you are interested in bonsai, you should definitely acquire the relevant literature and deal with the correct care of the little trees.

Since investing in bonsai trees is very risky, you should not rely on making a lot of money with it. It is better to grow bonsai as a hobby. If you can do that and enjoy it, you have a wonderful and calming hobby. If you then raise a few more bonsai for sale, you also have the chance to earn a lot of money with your hobby.

Musical instruments

Musical instruments are also a good investment. The focus is mainly on older instruments. An off-the-shelf violin will not increase in value anytime soon. Rather the opposite is the case. The situation is similar for instruments such as electric guitars and basses.



If you want to invest your money in musical instruments, you should be a little familiar with the subject. A very safe investment is, for example, a violin by Stradivari, the legendary instrument maker from the 17th century. Stradivarias are now insured in the millions, as they are becoming increasingly rare and are considered the best violins of all time.

It is important that they are originals, i.e. no replicas. Only a “real” instrument achieves high prices. It also always depends on the condition. For example, if a Stradivarius had a broken neck and was repaired, the value is certainly significantly lower than that of an instrument that did not require repair. Spare parts from external production, i.e. not original parts, also reduce the value.

Not only old violins and other string instruments can become really valuable over time. Electric guitars also increase in value when they are older, original models. For an original and well-preserved Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul or PRS, collectors are ready to put a lot of money on the table. You should also make sure that it is not a "tinkered" one, but a specimen in the delivery condition at the time. Not every old guitar is worth a lot of money. Before investing, you should find out which vintages are considered particularly good.

With musical instruments as an investment, it is also important that the instruments are played. You should pick them up regularly and play something on them, otherwise their sound quality will suffer. Even a Stradivarius no longer sounds good when the wood is "dead" and no longer resonates properly.

Petroleum

Just like gold, silver or platinum, oil is a raw material that you can use as an alternative investment. Unlike the precious metals, however, with crude oil it is not possible to physically buy the oil. Crude oil is a hazardous substance that may only be stored in compliance with special requirements. As a private person, you are not allowed to simply put a barrel of oil in your apartment.

Crude oil is one of the primary raw materials. These are raw materials that are extracted directly from the earth and are only available in limited quantities. Oil is currently irreplaceable in industry. Since the production volume is limited and the demand from emerging economic powers like China will certainly not fall in the long term, a sustained increase in the price of oil is to be expected.

The price of oil is influenced by many factors. One factor is demand and the oil available. If more oil is produced than needed, prices fall. Another factor is political. Should Russia, for example, decide not to supply any more oil to Europe, prices are likely to rise sharply, at least in Europe, because demand would no longer be met. Conflicts and wars in oil-producing regions also affect the price of oil.

Investing in oil as an asset is associated with certain risks and should by no means be the only investment product in your portfolio. If you want to invest money in oil in the short to medium term, you can invest in certificates. If the certificates expire and you are not satisfied with their value, you will need to renew them. In the long term, this can be very expensive.

Otherwise, you can invest in oil companies and hope that their income will continue to grow over time and correspondingly high dividends will be paid out. The risk is that your money will depend on the company's success.

Agricultural commodities

As an alternative investment, you can also invest in agricultural commodities. Such agricultural raw materials are, for example, corn, cocoa, coffee or wheat. As with investing in petroleum, you are not buying any physical commodities. That would hardly be possible either, because you would have to be able to store large quantities of the usually perishable raw materials first.

You can invest in agricultural commodities using certificates, funds and warrants. You should refrain from trading with warrants if you do not know the market and are not very willing to take risks. In the short and medium term, you can invest your money in certificates. The risk is a little lower, but you should be a little familiar with it. Investing in funds is less risky.

Just be aware that you are betting on food prices. Increasing prices are a reason to be happy for you. Conversely, this does not mean anything good for the poor people who are happy if they have something to eat every day at all.

Alternatively, if you find this morally objectionable, you can invest in agribusiness. You can do this either directly through stocks or funds such as ETF funds, which diversify investments widely and invest in numerous companies. The advantage of this is that you are not betting on rising raw material prices. Rather, the investments end up with the companies. This allows companies to grow, produce more raw materials and increase their profits. As a nice side effect, more food comes onto the market that benefits the people of this world.

