Some collectibles—such as art, coins, stamps, sports memorabilia, antiques, and vintage cars—have significant monetary value. Collections of these items are therefore also potential pillars. Of course, the value of collectibles can vary over time, and may depend heavily on changes in supply and demand. Supply and demand may be affected by various factors, including: overall economic conditions, demographic changes, and consumer preferences.
The value of such collections must be estimated very carefully in the financial planning process to ensure it is realistic. This is my subtle way of trying to convince you that your retro video game, or shot glass collection from college, may not be a guaranteed path to retirement.
Collectibles can be a legitimate pillar if they have real value.
In my experience, valuable collections are usually compiled by doctors after they begin to generate significant earnings. Thus, owning a collectibles pillar is more likely to happen when you’re older, more established, and have the disposable excess funds to spend on mainstream collectibles such as artwork or antiques. Another path to owning a valuable collection is to inherit it. Inheritance is discussed later in this chapter.
If you do own a legitimate collection with objectively verifiable value, you must protect it. This entails expenditures on insurance and in some cases on building the appropriate storage infrastructure. For example, valuable stamps or artwork must be stored in temperature, light, and humidity-controlled environments.
If you like to display your collection, you need space. This can mean dedicating an entire room to an antique book collection, or a large garage to house your selection of antique cars.