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Alternative investments: stamps

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When it comes to alternative investments, stamps are like a fixed-term ISA.

Stamps are only rarely traded for mega-bucks and liquidity in the market is maintained, on the whole, by plucky enthusiasts with spare cash.

While the market grows in value almost every year, it doesn’t see wild swings.

?We re not about the thrill of the chase,” says Keith Heddle, investment director at Stanley Gibbons, a long-established trader in stamps and other collectibles.

“It’s a low-risk environment with a good profit record over five-to-ten years.

“People don’t pile into this market and drive it up unrealistically, unlike Chinese investors pushing up wine.

“Prices are conservative and sustainable, but they have risen by ten per cent or more a year on average for the past four decades.

In fact, the GB30 Rarities Index, a collection of 30 classic British stamps gauged by market value, has risen 290 per cent since 1998 or 11 per cent compound growth year-on-year; outstripping gold, house prices and the FTSE.

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