Revealed: The lucrative world of autograph investing

Fsp Invest, 09 Oct. 2013

Tags: autograph investing, autographs, alternative investment, who collects autographs, what is an autograph

You may have already started your autograph collection. And chances are you haven’t given much thought to the value associated with them. But what exactly is an autograph? An autograph may be more than you first realised. And who collects them? Read on to find out more about the lucrative world of autograph investing…

Unless you are a collection specialist, you will probably associate “autograph” with “signature”. But an “autograph” actually refers to a document transcribed by the original author, Ania Polyniak explains in The Sovereign Society...

Autographs can be signatures. But autographs can also be a piece of handwriting, even if the document is unsigned.

You can also interchange the word “autograph” with “manuscript”. A manuscript is a document transcribed by hand, irrespective of content. Therefore, a manuscript can be anything from a drawing or musical score to a map or letter.

Autographs and manuscripts are a broader asset class than most people think - spanning ancient scripts and sportswear, signed with a marker-pen.

Autographs allow us to travel back in time, to hold a piece of history in our hands. Albert Einstein writing about the theory of relativity, for example, or Mozart’s authentic compositions, hand-written poems and lyrics, documents of surrender, resignation and even abdication all capture pivotal movements and moments of history, on paper.

Who collects autographs?

Autograph collecting and investing is open to anyone with an interest in some form of historical, human endeavour or achievement. What drives this passion is the love of great stories and the value of something unique.

Bill Gates is passionate about autographs. He broke records when he paid $28 million for a single autograph!

Former publisher of Forbes magazine, Malcolm Forbes began collecting autographs when he was 15. By his death, at 70, in 1990, Forbes owned 4,000 American presidential autographs and manuscripts. At an auction by Christie’s in March 2004, his collection sold for a staggering $40.9 million!

So there you have it, the lucrative world of autograph investing.

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