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Three Reasons Why War Memorabilia Collecting is a Viable Investment Strategy Kurt Whiteman of Legacy Collectibles
When you consider your long-term financial investment strategy, you may not consider items such as collectible rifles, daggers, and medals to be a viable option for your portfolio. Truth is, collecting war memorabilia is a practice that can yield many long-term benefits for your financial future. Here are three reasons why it is a viable investment strategy.
Scarcity of Original Products
One of the biggest reasons to add war memorabilia collecting to your investment strategy is scarcity. Many of the items sold by war memorabilia collectors are no longer being produced. Consider Mauser, which made German firearms during WWII. It no longer produces firearms since the factory was bombed by the Allies and most of the factory records were destroyed after the war. Ultimately, this makes Mauser weapons more desirable by collectors.
Nazi Mauser K98 – byf 44 (Courtesy of Kurt Whiteman)
Even if a manufacturer of WWII firearms is still in operation today, it’s likely that their production methods have drastically changed due to more advanced manufacturing technology. For example, a WWII production Walther pistol is very different from one produced today. In the past, Walther pistols had more metal parts and higher production standards.
The scarcity of items in their original form is what gives collectible rifles and daggers a lot of their value. Collectors find significant value in the “human element” of war memorabilia, as many of these items were hand-stamped and individually inspected along the production line – a practice no longer in use today.
Holding and Appreciating in Value
History has shown that almost all collectible firearms appreciate in value over time, but some appreciate more than others. An even smaller niche within the collectible handgun world is collectible NFA weapons, also known as machine guns. These weapons have a much higher price point but are viewed as a wonderful investment when compared to other investment devices such as stocks or bonds. This is because NFA firearms avoid many of the pitfalls associated with other commodity classes.
1918 DWM MG 08 – Machine Gun (Courtesy of Kurt Whiteman)
Many machine guns have appreciated 100% in value over the past 10 years, with a steady upward growth curve. This is secured by the 300,000 firearms allowed on the federal registry. This limit serves to protect the investment value from dilution and drives appreciation as new investors seek to enter the marketplace.
Overall, collectible firearms can play a valuable role as a physical hedge in a well-diversified portfolio. They provide the stability of gold and annualized investment return on par with equities.
Physical Utility and Home Defense
Regardless of the financial or economic status of the world, firearms will always be a useful investment from a utility standpoint. If properly maintained, firearms can last for centuries and function like new. This may come in handy if you like to spend some of your free time hunting or would like to keep it in your home as a measure of home defense.
Even if you don’t plan to physically use a piece of war memorabilia, proper maintenance still provides benefits from a financial investment standpoint. Having a collectible firearm that is properly maintained and polished will only help it hold (and potentially increase) its value for future investors.
While not as heavily-utilized as other physical assets such as gold, war memorabilia still has a place in any well-diversified investor’s portfolio. The rarity of collectible rifles and daggers, along with their ability to consistently appreciate in value over time, make owning them a sound investment strategy.
Author Bio Kurt Whiteman is the Sales Director of Legacy Collectibles, a collector and supplier of investment grade handguns and military collectibles, such as daggers, medals, and rifles.
(September 2018). Copyright of the article text and photographs belong to the author.