5 Creative Investment Ideas Beyond the Stock Market

With conventional investment avenues underperforming and economic uncertainty on the horizon, canny investors are constantly be on the lookout for unusual ways to invest their money. Here are some creative ways to see your money grow that other investors may have missed.

Let Your Money Mature – Into Cheese

It might sound strange, but investing in young cheeses is actually quite common in parts of Europe, although it hasn’t caught on so much in the rest of the world. Investors tend to buy ’rounds’ of young cheese that could weigh 25lbs or more. These cheeses are then left to mature over a couple of years, by which time an initial investment of $1,000 could have matured into a tidy sum of $5,000. That is, if you can resist the temptation to eat your gains before you cash in.

Build Up A World-Class Wine Cellar

This is something that elite investors know all about, but ordinary investors can also try at home. Like cheese, many wines tend to increase in value as they mature. In fact, the most reliable vintages are tracked every year on a ‘fine wines index’ that rates them just like blue-chip stocks.

When a wine is deemed to be investment grade, returns for investors can soar to as much as 30 percent every year. Savvy wine investors research which vineyards consistently turn out high quality products, and know how long to wait before cashing in. Again, the major enemy is the urge to indulge.

More on fine wine investment

Invest In The World Of Horse Breeding

Many wealthy people turn to stud breeding to turn a tidy profit. Ordinary investors may not be able to afford a fully-blown stud farm, and they might not stand in the winner’s circle with their steed, but they can participate in the market. Owners’ partnerships are a way to spread the costs and risks of race horse ownership and allow those with moderate funds to invest to see their money multiply.

It might be a little risky, but recent years have seen prize purses soaring in the United States, and the potential gains are huge. A good way to get over the costs of entering the market is by joining the new movement to crowd-fund horse ownership. Nowadays, you can join pools of investors and see exactly where your horse will be stabled — all at just the click of a button.

More on bloodstock investment

Collect Big On Currency Hoards

In these times of instant digital transactions and Bitcoins, it might be surprising to learn that investors can make big money by collecting good old coins. Sales of ancient coins have been skyrocketing in recent years, probably due to rising demand from Asian investors. These investors may well be ‘repatriating’ coins that were taken from countries like India and China in past centuries – and it’s big business.

A solid way to invest in coins is by enlisting the services of boutique investment firms that specialize in currency collection. Firms like Avarae in the UK have armies of experts working to verify and value coins found by treasure hunters. Some of them, like the 14th  century Gold Double Leopard coin can sell for over $500,000.

Join The Ranks Of Memorabilia Investors

It’s not just coins that have the potential to yield impressive value. The same applies to military memorabilia. Clever investors know that the value of memorabilia such as flags, armor or medals fluctuates in value. For example, a Napoleonic era medal would have sold for around $200 ten years ago. Now, because of rising public interest in the era, that price has risen to around $4,000.

Experts tend to recommend focusing on high profile medals, which have a track record of increasing in value. Anything with a link to the Marines of World War Two tends to fetch a good price, but authentic flight jackets, autographed photographs of military leaders and the correspondence of military personnel can also rise in value, and probably will. Web sites like the Worldwide Militaria Exchange are a good place to check out what’s on offer, but you never know what you might find in your attic.

Look Beyond The Stock Market For Your Next Investment

It may be a cliché, but investing successfully is definitely about thinking outside the box. It’s also about diversifying so that you can spread the risks, and possibilities as widely as possible.

Most investors fail to realize how many opportunities they have to make money and beat the stock market. Stocks are one way to invest, sure, but they are hardly the entire economy. In tough times, there is always value somewhere in the market, but it might smell like an artisan cheese or have the elegance of a military medal.

Elizabeth Goldman is the editor of AlternativeInvestmentCoach.com. She has written for Investing.com, Bullbearings.com and many others.