From Disney Figurines to Vintage Wines: The Best Collectibles to Invest in for 2022

What if you could spend a month's salary on a collectible today that ends up paying for your retirement 40 years later?

Darry Port

Updated Sep 28, 2022

Many companies on MoneyMade advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear.

Collectibles

Collectibles

Entertainment

Entertainment

Sports

Sports

Last year, an Air Force veteran took a luxury watch he'd purchased in 1974 for $345.95 to the Antiques Roadshow. After a short due diligence check, the appraiser gave the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Oyster a $700,000 valuation. That 2,023x ROI literally floored the veteran, and that's not even considering inflation.

Collectible investments have shown some of the juiciest returns, and the market has had a dramatic surge in popularity since 2020. But the trick to turning a profit is knowing what collectors will still covet for years to come. So what are the best collectibles to invest in so you can rake in some fat stacks in 2022?

The trending collectibles market

The golden rule of collectible investments is to buy what you love. And if you're lucky, it'll become valuable. Sometimes the stars also align in favor of collectors, as they did in 2020.

People spent more time indoors and devoted more to their passions and hobbies, resulting in some collectibles setting record-setting prices. Let’s not forget that being cooped up at home also skyrocketed the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), like the famous CryptoPunks and Bored Up Yacht Club collections.

A 2020 survey by specialty insurance company Chubb shows how the collectibles market boomed:

  1. Contemporary art has shot up in value. A 1984 Jean-Michel Basquiat piece worth $77,300 in 1993 sold for $4.59 million in 2020—an enormous growth in value. 
  2. A surging secondary watches market had a Patek Philippe Nautilus selling for triple its retail price.
  3. Sports memorabiliabaseball cards, Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan memorabilia, and game-worn sneakers—ruled the sector. A 1952 Mickey Mantel baseball card set a new world record by selling for $5.2 million. The average price for a Michael Jordan rookie card PSA 10 was $100,000, while a pair of his 1985 game-worn shoes sold for half a million dollars.

So there’s clearly a lot of money in collectibles. But why is that?

What makes collectibles good investments?

Before you put your money into collectibles, you should know that the entire sector revolves around passions and hobbies. In other words, it’s not about pure investment but rather emotional appeal.

Still, investing in collectibles offers the unique advantage of combining your passion with the possibility of making big gains. Let’s explore a few more reasons why collecting is such a popular pastime.

Broad appeal

Collectible investments appeal to people of all ages, social classes, income levels, expertise, and locations. Collectibles run the whole gamut—from classic cars, fine wines, toys, vintage ceramics, and blue-chip art. The golden rule of becoming a collector is to buy something you love and treat the monetary gains as a fringe benefit.

The allure of owning a rare item draws in most collectors. It's a driving force in human psychology—people admire what you have.
 

Pieces are often amassed for their beauty, rich history, or personal meaning. For instance, a collector might buy an item with sentimental links to their past just to relive those memories.

Intrinsic value

Unlike stocks or crypto, collectibles have a physical use, sentimental value, or both. If things don't pan out, you can still decorate your home with fine art or use that classic car to get around.

More importantly, collectibles are often in short supply. If you possess a genuinely rare item, you can virtually guarantee that collectors or auction houses will pay good money for the item.

Store of value

Collectibles with a proven history of retaining or appreciating value in troubling financial times can help protect wealth. Collectibles aren't intrinsically linked to the stock market, so their prices hinge more on demand and supply than correlation to other assets. The value of most collectibles, including fine wines and spirits, appreciate with age.

High potential returns

Shrewd collectible investments outperform traditional vehicles like stocks and bonds. Classic cars, fine art, coins, and stamps are popular collectible asset classes with a high potential ROI. But collectors can also profit from sports cards, celebrity memorabilia, watches, vintage whiskey bottles, old photographs, and even dinosaur bones.

Bragging rights

Collectible investments are a source of immense pleasure and joy. Collectors often exhibit their prized collection publicly or privately for personal recognition and to show off their acumen and wealth. Framing a real estate deed or stock certificates wouldn't have the same effect.

The Met or Metaverse:

The Met or Metaverse:

You want a painting or an NFT?

What collectibles are sizzlin’ hot in 2022?

It's easy to find stories online of ordinary people who hit the lottery with a collectible, like the Air Force veteran mentioned earlier. In reality, only a fraction of collectors make the news or make any money, for that matter.

