I've read about various hedge funds incorporating art and coins as investments. Actually, I believe one state retirement plan pursued rare coins, but ended up being defrauded by the advisor they hired - he was caught.
Here are examples of collectibles:
- Rare art
- Comic Books
- Baseball Cards
- Rare cars
- Rare documents / autographs
- Rare books
To be a collectible the following characteristics should be present:
- There must be an established market
- Pricing and sales history should be available
- Products must have a provable history of resale (you can't just speculate what something will be worth in xx years. Products should have been bought and sold.
- The market must be liquid (ready buyers must be available)
- There must be a limited number of each item available; i.e. scarcity - no one pays a premium for something ever present.
Would you invest in collectibles?
Off the cuff I would never do so - to obtain market value you usually need significant presence in the market place, reputation and established customers. This moves you away from the collector position and closer to the broker/dealer position.
Another consideration is cost of recency of appraisal. How convenient is it to have an appraiser available to price your item(s)?
Ultimately, your passion for collectibles will either propel you into the market - and therefore create a presence and liquidity - or it will not and remain a hobby, rather than an investment.
Achieving liquidity is the most important goal when collecting for a profit.