Whiskey

Whiskey is very similar to wine, at least as an investment. It is an investment in an investment product with high value stability and a very low risk of loss. Whiskey is a drink for lovers and collectors. There are several thousand different types of whiskey, all of which have special properties. To make a profit with whiskey as an investment, you should be familiar with whiskey. It's not necessarily about the taste, but about the whiskey as a product.

The value of a whiskey depends on various factors. These include, for example, the age, the ripening time, the distillery or bottler and the rarity. As an investment, you can largely concentrate on Scottish single malt whiskeys. These whiskeys have always been at the top of the list of greatest increases in value over the last few decades. Whiskey as an investment will not bring you any profit if you simply buy ten bottles from the supermarket and put them in the cellar. After 30 years, you will most likely be able to sell the bottles with minimal or no profit.

Old and rare whiskeys, on the other hand, can be worth many times the purchase price within a few years. In some cases, prices rose by well over 1,000 percent in a short period of time. Of course, you can't rely on that. If you want to invest your money in whiskey for profit, you should only buy top quality whiskeys. You can recognize them by a gold star. Limited editions also promise good increases in value. But it should be a limited edition with a maximum of 500 bottles and not something that could be advertised on TV as "now everywhere, only available for a limited time".

When a high-quality whiskey comes onto the market, you should buy at least one bottle immediately after it appears, which was filled directly at the distillery. You can buy them directly there or in very well-stocked specialist shops. Buying early is important so that you can reap a lot of profit in the event of a price increase. You shouldn't buy investment whiskey online. In contrast to the distillery or the specialist dealer, who do not want to lose their good reputation, when buying online you can never be sure whether what is written on it is actually in the bottle. Counterfeits or adulterated whiskeys often circulate there.

The price development of whiskey cannot be precisely predicted. So please don't be disappointed if your carefully researched and selected whiskey may have only gained ten percent instead of 100 percent in value after five years. The great advantage of investing in whiskey is that you will only suffer a total loss if the bottle slips out of your hands and smashes on the floor. Even without a profit you still have an outstanding whiskey that you can enjoy neat, diluted with a little water or on ice. If there is something to celebrate, invite your best friends and have a nice evening full of enjoyment with the expensive whiskey.

By the way, one question always comes up: "Which spelling is correct, whiskey or whiskey?" The answer is actually quite banal. There are both spellings. If the name of the country does not contain the letter "e" in the national language, the spelling whiskey is used. However, there is a German special route. In Germany, the spelling whiskey is used despite the "e" in the country name. In all other countries with an "e" in the name, the letter can also be found in the whiskey. So there is “American Whiskey” and “Scottish Whiskey”.

Records

Vinyl is a cult. In times of increasing digitalization, records have been enjoying great popularity again for a long time. More and more people want their music not only as a download, but also in physical form. The classic CD is being replaced by digital downloads, there are also more and more laptops and computers that no longer have a CD or DVD drive. So people are simply buying more records instead of CDs. Due to the sustained increase in demand, records are also very suitable as an alternative investment.

Records in pristine condition increase in value over time, which is due to the fact that there are fewer and fewer of them. With records you acquire physical value. This will always remain with you, so that an investment in records only leads to a total loss if they are destroyed. And if you take good care of your records, they will stay in good condition much longer than most other copies sold. This has a positive effect on the possible sales value.

One advantage of records as an investment is that you don't need a lot of start-up capital. You don't have to be an expert to make money from records. Old and rare records have the greatest increase in value. Original first pressings in a new appearance are particularly suitable as a financial investment.To be able to invest your money in the right records, however, you should know the market a little and have time to watch it so that you don't put a lot of money and hope into a record that has almost reached its maximum price.

But you also have the opportunity to make money with current vinyl records. Standard records that you can buy for a few euros in any record store or in the music department of large electronics stores are unsuitable. There are just too many of them. You should rather focus on limited editions. There are only a limited number of these, and after a few years collectors are more likely to pay more than you paid at the store.

