Ex Post: The Investment Performance of Collectible Stamps
London Business School; University of Cambridge - Judge Business School
HEC Paris - Finance Department
December 1, 2010
Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Vol. 100, No. 2, 2011
This paper uses stamp catalogue prices to investigate the returns on British collectible postage stamps over the period 1900–2008. We find an annualized return on stamps of 7.0% in nominal terms, or 2.9% in real terms. These returns are higher than those on bonds but below those on equities. The volatility of stamp prices approaches that of equities. Stamp returns are impacted by movements in the equity market, but the systematic risk of stamps remains low. Stamps partially hedge against unanticipated inflation. Estimates of average after-cost returns for individual investors show that stamps may rival equities in terms of realized performance.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Alternative investments, Indexes, Long-term returns, Philately, Stamps
JEL Classification: G11, G12, Z11
Date posted: August 6, 2009 ; Last revised: March 13, 2013
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