This is why it pays to curate your collection skillfully according to what items have the highest chances of accruing value.

Some collectibles likely to increase in value in 2022 and beyond include:

  • Classic cars: The Luxury Investment Index shows a 330% appreciation in classic car prices over the last decade. 
  • Fine art: A steady demand for fine art in 2017 resulted in a 21% price increase, to the delight of art collectors. 
  • Antique houseware and furniture: There's one overriding theme in the Antiques Roadshow and American Pickers TV shows. There's an insatiable demand for antique furniture and housewares. Collectors pursue such collectibles relentlessly for their beauty, quality, and history.
  • Memorabilia: As long as sporting greats, celebrities, pop culture, and other influential figures have millions of adoring fans, collectible memorabilia will remain a lucrative category. 
  • Coins: History buffs create a strong demand for certain coins due to their ties to prominent historical events. Some collectors build valuable collections as family heirlooms, heightening the scarcity of rare coins.

Let’s dive deeper into investing in collectibles and look at some of the best alternative asset classes in 2022.

Toys

Toys hold a special place in our lives—well, some more than others. The market for figurines from past decades is strong, and toys with ties to blockbuster movies (e.g., Star Wars) make some of the most valuable collectibles.

Disney collectibles have strong demand overall, especially the limited edition series. Some limited edition dolls from the movie Frozen cost up to $3,000 on eBay. That value appreciation is nuts, given how Frozen is hardly a decade old. So stocking up on merch from the next big Disney movie might be a winning strategy, but a well-timed Funko Pop purchase could do the trick, too.

Sports memorabilia

When it comes to sports memorabilia, you're spoiled for choice—from cards, balls, and sneakers to jerseys, signed autographs, and pictures, you name it. Sports fans will snap up all items relating to legendary players and historical moments. But how do you get your hands on some sports memorabilia without breaking the bank?

If you happen to meet a famous athlete, ask them to sign a ball, jersey, or something else. Don’t forget to have a friend capture the moment on camera to prove the authenticity. This method does rely on a fair bit of luck, though. So if you’re looking for a sure thing, then your best option is to use a platform like Collectable, which lets you buy fractional shares of some of the most valuable sports memorabilia on the market.

collectable
Collectable

4.4

Sports Cards

Rock 'n' roll memorabilia

Musical instruments, vinyl records, ticket stubs, and fan magazines from the '50s and '60s make for valuable collectibles. For instance, a signed copy of a With the Beatles record sold for $36,250 in 2015.

Having your idol sign a record or a poster is a relatively cheap way to get the ball rolling as a newbie. Well, aside from the cost of concert tickets and backstage passes.

Fine wines

We found that fine wines outperformed most other assets while being less volatile and having less downside risk. This means that your bottle of vintage vino probably retained more value than anything on the stock market. Diversified exposure to fine wine is a great way to boost your portfolio's long-term stability.

Previously reserved for the ultra-rich, building an investment-grade wine collection is now accessible to all wine enthusiasts thanks to modern investing platforms like Vinovest. This platform will make you a customized portfolio of investment-grade wines and store the bottles for you. Wine is also one of the most convenient collectibles on this list because platforms like Vinovest let you trade your collection as you would stocks.

Vintage jewelry

Collecting jewelry is just as glamorous as it sounds. Beautiful stones can show your fashion sense while also building wealth. You can take your pick from vintage jewelry, including brooches, pins, bracelets, rings, and necklaces made from high-value materials like diamonds, pearls, precious metals, emeralds, and more.

You can also try your hand at the rare or well-known pieces worn by celebrity figures in famous movies. Getting your hands on matching sets can drastically increase the collection's value. You can start building your collection by attending garage sales and estate sales, checking online resellers, or visiting auction houses.

Make sure it’s legit

The collectibles market is filled with counterfeits. Aside from finding rare gems, you must also learn to identify and avoid these scams. Finally, you need to build some topical authority in your chosen collectible category so you can spot bargains when shopping.

If this sounds a bit complicated, though, don't worry. Platforms like Rally and Rares let you invest in iconic sneakers, vintage cars, and other authenticated collectibles online. And if you think the prices will be too rich for your blood, think again. Since both platforms let you buy fractional shares, you can own a piece of legendary items that only wealthy collectors could’ve bought outright.

Find your next investment