Misprints are also very suitable. If the cover has a flaw right from the start, for example a wrong color in the band logo, these copies usually increase in value quickly. If the error is detected, the plates are already on the market. Most of the time, such specimens are recalled so you don't have much time to purchase one. As a rule, the faulty production is stopped and only correct copies are sold. The misprints are therefore automatically rare and often very popular with collectors.

However, you cannot assume that a record will increase in value. The increase in value cannot be foreseen. It is also possible that a record retains its original value even after many years. You don't need to store a record in particular. It is enough if you keep them upright on a shelf. To keep it in top condition, you should keep it in a plastic bag to protect it from external influences. It shouldn't be too warm either. A place directly above a heater is therefore less suitable. Records should also not be exposed to direct sunlight.

cars

An alternative investment for automobile fans is to invest in cars. This type of investment is of course only suitable for people with the appropriate change. You also have to keep in mind that the vehicles need regular maintenance. They also have to be driven from time to time. It should also be obvious that the necessary parking space is available or has to be rented. The car investment is therefore associated with running costs.

If none of this is a problem, nothing stands in the way of your car investment. Investing in vintage cars is particularly interesting. When you think of vintage cars, you might think of the really old classics that you can only see in museums or at exhibitions and only very rarely on the street. The classic oldtimers are getting more and more competition from the mass-produced everyday cars.

There are many cars that simply enjoy cult status, even if they were built and sold millions of years ago. The first generations of newly introduced models are particularly popular. The first version of the VW Golf or the cult Bullis are very popular with collectors because they shaped and changed the automotive market. Really well-preserved specimens that have not been driven too much have now become very rare.

It is important that the vehicle is as original as possible. An accident-free car, in which only original parts were used for repairs or when replacing wear parts, usually shows a greater increase in value than a vehicle that can be recognized directly as a workshop vehicle. It is also important that the vehicle is driven regularly. Driving prevents creeping decay, as the moving parts are moved and thus lubricated at the same time so that they do not rust. Driving here means doing a lap around the block rather than a long highway tour. The annual mileage should not exceed 2,000 to 3,000 kilometers.

comics

Comics are no longer just magazines for children and nerds, but also an alternative investment. Well-preserved comic books change hands for six-figure amounts. Maybe you even have a collection of comics from your younger days somewhere? Then just have a look through them, because maybe there are a few issues that are worth a lot today.



When it comes to comics as an investment, the most important thing is the rarity and condition of the issues. In order for collectors to pay a lot of money for a magazine, it should be as new as possible. Ideally, it is unread, kink-free and was shrink-wrapped in a plastic bag from day one. You probably won't find a copy like this. If you've kept them carefully and they're not torn, you can still offer them for sale.

Since there were often disputes about the assessment of the condition, there are now fixed classification systems. The better the condition, the more money you can get for your comics. Of course, not every comic book is valuable just because it's old and well-preserved. “Special” magazines bring the most money, for example first editions of today's cult comics such as Superman, Batman, Asterix or the first funny paperback.

If you want to buy comics as an alternative investment, you should do so either at special auctions or in specialist comic shops. There you can be sure that the comics are actually in the condition that corresponds to the classification by the classification system.

Kois

Koi carp, also simply called koi, are another form of alternative investment. The fish originally native to Japan, which look a little like mutated goldfish, are also becoming increasingly popular in Germany. Lovers can pay six-figure amounts for particularly beautiful specimens. Otherwise, prices of 5,000 to 15,000 euros and beyond are by no means uncommon.

The Koi investment is similar to the bonsai. You can't just buy a young koi from the pet store, put it in your bathtub, and wait for it to grow bigger and more valuable. Kois are very sensitive animals that require special housing and care. A koi pond should be at least two meters deep and contain no less than 15,000 liters of water.

With regard to the acquisition costs, you can assume costs of just under one euro per liter in the entry-level segment. You not only need the pond, but also special pumps and filter systems. The water quality must be checked regularly and the water temperature should be kept as constant as possible between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. In addition, there are costs for feed and protective measures with which predators are kept away.

