“Antiques Roadshow” on PBS is one of my favorite programs. It’s shown regularly on Idaho Public Television and averages 8 to 10 million viewers per week nationally, making it the most popular program on the network.
Why the great interest in other people’s stuff? First, it’s fun to see the owner’s reaction to the estimated valuation. You might actually see guests you know if you catch the Boise edition that aired back in early 2014. Boise is so awesome that they made three complete shows after taping at the Egyptian Theater, Idaho Penitentiary and Boise Art Museum.
“Antiques Roadshow” will revisit a former item and “look back” at how prices have appreciated – or not – from the original estimate. Don’t be surprised by the crazy items that people show up with, usually shown at the end with enthusiastic but disappointed owners.
Stamps, coins, antique vases, rare ink pens, jewelry, art and even vinyl records are just a few examples of the types of items people collect. The collection’s value will depend on the quantity and condition of the items.
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Collectibles as investments will incur different risks, including the risk of theft, so having a rider on your homeowners insurance is a good idea. Make sure you insure for least the fair market value, plus price appreciation and inflation. Roughly half of collectors have never obtained a professional appraisal.
Many collectors rent an oversize safe deposit box at the bank. The cost is reasonable, and you may be able to deduct the annual box rental fee if you itemize deductions.
Storage can be an issue depending on the size and quantity of your items: You’ll need a secure area in your home to safeguard your collection. Firearms come to mind due to added safety concerns. Safes can be a good option, but a talented thief can open them given proper tools and time.
Collectibles can be fun and exciting, but willing buyers at a fair price can be difficult to find. The value of specific items can be very subjective. Many people inherit rare antiques with no intention of selling. The pleasure is gained from passing them on to the next generation – and showing them off on “Antiques Roadshow.”
Mark Daly is an investment management analyst and partner in The Perpetua Group. Mark@ThePerpetuaGroup.com.