Buying Antiques or CollectingPosted on December 9th, 2012 under Wealth of Advice
By Francisco J. Colayco
My wife and myself, we went through a personal experience in our life on this subject matter when we were still newly married with three young daughters. We had two basic goals in buying antiques and “collectibles.” By “collectible” is meant items that are sought after by Collectors. If the items are sought-after, then it should be reasonable to conclude that these could improve in value through the years.
Our two goals were:
- to decorate our home and
- to interest our children in items related to various cities in the world.
Let me talk first about our purchases of antiques. People buy antiques because these are assets that can increase in value over the years. Antiques are works of art that have considerable value because of age. Usually, these are furniture, paintings, jars, statues and the like. We thought it would be a good way to increase our assets while enjoying beauty in our home.
Our first step was completely wrong. We did not educate ourselves. To even consider buying antiques, you need to read and study the various types of antiques available. Some important criteria are the maker, the age, and of course the beauty of the item. It is not easy because even after understanding the criteria, you need to be able to examine the actual item and make a good decision on whether it is indeed a good antique and the price you are paying is fair value.
We allowed others whom we trusted to tell us what was supposedly good antique. We believe that they did not fool us but we also made our second big mistake. We did not get the right documents to prove the authenticity of the items we bought. We just relied on our need for specific items like furniture and other decorative items. We probably paid more than necessary for the items because these were presented as antiques. Surely, we could have bought the same items but not antique for a lower price. Of course, there was a psychological uplift thinking that we owned antiques.
Happily, the items seem to be genuine antiques and we still have them. Unhappily, even if we wanted to sell them as antiques today, we are unable to because we have no documents of proof. Therefore, we have items that we like but cannot truly consider as valuable assets because the value is very personal to us. It is difficult to find buyers who like the same items too. And many imitations are available to those who are not really eager to pay more for the items.
My wife and I also bought paintings of up and coming Filipino artists. We made the right decision here. At that time, the paintings of the better-known artists were already relatively more expensive but today, we would surely be able to sell them at a good price. Paintings speak for themselves. The real art buyers can tell. Of course, some artists do not become as famous as you think they will be so there is a risk. But if you really like the painting, who cares if the artist is famous or not? Just enjoy yourself looking at the painting.
The most important criterion is to really like the antique or painting you are buying for itself and that it looks good and beautifies your home. Condition your mind that it does not matter if it goes up in value or not. That way, you will want to keep it and not feel that bad if you can’t sell it for a good profit.
When I was young, I traveled a lot in relation to my job. It was normal for me to want to give our children a pasalubong to look forward to every time I came home. Because of the frequency of travel, we decided that if I bought gifts I might end up buying items that could spoil them (like more toys) or items that they would not even care for. I usually did not have leisure time to look for or to explore for the right gifts. So we thought of giving them miniature items from different cities. One daughter got spoons, the second got bells and the third got shoes. It made their space more interesting as the collection got bigger. We all thought that as they grew older, the completed collection could be an asset. It was not so. The items just tarnished and as the years went by, more and nicer spoons, bells and shoes became available. Eventually, our daughters just got rid of their collection.
There are unbelievable items that become valuable like stamps, comic books etc. Chances are you will not know what will become important. Meanwhile, you have to keep these items organized in storage and keep them in good condition. Otherwise, they will not bring in the right value anyway.
In summary, antiques and collectibles are really more for those who take great pains to educate themselves and have the patience to keep the items in the best storage available over many years. There are better options to increase your asset value.
This Christmas, why not give your relatives and friends either or both of the following:
- Get ALL of my bestsellers in ONE COMPLETE package for only P780 (with courier fee)!
- Avail of a 75% discount on ANY of CFE’s financial seminars next year! For parents and kids, we have the Money for Kids seminars
Check out www.colaycofoundation.com for more details.