In order for a koi to achieve high prices, it must meet certain criteria. The most important of these are color, body shape and skin quality. Some of the important characteristics of young fish can already be guessed at, but others only develop over time. Even experienced breeders cannot predict with certainty which young animal will definitely grow into a splendid specimen.

In any case, one thing is certain: you shouldn't buy your koi at the pet store if you want to earn money with them. You can certainly be lucky, but the koi offered there are mostly carp that have been sorted out because they do not have all the characteristics that a koi should have for breeding. But if you already have a suitable pond and want to try breeding first, a koi from a pet shop is a good choice. If it turns out that breeding is not for you or one koi after the other dies, this is not as dramatic, at least from a financial point of view, as if you had spent several hundred euros per young carp.

You can buy koi for breeding, for example, at trade fairs or from specialized importers who regularly import koi from Japan. Better not to “order” a Koi directly from Japan. The importer is familiar with the import regulations and takes care of all the paperwork for you. You also don't have any random Koi imported. A good importer will give you information about and pictures of the young koi available. You can use the information to decide for yourself which animal or koi you would like to have imported.

Overall, it can be said that you can make a lot of money with koi carp. A young animal for a few hundred euros can become a carp that is worth tens of thousands of euros. However, the risk is also very high. A dead animal means a total loss plus the running costs. Experts advise against breeding koi solely for financial reasons and practicing breeding as a pure financial investment. Rather, it's a way of making money from your hobby. After all, they are live animals that require more intensive care than most typical pond fish. However, if you enjoy the beautiful fish, you can still try to breed one or the other splendid specimen.

Postage stamps

Collecting stamps used to be a disreputable hobby for bores. But now the postage stamp is gradually being pushed out of our everyday lives. When was the last time you used a stamp? Do you remember the last ten times? The majority of our written communication is handled by e-mail, and letter post is usually only franked by machine.

Anyone who still collects stamps today is trying to save a dying cultural asset. Or he has been a passionate collector for a long time. Or he collects postage stamps as an alternative investment. After all, postage stamps are collector's items that are becoming increasingly rare and therefore in great demand. Certain rare stamps change hands for exorbitant amounts.

You need a certain soft spot when it comes to investing stamps. In order to identify potential bargains or stamps that are increasing in value, you need to acquire the necessary specialist knowledge. This includes, for example, knowledge of the serrations, printing techniques, lines or stamp embossing. So you have to deal with numerous details and study different stamps in a meaningful way. You also need to watch the market to determine when to buy or sell a particular brand.

The prices for postage stamps are subject to strong fluctuations. A postage stamp only has an ideal value. The pure product value is irrelevant. A postage stamp in a currency that may no longer exist is a worthless piece of waste paper. The value results from supply and demand. You probably know the Blue Mauritius, probably the most legendary postage stamp in the world. Researchers assume that there are currently only four unmarked and well-preserved copies. Well-heeled collectors are prepared to pay millions for one of these stamps.

But if the interest expires and no one is willing to pay such amounts anymore, their value decreases accordingly and can even plummet into insignificance. Postage stamps as investments of value carry a risk that is difficult to calculate. The market is subject to slow change, which for you as a possible investor is both an opportunity and a risk.

Collecting stamps was a hobby for old men for a long time. These are the old men (and of course women too) who own these great collections and are willing to spend a small fortune on an old postage stamp that is still missing from their collection. The crux of the matter is that old people die at some point. It is impossible to predict what will happen to the collections. Some might be carelessly disposed of, some might be cherished and continued by the heirs, and some others might be sold on eBay.

On the one hand, this can lead to prices rising as supply decreases. On the other hand, it can also happen the other way round that prices fall because more and more stamps come onto the market that their previous owners did not want to sell.It is also uncertain whether future generations will be prepared to continue to pay maximum prices. So you have to weigh up the risk you are willing to take.

With a lot of luck you might bid for a collection that is being offered on the internet according to the motto “maybe someone will give us some money for grandpa's old album” and you will find one or the other rarity in it. Or you watch the market and invest your money as a medium or long-term investment. In general, however, there are safer alternative investments. The investment postage stamp is one that should be viewed under the motto "you have a chance to make big profits" rather than "you have a great chance to make big profits".

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