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09 Sep 2015

Could Lego prove a better investment than shares and gold?

According to recent analysis conducted by the Telegraph, investing in certain Lego sets can provide more lucrative returns than putting money into bank accounts, the stock market and even gold.

With the value of the FTSE 100 having remained stagnant since February 2000, and share prices dropping recently, over the past 15 years savers have received an annual return of just 4.1%.

And according to Hargreaves Lansdown, savers who put their faith in gold have seen a 9.6% annual gain since 2000. Those who kept their money in savings accounts and ISAs produced a 2.8% return during this time.

However, none of these investment choices match the returns seen from the humble Lego brick. The analysis found that those who invested in Lego sets over the last 15 years - and kept them in immaculate condition - have seen their investments rise in value by 12%; around three times the return from stocks and shares.

Lego discontinues a number of sets after a period of time - for example, if they were launched to coincide with a movie release - meaning that the resale prices can skyrocket.

Some of the most valuable sets are based on films such as Star Wars; the Ultimate Collector´s Millenium Falcon has soared from its retail price of £342 in 2007, to a current resale price of £2,712.

Founder of brickpicker.com, Ed Maciorowski, explains that sets kept in pristine, unopened condition will fetch the highest prices; but notes that even used Lego can be worth much more than its original selling price.

“The neat thing is that all sets are retired at some point, and several hundred are retired each year […] That means anyone with a set at home – large or small, it doesn´t matter – could have quite an investment on their hands if it´s in good condition.”

With investor numbers increasing all over the world, the value of rare sets are rising, too. And because Lego “doesn´t promote the secondary market,” says Maciorowski, investment in the plastic bricks “is not hitting bubble-like status.”

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Laith Khalaf warns that while the returns from Lego look “pretty awesome,” investors “need to beware that the value of collectables can be vulnerable to fads.”

“You may well make some money, but as a main building clock for your retirement I would suggest sticking to more traditional shares and bonds,” he advised.

Copyright M2 Bespoke 2015

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